Perhaps the truth about African American history was the heavy price paid for development in the New World. Maybe if Columbus had not set sail and discovered that the world was indeed round, history would not bear a burden as heavy as that of slavery. Nevertheless, due to the fact that economies were expanding daily, and product demand was growing hand in hand, slavery and slave trade proved to be the best source of supply for this dilemma.
The simple truth is that African Americans had a difficult life. For the Africans on American soil, their horrendous journey started with the developing territorial colonies at a time when workers were needed to keep the economy of America solvent. In order to satisfy this need indentured servants were brought to America at Jamestown, Virginia. Additionally, poor whites also worked during this period as indentured servants. A “contract" declared that this service would last from four to seven years thereupon would be their freedom. During this early period, some of the first enslaved Africans worked their way out of this system and became free tradesmen and property owners on American soil.
However, two main factors escalated the demand for slaves, they were: an urgent quest for more land and an economy based upon profit. Thus, African American slave workers became highly prized commodities in a system which was mostly dependent on manual labor. The entire southern American economy and the states in that warm region required laborers to work on the plantations of rice, indigo, tobacco, sugar cane, and cotton. Other slaves labored as dock workers, craft workers, and servants. Slaves in the northern American region labored on small farms and as skilled and unskilled workers in factories and along the coast as shipbuilders, fishermen, craftsmen, and helpers of tradesmen.
Slavery on American soil grew at a rapid and steady rate. By 1750, there were more than 200,000 African slaves in America. Half a decade after African American slaves totaled an amazing 700,000 in number. In fact in South Carolina, African American slaves outnumbered the white population, and they composed more than half of the populations in the states of Maryland and Virginia. The number of slaves over the land was growing rapidly and there was only so much that could have been done to keep them suppressed.
African American slaves fought long and hard for their freedom, their culture and their identity. In fact many African Americans today still are agitated by the memories of their forefathers. This period in American history left behind some of the most indelible scars on the minds of African Americans. However, the free thinking and decent people and countless allies projected a broader, more humane society for all Americans to live in.
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