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Slavery in the New World.docx

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Murray Wickett

HIST 1F91 November 19 2013 Slavery in the New World Slave Imports • Since 1430s Portuguese had been trading in blackAfrican slaves • When new world colonies could no longer reply on native slavery for labour needs because of brutal death rates turned toAfrican Slaves. • Brazil was the single largest importer accounting for 5 million slaves • Caribbean colonies were next largest bringing over 4.5 millionAfricans • ConverselyAmerican colonies only imported about 500,000 Slaves Crop Production • In all three areas (Brazil, Caribbean andAmerican colonies) tobacco was the first major staple crop th • Brazil relied upon native slavery into late 17 century whereas Caribbean andAmerican colonies turned to white indentured servants before settling onAfrican slaves late in the 17 century • Eventually sugar became the principal crop grown in brazil and the Caribbean • After the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton becomes the leadingAmerican export. Slaves as Property • Upon arriving in the new world slaves were inspected before being put on the auction block (often inspected making leading to sexual abuse, physical humiliation) • Slaves were seen as property (bought, sold, traded, gambled, passed as inheritance) • Slavery was hereditary (children inherited status of their mother) • Was not a crime to murder or rape your slave • Slaves could not physically resist their masters, could not testify in courts, could not verbally or physically assault their masters The Plantation System • All three locations relied upon the plantation system as basis of staple crop production HIST 1F91 November 19 2013 • Sugar plantation in Brazil and the Caribbean routinely had 500 or more slaves working • OnAmerican tobacco plantations the number was usually closer to 50 and most cotton plantations had fewer than 100 slaves • Most plantations owners in the Caribbean lived in Europe and never stepped foot on their property in the new world • Brazilian plantation owners were more likely to live in the new world but most resided in the cities and visited their estates rarely • In America, slave owners lived on their plantations and experienced slavery first hand Organization of Plantation Labour • Master (White Man) responsible for choosing when to plant crops, when to harvest, keeping financial records, provides food, clothing, and shelter for slaves • Mistress (White Wife) oversees house servants and cooking staff, looks after plantation in husbands absence • Overseer (White Labourer) responsible for slave punishments, make sure slaves meet their daily picking quotas • In brazil and Caribbean overseers were often free blacks Plantation Slaves • Plantation labour was highly organized and resembled a primitive factory with job specialization • House servants (Looked after cooking, cleaning, rearing white children) tended to be disproportionately female, often very young or very old, least likely to be sold away • Field hands (Majority of Slaves – Responsible for agricultural production done in hang labour, worked from sunup to sundown in blazing heat doing backbreaking labour) • Artisans (built barrels, fences wagons, barns) • Slaves were brutally punished if master or overseer was not satisfied with their work • In brazil and Caribbean most artisans were free blacks “Rights” of Slaves HIST 1F91 November 19 2013 • In theAmerican colonies saves receive some “rights” such as holidays (Sundays off, Christmas, harvest celebration, independence day) • Gifts (Tobacco,Alcohol, clothing or Trinket) • Allowed slaves to cultivate their own garden patch and grow food for consumption or sale and allowed them to keep proceeds • Looked after elderly and incapacitated slaves who were no longer pr
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