What crops were grown on the plantations where African slaves were brought to? ________________________________________________________________________
From what part of Africa did most slaves come from? ________________________________________________________________________
What ocean was crossed in this slave trade? ________________________________________________________________________
Why were slaves brought to southern lands in the Americas (Thinking Question)? ________________________________________________________________________
“Slavery in the British North American colonies began with the first transfer of Africans in 1619 to the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Through the 1600s and 1700s, the slave trade continued to grow. By the time of the American Revolution, slaves in the original 13 colonies numbered between 750,000 and 850,000 and formed about 20 percent of the population. Thus, in George Washington’s time, one American in five was of African ancestry.
Slavery in the United States first developed in what was known as the Chesapeake, an area that included both Virginia and Maryland. The region’s major crop was tobacco, which had become very popular in England and Europe. As a result, slavery grew as the demand for tobacco grew. The production of tobacco – based on a slave system – enabled Maryland and Virginia to become the leading states of the South. It was no accident that, when the British colonies became an independent nation, four of the first six presidents of the United States came from Virginia. South Carolina and Georgia built a slave society based on producing and exporting rice. As rice exports to Europe grew from approximately 15,000 pounds in 1700 to 80 million pounds in the 1770s, both South Carolina and Georgia significantly increased their reliance on slave labor. Georgia, which had originally banned slavery, reversed itself in the mid-1700s. As rice production soared, the city of Charleston, South Carolina, became one of the most populous cities in the British colonies.” ~ U.S. History and Government