|← The Sepoy Mutiny||Democracy In Classical Athens →|
For Black people, slavery in America has a multitude of negative images. What the blacks and other people living in America fail to realize is that slavery has played a tremendous role in the making of America. The various economic developments that have been made through slavery have propelled America in to being a super power economically (Robinson, 2000). There are various national quarters that have denied the positive contributions of slavery to the national economy. These denials have found acceptance within both the black and white community. Those that deny the positive contributions of slavery to the making of America, do so out of hypocritical interests. It is saddening to see blacks resorting to all means in vying for national respect. What these ignorant blacks do not know is that they actually own a sizeable down payment of acceptance and respect through the blood, sweat and tears of slaves (Robinson, 2000).
The first slave ship bound for America, docked on the shore of America in 1619. Thus, the first free labor arrived in the United States. The importation of slaves into the United States continued until 1860. This is despite the fact that the importation of slaves had been outlawed in 1808. The imported slaves continued to give birth to more slaves that worked to industrialize America (Robinson, 2000). Until the civil war and the emancipation of slavery in America, slavery contributed to the growth of the American nation in tremendous ways. Slavery was a legalized institution in America for close to 250 years (Robinson, 2000). During this time, slavery donated close to 605 billion hours of unpaid labor. This free labor funded the industrial revolution after successfully birthing the agrarian revolution (Robinson, 2000). This slave labor is responsible for financing the two world wars, majority of the fortune 500 companies and the civil war. The only thing to be regretted of the slavery in America is, because, it has left a negative sociological impact on the black race in America (Robinson, 2000).
Slavery was remarkable in the making of contemporary America. It has been responsible for the agrarian revolution in America to the industrial revolution in America. The use of slave soldiers helped to end the colonization of America. In other words, Slave soldiers were active in the defeat of Britain during the war of independence of America (Carr, 1964). The essay is going to prove these historical observations hereunder.
Slaves were brought in droves and sold mostly in the southern states of America. Others were sold in the northern states of America. These slaves, especially those in the south, were engaged in plantation farming. It has been observed by historians that the growth of plantation farming in America is due to the labor donated by slaves. In these plantations, they engaged in heavy manual labor for their masters (Carr, 1964). They used to wake up in the morning and work up to 9.00 pm in the plantations. These slaves were growing cash crops such as Tobbaco, sugarcane, wheat and latter cotton (Carr, 1964).
These crops were so crucial in the industrialization of America. This is because they provided sufficient food for the fueling of the nation. The rise of plantation farming led to the rise of the agrarian revolution in America. The agrarian revolution was so critical in the making of contemporary America. It made America completely cut off the shackles of dependency (Carr, 1964). This is because for many years America had depended on her former colonial master, England. This was a critical step in the growth of America as a power to reckon with, it made America be recognized as a super power (Carr, 1964).
Plantation farming, which was fueled by slave labor, led to the growth of the transatlantic trade. This was especially so after America began to grow cotton. America was growing so much cotton that it was impossible to use this cotton only in America. The southern states were particularly involved in widespread growth of cotton. They grew cotton with slave labor, and processed the same cotton in slave labor (Strouse, 1999). This was in the famous Cotton Ginneries. The processed cotton together with other products like Tobacco and sugar were the main commodities of export (Strouse, 1999). America was able to sell these products that had been grown with slave labor at the international market. This trade was remarkably useful to the economy of America. The United States was able to get resources like gold and silver that were instrumental in the expansion of local industries in America (Strouse, 1999).
The institution of slavery is one of the institutions that has been remarkably profitable in American history. This is because of free labor provided by slaves in other ventures apart from farming. The provision of free labor prompted the slave masters to enforce forced breeding in the slaves. This was especially so after the importation of slaves slowed down in1810. Even as the forced breeding of slaves was being effected, profits from slave trade were rising at phenomenal rates. This is profit that was being used to build America in one way or another (Strouse, 1999). This is because these profits came to slave masters in America (Strouse, 1999). For instance, slaves were being purchased in Africa for less than US$ 40. These slaves were sold for about US$ 500-US$ 1000. Slave traders in America could get profits as huge as US$ 175,000 from a single slave ship. This is after several hundred slaves died in transit. The profit from these slaves was invested in other ventures. Some of these ventures and companies that grew as a result of investments from slave profits have become fortune 500 companies (Strouse, 1999).
Some estimates that have been done to determine the economic impact of slave labor in the making of America are staggering. According to data obtained from the US Census Bureau, the cumulative labor of slaves is astounding. It has been calculated that slaves provided free labor for over 164 solid years. This is 365 day years. This has been arrived at by assuming that slaves worked an average of 60 hours per week. The result of this unpaid for labor amounts to 20.3 trillion dollars at the 2006 rate of inflation. This is a staggering amount that slavery has contributed in the making of America (Strouse, 1999).
Some of the greatest institutions in America have reaped great benefits from slavery. The dollar thread that flows from slave trade to present day business conglemates and learning institutions of great repute is quite telling. Detailed researches into the slave trade and slavery in America have revealed that Brown University, Aetna Insurance Company, E.I DuPont and J.P Morgan have been established through the benefits reaped from slavery (Hedges, 1999). These are just the few institutions that have been mentioned. Many more prestigious institutions are beneficiaries of slavery in America. A telling example is that of Pierre Bauduy that purchased 25% of the shares of J.P Morgan (Hedges, 1999). It has been established through historical research that Pierre Bauduy got the money for buying these shares from profits of a plantation in Haiti which he fled during the bloody Haitian revolution. This is to show that slavery has played a significant part in the making of America. This is because the institutions that have been highlighted have contributed significantly to the American economy (Hedges, 1999).
Brown university has been heavily financed by Cotton merchants and slave ship manufacturers. This was in the early days of the university. Aetna Insurance Company sold significant insurance policies on slaves. This was to protect slave traders from losses incurred with runaway slaves. The initial capital of J.P Morgan was got from a cotton trading company it had in the south (Hedges, 1999). So much profit was made through cotton in the south. Other crops that brought huge profits to the American traders are tobacco and rice. All these crops were grown using slave labor. Some companies made so much money during the slave trade and slave driven plantation farming that they could afford to loan money to the government during the civil war (Hedges, 1999). A good example is J.P Morgan that lend money to the Lincoln administration during the secession war.
Slavery has been instrumental in the making of America. Slave soldiers have been historically used in the waging of wars by America. The Lincoln government used a lot of slave soldiers (Rittenhouse, 2000). Even more significantly is the number of slave troops that were used in the war with Mexico. Also during the civilization of America, a lot of Slave soldiers were used by the US government (Rittenhouse, 2000). These slave soldiers, known as buffalo soldiers, were used to fight off the indigenous Indians. This was in the zeal to get arable land for farming and mining for American merchants.
All in all, slavery has played a significant part in the industrialization of America. Slavery labor has powered the agrarian revolution in America. Slave labor has powered the industrial revolution in America. Slavery has been beneficial to the American nation (Rittenhouse, 2000). This is despite the negative impact of besmirching a race.