|Origins of American Slavery
In the early seventeenth century, the English began to rapidly and successfully colonize America. With this rapid population increase also came, shortly after, a booming new agricultural economy. And with this economy came a need for labor, a labor that was, at first, hard to find. Looking desperately for help, big time planters and small time farmers alike, began to develop a system of servitude, which first involved indenture servants from Europe and Native American slaves. But soon the English looked across the sea for a new source of labor. They looked to Africa and by the middle of the seventeenth century everywhere in English America the status of slave, with all that it entailed, became reserved for those of West African ancestry rather than for native Americans or for certain Europeans (Betty Wood, Origins of American Slavery, pg6). But why did the English look to Africa as a source of involuntary servitude?
Did the English consider the u...