slavery something that could be avoided or was it an event that was perpetuated
to occur? Slavery is not only one of the most inhumane events in the history of
the United States but also launched one of the most catastrophic events in the
nation which was the Civil War. It goes against one of the core beliefs that
make the nation great, which is freedom and liberty. However, several factors
made the existence and growth of slavery inevitable. In colonial America, the
young country was growing and with it came the usage of people as either
indentured slaves or forced and free labor. The economy was growing fast, and
the rise of cash crops required laborers. The indentured slaves were those that
operated under a certain contract and received better treatment than those that
were used as free labor. They received a small form of payment and were let go
after the agreed number of years. However, over time the plantation owners
delved more into the use of forced slaves that were seen as property. They were
much cheaper and easier to sustain, and the slave culture became a strong
identity of the South. However, the trend was facilitated factors growth of
cotton farming that was becoming a major cash crop in America. Also as the
indentured servants continued to reduce, substitutes were required, and this
resulted in the growth of free labor in the country. Slavery was inevitable due
to the fast growth of the cotton industry, reduction in indentured servants and
decline in sugar farming.
industry and the development of the gin created the environment for promoting
slavery. The crop was creating a good market for America as it was transported
to Britain, making the desire for the product to grow at humongous rates.
People wanted to participate in the farming of cotton which led to the increase
of individuals in the South who farmed the product. After the promulgation of
the Indian Removal Act in the year 1830, people gained the liberty to acquire
bigger pieces of land based on their depths of their pockets1.
With the increased access to land, cotton farming grew and became a major
source of investment for a lot of farmers. More hand was needed to plow and
collect the product from the farms which led to the necessity of labor. The
cheapest form of labor was the use of African Americans that had been brought
in to provide a hand in the cotton farms. One issue was the removal of cotton
seeds from their fibers which made the crop hectic to produce. However, the
inception of the gin by Eli Whitney marked in a new era for the cash crop. The
process of the separation of the seeds became easier, and this increased the
number of plantation farmers invested in the crop. But for that to happen, a
large amount of labor was needed to work on the farms. The South saw the best
source of input to be slaves who created an influx in the buying of men, women,
and children to work on the farms. The choice was morally wrong, but it was
inevitable as the Southerners did not consider the importance of the lives they
were affecting but rather blinded by the desire to meet cotton demand.
reduction of the sugar prices in the Caribbean made the prospect of slavery in
America to increase. Sugar was making a tremendous profit in Barbados as the
area was fertile and perfect for the crop. The British utilized the environment
to source sugar from the region, which increased the demand for the product. So
that the supply could be met, slaves were used as farmers for the fields. Over
time, the high supply of sugar became too much which led to falling of prices.
It was no longer profitable to cultivate it, and thus it also brought down the
prices of slaves. Considering the speed at which America was growing and the
amount of labor required, it was inevitable that slaves in the Caribbean to be
introduced and transported to the United States.
in the number of indentured servants created the inevitability that they would
be replaced by free labor slaves in America. Individuals who were poor were
shipped to America from Britain on an agreement to work for some years somewhat
as slaves, but would be paid only enough to support their living expenses.
However, Britain was experiencing a boom in the economy and the lives of those
that worked as slaves under contract improved. They no longer desired to place
themselves under difficult situations in America 2.
Their decline needed a replacement, and the inevitable option was the use of
African American slaves.
events that occurred in America during the period that led to the use of free
labor magnified the number of slaves in the nation. The country was booming,
and plantation farmers were looking for the cheapest and easiest way of gaining
more profit from their farms. The cotton industry was booming, and Barbados was
reducing the number of forced workers in their inventory. Furthermore, slaves
on the contract were reducing in number, which all culminated in the
inevitability of America having African American slaves, an action that has a
left a large dent in the country’s history.
1 Joshua D. Rothman, Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of
Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson (Athens:
University of Georgia Press, 2012)
2 Beckworth, P. and Harvath, M. (2011). Bakersfieldcollege.edu.
Available at: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/download/6598 Accessed 23