Reasons For The Change To African Slave Labor In The Caribbean

887 words - 4 pages

As the change from tobacco to sugar cane production began to take place, so did the change in slave labour. It is said that the Amerindians were unfit for harsh labour and were in turn decimated. The Europeans then had to rely on the convicts, bondservants and prisoners of war to exploit resources and spread agricultural systems. This proved to be futile as the men that were taken were from cities and towns back in Europe.
Originally, slavery had taken place among the different tribes in Africa, but in 1518, a shipload of slaves was brought from the African Coast to the Caribbean. After Portugal had succeeded in establishing sugar plantations in northern Brazil in 1545, Portuguese ...view middle of the document...

Some men gave up themselves at first; unaware of the conditions they would be put under. The African slaves were sardine packed unto ships and were sent off to work on the plantations. Some died of heartbreak, they regretted leaving their country. Some simply jumped overboard and some died of starvation and the exposure to diseases.
African slaves were said to be more expensive but durable. They were said to be physically better suited to work in the tropics as they were used to the climate and had skilful agricultural techniques which bondservants and convicts did not possess. Back in Africa, the people had to hunt for food and farm to support themselves and their families. They also relied on farming because they traded with different tribes to acquire crops they could or did not produce. This factor is said to be racist and discriminatory. It is said that both The Europeans and The Africans could survive the work and heat. This is proved by pointing out that Europeans did in fact work on the first farms though they worked under better conditions.
The Africans were said to have come to the West Indies with immunities to several diseases that were common to both Africa and the Caribbean. It took th European several generations to build up this resistance. This factor is said to be the purest of them all as many Europeans did end up dying from diseases present in the Caribbean. But is it also said that if indentured servants were continuously brought to the Caribbean, their resistance taken a shorter time to build up.
The Africans were just as hostile to their masters as the Europeans had been but the...

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