The development of Colonial America was based on the fundamental of slavery. Without the labor power of the first African/ Americans the existence of America would be incomprehensible. Countryman’s statement, ” Their story is “no exception” to what was otherwise a tale of success- it is absolutely fundamental to the history of colonial America. ” Countryman’s statement is in fact correct. This country is was found upon the backbone of African Americans it is evident in the three essays of Countryman’s book ” How Did American Slavery Begin?
The three essays, which support Countryman’s bold statement, are “Ancestry of Inferiority” by A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. “Gullah Roots” by Margaret Washington “Slavery and Freedom” by Edmund Morgan These essays specifically explain how the African Americans helped our founding fathers build this country physically economically and politically When the first African American set foot on this land he was here for one purpose and that was to serve someone, but that was also the same with a Caucasian American.
Even though both black and white were treated the same it was obvious that being black was a disadvantage, ‘sin’. Englishmen at that time believed that the color black was considered as “the handmaid of and symbol of baseness and evil” (pg. 88). Each servant when coming to America was to serve a master for a certain amount of years. The white servants served the masters for seven years because it was written in their contract which was made in England, but since the blacks came from Africa and had no sort of contract they were kept longer as servants (pg. 88).
This I believe is the bases for slavery, the more labors they had the more work could be done on plantation making more money. This is the physical part of the, which was built by Africans. The absolute economic success of this country was built on the back of an African American. Blacks were the actually labors and engineers who matched the amount of the world’s demand on goods produced in America such as rice, indigo, tobacco, and cotton (pg. 75). Certain blacks on the coasts of Guinea were adopted due to the fact they knew how to already ingeniously harvest rice and indigo (pg. ).
This Coast became know as ‘The Gold Coast’. This though was not the main reason for African Americans to be a major portion of the American labor system. The main reason was because they were cheap expendable labor. This is evident in the mass amount of slaves a person would have such as Robert ‘King’ Carter (pg. 19). People such as Carter used this because it was economical for him also it was economically successful for the political leaders of the country such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe (pg. 122).
The idea of the Declaration of Independence is somewhat controversial stating that, “all men are created equalright to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” Jefferson must have thought as slave as less as a person even though they think, talk, eat, breath, and bleed. He viewed them as people in debt as he is and that you can never be free unless you are debt free (pg. 123). The political success of America was able because the blacks were doing the labor, which allowed politicians such as Jefferson to write doctrines and lead the country out of debt.
Edmund Morgan presents the idea that slaves were in fact not slave for the sake of being slaves but replacement workers while the leaders of this country fought its revolution and making it become an Independent Nation. The ‘absolute success’ of America was in fact due to the hard work of African Americans. They provided the labor for economic and political success in this country. If not for them the Nation could have been lost to the British. But was the cost of so many lives worth the survival of Nation which through out the next century treated African Americans still less than human?