How Slavery Affected the New World Amanda Maldonado 9/11/2012 Unit 1: Essay When we think of slavery we cannot help to think of mistreated people. Slaves are responsible for making the New World succeed in the enlightenment of civilization, and the production of wealth. Without slave labor economy would not be working today. Slavery teaches us that after suffering there comes reward. At the same time however, slavery is the definition of anguish and torment. The separation of loved ones to service a stranger is erroneous.
Slave labor feeds the master’s family, but distresses the laborer’s family. Slavery brings us new traditions and diversity to the New World. In her book, The Origins of American Slavery, Betty Wood explains her point of view of how slavery came to be and I will be referring to her book. Slave labor is a topic that is very important, because slaves are used to serve others, without being paid. They are used as objects and treated as so. The owner has power over the slave’s life, and liberty, “…loss of humanity; that the slave was no longer a person, a man or a woman, but an animal. (Origins10) Slaves are treated this way, even though they harvest the corn we eat. The clothes that the master wears are made by the slave, and with cotton that the slave picked. The land that is being used to harvest by the English, and the Europeans, belongs to the Native slaves, and yet they are being disconnected from their own rightful property. The foreigners are taking advantage of the people, to make themselves wealthy. They are greedy and want all the riches for themselves and no one else. The Europeans and the English fight over land, however that land belongs neither.
They came and took over without the permission of the people who were there first. The slaves are moving economy forward, because their labor produces money. Money goes into the economy, and there is the start to a strong New World. Agriculture and trading make it easy for people to live in the New World, and persuades people to come. This also persuades slaves, because they believe that someday they will be free and also gain wealth. The slaves bring new customs to the New World. They bring new ways of cooking, strategies to grow crops, and they bring ideas to the Europeans and English.
However the English and the Europeans believe that they are descents of Ham a sinner that is punished with servitude. The slaves are put to work because they are believed to be servants of servants. The appearance of the Africans and their culture comes off as different to the Europeans, and English. However slaves are human beings, whether or not they are said to be descendents of Ham. The first slaves are the Native Americans according to Betty Wood. The reason is because the Natives are already here when the English and the Europeans come.
The Natives are lured into slavery, because when the Europeans come, they come with smiles. Not knowing, the Natives get taken advantage of. The Europeans want everything that the Natives have. The Natives eventually become slaves. However, the Europeans bring diseases, and wipe out many of the Natives. It is not only Africans and Natives that are slaves though. Some English and some Europeans are put to work as well, but a conclusion is drawn, that white skin is too weak for labor outside. So that is when they bring the Africans.
The Africans also die of diseases, but become immune eventually. Their skin is not weak, and they are known to be the best slaves to have. The Europeans and the English want to civilize the African slaves, because they feel that the way they dress and their lack of intelligence is shocking. However, each culture is different, and it is unfair to change their culture, because changing their culture changes their tradition. And, tradition is not tradition if it is changed. The irony of this is the fact that Africans are traded by their own people in Africa.
They are traded to the Europeans for gold and other objects. They tear these families apart just to be self-centered and greedy. All these things, and yet the slaves keep going. Some try to escape, and get away, but others find death or punishment. Life as a slave is a terrible experience, and only they know what it really feels like to be one. All we can do is read about them and feel appalled and impotent. The Europeans and the English gain power by being leeches. They suck out all the power from the slaves, while they live the life of kings and queens. Luckily, this comes to n end eventually; it only took more than two-hundred years. But, today we are free, because they fight for our freedom. Slavery built the nation that we are today. They are responsible for our freedom and for the nation we are today. At the time they did not know it, but thanks to them today we can be free without chains. We can live life peacefully, and independently. We can walk outside and breathe fresh air without being afraid. Slavery brought traditions, customs, and most of all diversity. We do not have to worry about being separated from our families.
And, most of all we do not have to be afraid. The New World is made of immigrants. Whether brought by force or by choice, this country we are today is made of people from different countries. We made the New World, but we owe most of it to the slaves. They are the ones who work hard and experience torment so that today we can be free. Slaves make the New World succeed, economically and culturally. We are now equal to each other, no more anguish. Work Cited Wood, Betty. The Origins of American Slavery: Freedom and Bondage in the English Colonies. New York: Hill and Wang, 1998. Print.