The Roots Of Slavery Are The Mediterranean Region And Sugar

901 WordsSep 2, 20164 Pages
Two things that can be linked to the roots of slavery are the Mediterranean region and sugar. It wasn’t until the time of the Crusades that Europeans even knew about sugars existence, they had previously depended on fruits and honey to amplify the taste in their dull diets. Europeans learned about sugarcane and the labor intensive processes for making consumable sugar from the Arabs. Armed with tremendous amounts of capital investment, technology, and a disciplined work force, Europeans started building sugar plantations around the Mediterranean and several islands off the West African coast. Hardships and hazards of the work as well as limitations fastened to serf labor, and the overall lack of wage workers altogether, pointed to slavery as a foundation for labor on the sugar plantation. So why Africans? Through a process of elimination we can deduce why they were chosen as the primary source for slave labor instead of the plentiful and readily available native Indians (who were already in the Americas); poor whites and indentured servants. Why Not Native Indians? The native Indians were a poor choice to use as the source for slave labor because in addition to their unwillingness to conform to the new way of life, they rapidly died from European diseases and the harsh labor demands. Indians also had a European champion on their side who campaigned for their freedom. Bartolome de Las Casas, a Spanish priest, was dismayed when he observed Indians being tormented by his
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