American history survey 4th class slavery in the new world, 15th – 18th centuries
announcements• Please turn in paper # 1. You are not eligible to take the midterm exam unless you have turned in paper # 1. Deadline: Tuesday 11/8.• Please see me after class for conflicts for Mon 11/14 midterm, 10:10 – 11:45 am.• If you saw Amistad, you may write a 3 – 5 paragraph review as one of your 3 papers this semester. Reviews are both objective (summary) and subjective (analysis & evaluation).
Triangular trade• Africa to New World: human cargo.• Colonies in N America to W Europe: agricultural & other raw materials desired in Europe: tobacco, sugar (molasses, rum), rice, wheat, lumber.• W Europe to Africa: manufactured goods, textiles, iron implements, ship wares.
Caribbean, aka West Indies • Overwhelmingly young men. • Societies rapidly became Black majority. • European whites mostly could not stand the tropical climate. • Sugar cultivators often worked slaves to death. • Also Brazil.
tobacco• The major colonial export in 18th c.• Required year-round attention & many steps in process.• W Africans had been agriculturalists.• 17th c – societies with slaves; owners, servants, slaves worked together. 1st generation slaves had previous experience elsewhere & participated in & utilized British culture (church, legal system, etc.)• 18th c – slave societies – elite owned large plantations w hundreds of slaves. Increasingly African-born, saltwater slaves, direct from African interior.
Northern cities• New York had largest proportion of slaves.• NY, Boston, Philadelphia, Newport – port cities, men’s work in shipping, transportation, & ship-building; women’s work as domestics, weavers, etc.• 10 – 20% of population in 17th & 18th c.• Northern merchants began to replace British as slave traders.
Lower South• Slave societies; slavery was model for whole culture.• Rice required large plantations to be profitable.• Rise of elite planter class.• Profits put back into extension of slavery. No diversification of economy.
significance of slave-created products• tobacco, sugar, coffee, tea – tropical, not grown in N & W Europe• addictive• proletarian hunger-killers• sped up daily work of people who consume• sustained work force of the Industrial Revolution & postindustrial age, including us!
development of slavery• In 17th c North America, African slaves & European indentured servants shared many similarities. Most slaves imported from Caribbean or W African coast; previous knowledge of European world. Small # of slaves.• 1660s & later, colonial legislatures passed laws regulating Africans – no intermarriage, heritable status, harsh penalties for disobedience, clear division from indentured servants based on race.
development of slavery• 18th c. Africans, direct from interior, became majority of slaves.• Southern plantation elite dominated their colonies. Less affluent whites moved west.• Slavery differed substantially across time, across geography, across economies, and from urban to rural areas.• Freedom for whites based on slavery of Blacks is most important contradiction in US history.
assignment for next week• Primary sources about slavery, from Zinn & Arnove, Voices of a People’s History of the US, 51 – 61.