The Economic Impact of Slave Trade

The Economic Impact of Slave Trade

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The Economic Impact of Slavery

Valerie Baker

Western Governors University

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Slavery in the United States

Slavery is not an institution we usually think of in a positive way, but at the

beginning of our emerging nation African slavery actually contributed economically in

several ways that benefited the nations growth and development.

One way African slavery provided economic benefit was the Triangle trading.

Economic activity depended on trading across seas and was very expensive especially if

the ships ran empty. So ship owners avoided this by transporting slaves along with goods

that was for sale. Triangle trading would typically begin in Africa where slaves were

purchased. The ships would sail to the West Indies, sale or trade slaves, buy other goods,

and then travel on to New England. There the goods and slaves were sold and the whole

process would begin again.

Another way the nation benefited was through the natural process of reproduction.

Children born to slaves automatically became property of the slave’s owners and

therefore could be sold for profit. This also kept the cost of transporting new slaves down

for potential owners.

The most important economic factor of slavery was slaves cultivated the lands.

Especially in the South where there was abundant farm land that needed worked. It was

very labor-intensive work that the farmers just could not do themselves and be profitable.

Slavery proved to be the answer. The prime choice of purchased slaves was Africans.

Africans were more immune to disease than other choices of slaves because of their long

term dealings with Europeans. Also Africans were already skilled farmers and had

experience in many other job skills such as mining, iron-
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working, and carpentry. This made slaves invaluable to large...

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