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U.S. Work and Labor Before the End of Reconstruction (Essay Sample)


U.S. Work and Labor Before the End of Reconstruction
First Paper Assignment
Professor Patrick McGrath
“The beginning of European settlement of the Americas from 1492 was marked by an extensive demand for labor. The earliest forms of labor involved both coerced labor and forms of indentured servitude that utilized the work of Europeans, Native Americans and African peoples. By the late 1600s, this fluid labor arrangement became more restrictive and formalized, with a form of racially (African) based slavery imposed in North America. What factors contributed to this development? How and why did this transformation occur?” (question courtesy of Professor Francis Ryan)
Drawing on material from the lectures and readings, write a paper of roughly 1500 words (or 4-6 double-spaced pages) in response to the above essay prompt. Use clear and precise language in your essay and provide ample evidence to support your claims. Also make sure to cite your sources.
The draft of the paper is due at the start of class on February 15th. Please submit your draft via the ASSIGNMENTS function on the course SAKAI page. Also bring two hard copies of the draft to class.


U.S. Work and Labor before the End of Reconstruction
Institutional Affiliation
U.S. Work and Labor before the End of Reconstruction
Slaves are mostly from the economically weaker societies that are outweighed by other developed societies. Slave labor has been utilized to build almost any economically stable country today. According to Du Bois, (2017), slave trade to survive the source of the slave must be highly populated to enable the selling of slaves to continue. Formalized slave labor was adopted in most parts of the world such as Asia, Europe, and America in the early 1400s. The market and demand for slaves increased every day due to industrialization that these continents were undergoing.
Different forms of slavery were practiced in the formalized slave labor period in North America and other parts of the world. One is the Chattel slavery where the slave was a property of the owner or the master. In that case, the owners were at liberty to sell or retain the slaves at their own will. The slaves had no right whatsoever and their fate was fully in the hands of their masters. Another form of slavery was the domestic slavery where the slaves would work in the masters' houses. They had some few rights which have only been in the best interest of their masters and the rights were to be dictated by the masters. Debt slavery was another form of slavery where the slaves were used as securities for debts. This would assure the creditor of the repayment of the debt by taking the debtors' slaves. These slaves were fully controlled by the creditor until the debt was paid. Military slavery was another common form of slavery, especially for Africans. Because of their physical strength of the Africans, the developed countries used them for military operations. This was also a strategy to protect their own people against the loss of life that result from war. Therefore, the slaves were sacrificed on their behalf. Slaves from Africa were collected from almost every region of the continent. North America and Europe are the largest importers of trade to provide the liquid labor that was used in the highly developed industries of different kinds.
The formalization of slave labor and trade in North America started in the early 1400s when the demand for cheap labor increased due to the rapid growth of their economy. At first, the slaves were chosen randomly from the Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans. However, with time the slavery of Europeans and the Native Americans gradually decreased, leaving Africans as the only available labor providers (Snyder, 2015). The decline of Europeans and Native Americans as slaves and the resulting rise in African slaves was influenced by some of the outlined factors.
The powerful immune system of Africans to old-world diseases
Unlike the Europeans and the Native Americans, the Africans had a strong immune system that often prevented them from being killed by old world diseases like smallpox and malaria when they got infected. Their counterparts (Europeans and Native Americans) had a weak immune system which made them prone to the diseases during the early days (Williams, 2014). Since the number of slaves that one master had determined the amount of profit that they would get the master and plantation owners preferred the Africans slaves which were not easily killed by the diseases. The European slaves and the Native American slaves have thus declined while African slaves increased day by day. For instance, in the year 1640 in the state of Virginia in North America had a total of 10,342 people with only 150 people being black slaves. Since the state of Virginia, which is on the Atlantic Ocean coast was developing very fast due to the direct shipping of goods and commodities that were being made loca...

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