America networks dating

In 1619, the Dutch introduced the first captured Africans to America, planting the seeds of a slavery system that evolved into a nightmare of abuse and cruelty that would ultimately divide the nation.

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Slavery in America started in 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia.

Throughout the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants, who were mostly poorer Europeans.

Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million black slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, black slaves worked mainly on the tobacco, rice and indigo plantations of the southern coast, from the Chesapeake Bay colonies of Maryland and Virginia south to Georgia.

After the American Revolution, many colonists—particularly in the North, where slavery was relatively unimportant to the agricultural economy—began to link the oppression of black slaves to their own oppression by the British, and to call for slavery’s abolition.

One of the first martyrs to the cause of American patriotism was Crispus Attucks, a former slave who was killed by British soldiers during the Boston Massacre of 1770. Constitution tacitly acknowledged the institution of slavery, counting each slave as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and representation in Congress and guaranteeing the right to repossess any “person held to service or labor” (an obvious euphemism for slavery).

Some 5,000 black soldiers and sailors fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War. In the late 18th century, with the land used to grow tobacco nearly exhausted, the South faced an economic crisis, and the continued growth of slavery in America seemed in doubt.

Around the same time, the mechanization of the textile industry in England led to a huge demand for American cotton, a southern crop whose production was unfortunately limited by the difficulty of removing the seeds from raw cotton fibers by hand.

But in 1793, a young Yankee schoolteacher named Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, a simple mechanized device that efficiently removed the seeds.

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