How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism

Posted: June 8th, 2022

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As many of you discussed in Discussion 3, the economic necessity was a driving force that allowed the Founding Fathers to maintain slavery in America after 1774. Some of you in Discussion 3 discussed the slave owners who were in charge of forming the newly created United States and many of you discussed how men like Jefferson and Washington relied heavily on the efforts of enslaved African Americans to fund their lifestyle and push their political agendas.
But was this only an American economic agenda? Slavery had to exist and be accepted throughout the world for it to thrive in America.
This week’s initial discussion researched the many levels of enslavement for African Americans. Prior to this class, many Americans introduction into the slave history came from Hollywood and teachers or communities that spoke about slavery during Black History month. This history was limited and may have only allowed the peer to know of the field and house slave. But slavery was more than those two categories. We will see in your peer’s research the views of slavery and the many roles, duties and even classes of slaves that existed in all areas of the United States.
This week I want to post a group follow up which will allow the students to choose an article focusing on the economics of slavery. To understand the role of slave, their duties and the benefits reaped of their slave labor, the following articles will showcase how slavery was a business that was connected to the financial success of individuals, governments and countries. The debate found in these articles and the facts that the researchers and writers found- I hope will educate the class on some theories of why slavery lasted for over 300 years and the reasons it finally ended in America.
Economic debate about slavery follow up–
Read one of the following articles and summarize what the author is trying to tell the reader about slavery’s impact on the economy: Plus add your analysis of the article..did you agree with the author’s theory or view?
Did slavery make economic sense? by C.W. and A.J.K.D.
Slave Tax as Sin Tax: 18th and 19th Century Perspectives by Joel S. Newman
The Impact of the Slave Trade on African Economies by Warren Whatley and Rob Gillezeau (PDF that Downloads)
The economic basis of the slave trade by Dr Alan Rice
Excerpts from Edmund Ruffin, The Political Economy of Slavery.
Slavery and the American Economy By Waldron H. Giles, Ph.D.
How Slavery Helped Build a World Economy by Howard Dodson
How Slavery Led to Modern Capitalism: Echoes By Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman
Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power? by Edward Baptist
Slavery and American Capitalism

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