The Revolutionary EraSlave trade in New England and Middle Colonies The Atlantic Slave Trade is defined as the selling of slaves that occurred within the countries located around the Atlantic Ocean. This was initiated by the people from Portugal and lasted for almost four hundred years. The slaves that were sold originated from Africa’s eastern and central part. These people from Africa was kidnapped and raided against the law. The slaves that were from Africa were estimated to be around ten to thirteen million throughout the time the Atlantic Slave Trade was happening. Since there was a large number of Africans being transported to the New World, most of the Africans label this as Maafa which also meant holocaust. The economic cycle which was comprised of Triangular Trade and Middle Passage also included the slaves. (Klein 103)
Depending on which colony slaves lived in, the way they were treated and the work they performed varied. Slaves in southern colonies typically worked under harsh conditions, while slaves in the middle and New England colonies were fewer, had more freedom, and were treated more humanely.
The New England Slave Trade was considered a success for it paved the way for the establishment of New England’s economic structure. The wealthy class rose into power due to the profit gained from trading slaves. The monetary gains acquired through slave-trading were used for further enhancement of culture and expansion of philanthropic works. (Greene, p. 319)
New England proved to be the leading slave merchant in comparison to American colonies.
Slavery in the middle colonies also flourished similar to slave-trading in New England. While this system ensured the growth of the free black population, it also contributed to the need for laborers. The initial slaves were from Europe however they were replaced by the African slaves were more economical so most people preferred to have the African slaves instead of the Indians. Indentured servitude can also be considered as one of the factors why there was a lack of manpower. (Evans 52)
The agriculture of the Middle colonies was not gaining any profit for it was smarter to purchase crops from New World. Aside from this, there was an increasing demand for additional workforce and that encouraged them to purchase slaves which were supplied by the Western and Central parts of Africa.
The primary reason that attributed to the lack of workforce was the increased availability of lands that were cheap and this resulted to the increase of people owning lands. Since there were large numbers of landowners, they wanted to have their lands profitable to at least return their investment. Thus, these landowners required a lot of laborers and this shortage was answered by the availability of cheap African slaves. The demand for slaves at that time was really high. Slave-trading in both places were momentous for they both profited from this commerce. (Klein 103)
Explain which articles and sections of the United States Constitution illustrate how it was designed to be a pro-slavery document.
Article IV Section 2 stated that No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
It was in 1793 that the federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return of the slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines. There were also state laws that legalized slave-trading. Connecticut had black servants or slaves as early as 1639, with slavery becoming an accepted system of labor by 1680. Slavery was legalized in Connecticut when Massachusetts Body of Liberties passed in 1641 and was subsequently incorporated in the Articles of the New England Confederation. (Evans 44)
Klein, Herbert S. and Jacob Klein. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Cambridge University Press, 1999. pp. 103-139.
Evans, Gwendolyn. The Slave in Connecticut during the American Revolution. Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin XXX (1965): 44-61.
Greene, Lorenzo. The Negro in Colonial New England 1620-1776. New York: Columbia University Press, 1942.
McManus, Edgar J. Black Bondage in the North. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1973.
Steiner, Bernard. History of Slavery in Connecticut. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1893.
Lorenzo Johnston Greene, The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776, p.319.