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African slavery in the United States - Essay Example

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There are several economic factors that contributed to the African slavery in the United States. Patterson (2002) asserts "Slavery was born out of economic motives. Its perpetuation was driven by economic factors and even many efforts by abolitionists to end slavery had economic motives…

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African slavery in the United States

There are several economic factors that contributed to the African slavery in the United States. Patterson (2002) asserts "Slavery was born out of economic motives. Its perpetuation was driven by economic factors, and even many efforts by abolitionists to end slavery had economic motives. Indeed, the decision to use slave labor was a deliberate, rational choice made by men who sought economic gains that were greater than what they could obtain from wage labor or indentured servitude" (para. 2). To be sure, in a capitalist system in which the promise of profit drives behavior, the institution of slavery would not have survived in America, and a war would not have been fought over it, had it not yielded an economic benefit to those who supported slavery.Three economic factors contributing to slavery included (1) labor costs, (2) labor availability, and (3) profitability. On a micro level, these factors drove plantation owners to seek slave ownership. Yet, there was a much broader economic impact from slavery. "A general scholarly consensus contends that slavery was profitable. Some scholars make the further claim that slave labor not only contributed greatly to the economic growth and development of America but also helped finance the Industrial Revolution, stimulate the rise and growth of cities and industries, and fuel capitalistic development" (Patterson, 2002, para. 3). In effect, as insidious of an institution slavery was, America likely owes much of its status as a global economic power to the fact that slavery existed. ...
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