The Europeans, saw huge financial gains if the vast alluvial soil of the newly found continent, America, was cultivated and crops grown. This paved way for acquisition of vast farmlands by the rich Europeans in the American continent. The extreme cold climate of Europe coupled with non availability of extremely good soil quality offered by the American continent, gave rise to this phenomenon of growing in America and transporting these agricultural products back to Europe. Sugar was the main commodity which was grown, followed by other crops and cereals. Phenomenal economic gains was the driving force behind these endeavors.
This phenomenon is known as ‘plantation complex’. It dominated all the major events of the entire seventeenth century in Northern and Southern America. As a result there was a huge deficit of manual laborers who can do the physical labor on these farms. When efforts to bring in European laborers or getting the necessary work from the local tribal Indians failed, eyes were set on the African continent.
The native Africans, mainly from the western coast and the Central Africa were forcibly captured and brought to the new land of America, to toil for their masters. Their status was just like a captured donkey or a horse, who is tortured by the master for his own personal gains, and who has no freedom whatsoever.
The huge requirement of manual labor coupled with huge availability from African continent, gave birth to the worst blot of the human history- ‘slavery’. It may be difficult to believe today, but just about 300 years ago, full fledged human beings were ‘ traded’ like commodities !! While the exact number of such slaves would never be known, it is estimated that about 20 million African slaves died during transportation , or during the conditioning camp in the new land- America. Then what must be the total number of slaves ? ( Atlantic slave trade ). Slave auction poster, S. Carolina, 1769 (Atlantic slave trade)
Works – cited page
1) Atlantic slave trade, wikipedia the free encyclopedia, 11-03-07, Retrieved on 11-03-07 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_Slave_Trade