Slave Trade Dynamics

During the course of early history in the Americas, the institution of slavery proliferated through much of the economical and social life of the British-influenced colonies and the Caribbean islands. However, as one delves into an investigation to the practices of slavery that abounded throughout these regions during the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it becomes clear that, while all slaves shared the common struggle of living in bondage, slaves in particular areas fared better than those working in other locales. This essay will examine some of the factors that led to these variances and decipher just how these differences played out among the colonies of South Carlina and Virginia, as well as the British West Indies. One should begin this examination of slavery by considering the fact that, while all of the aforementioned regions saw British involvement, each one of these areas saw different crops and also various slave-holding philosophies. These prevailing trends are a result of myriad factors. However, perhaps most important are those pertaining to market demand for various crops and the social climates of these regions.

The South Atlantic System, which included the marketing of productive crops such as rice, sugar, and tobacco, was at the heart of the slave trade. Receiving millions of Africans during the course of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, certain American colonies and the British West Indies would go onto become the recipient of young African men and, in some cases, women who would literally toil to death as they grew, maintained, and harvested the lucrative crops that would yield wealth for many of the planters.

Looking first toward the Caribbean, one finds that sugar crops proved to be an economical powerhouse, with steady demand from many markets craving to enjoy the sweet ingredient that has long since become a culinary staple. In her article, “Slavery in America,” Jean West describes how “white gold,” was not only in itself a leading cause for planters to purchase slaves to continue business expansion, but the “sugar byproduct,” molasses, was distilled into rum and used for the purchase of more slaves; the great irony in this was that “the labor of slaves fueled the enslavement of even more Africans.”

These sugar islands not only received slaves, but those which came found themselves in a grueling environment indeed. These slaves, having just managed to survive the often fatal Middle Passage during their trans-Atlantic voyage, wound up working ten-hour days, toiling “under a hot, semi-tropical sun,” sleeping in “flimsy huts,” having to be “subject to brutal discipline,” and then, after having “worked […] To death,” the expired slaves would be replaced by new slaves to help fill the roles needed to accommodate the ever-growing and vastly profitable sugar and molasses industry (Henretta, Brody, and Dumenil 80).

Virginia was a British colony whose primary crop of profit came to be tobacco. The Chesapeake population had long included Africans. However, the population of these blacks remained quite small, and not all were active slaves. Some of these Africans were servants, some were “free,” and others had no definable legal standing (Encarta).With the expansive rise of tobacco farming and an increased flow of African slaves, the black population had begun to increase by the 1680s, and by 1690, black slaves began outnumbering the significant ranks of white indentured servants who had previously labored in the colony (Encarta).

As the population of black slaves continued to grow, Virginia began to grapple with these people, considered at the bottom level of society, through the passage of certain strict and discriminatory laws. Some of these laws included a 1692 measure that banned interracial sexual intercourse between Africans and English populations in the colony; another law, passed in 1705, read as the following: “All servants imported or brought into this country by sea or land who were not Christians in their native country shall be accounted and be slaves,” (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 83). As can be inferred from the operation of these southern colonies, slavery was not only rationalized economically and socially, but, as the latter aforementioned Virginia law illustrates, slavery was justified by some on religious grounds, too. The outcropping of social events following Bacon’s Rebellion during 1675-1676 was another reason for Virginia’s expansive use of slavery. After the revolt of white indentured servants in Virginia during the middle-1670s uprising, many in the colony turned to utilizing the labor of African slaves (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 53).

South Carolina began to see a large increase of its slave population in the early eighteenth century, just at the time when Africans who had been removed from rice-producing regions of their native continent began earnestly planting and growing rice crops. While rice production in the colony dates back to as early as the 1680s, the major commercial potential of rice was soon fully realized and, by the first decade of 1700, rice rapidly became “the colony’s richest economic activity,” (Encarta). Indigo, another slave labor-dependent industry, became the second-leading crop during the 1740s (Encarta). Rice was a major export to various other regions, including Europe.

South Carolina’s geographic position also lent it a number of other trade advantages. Barbadian sugar planters who moved to South Carolina used slaves to raise cattle and crops, which were then exported to the West Indies. Furthermore, South Carolinian merchants were able to establish trade with Indians, who would exchange deerskins for English-manufactured commodities (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 69). Perhaps one drawback to South Carolina’s location was its close proximity to Spanish Florida. In the 1739 Stono Rebellion, a number of disgruntled slaves were “instigated” by the governor of the Spanish colony to leave their plantations for the promise of freedom (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 86). This minor but symbolic slave uprising led to seventy-five slaves literally marching out of South Carolina and killing some whites near the Stono River; white militia eventually overtook many of these rebelling slaves, and many in South Carolina ended up adopting policies of stricter plantation discipline and importing fewer new slaves from Africa (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 86).

Slavery in America.

The physical labor required to grow and harvest rice was demanding in every respect. The rice was grown in swampy areas, where mosquitoes and their deadly viruses proliferated (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 83). Furthermore, slaves had to trudge through the marshes as they “planted, weeded, and harvested the crop in ankle-deep mud, amidst pools of putrid waters,” (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 83). The horrid working conditions in which the slaves had to toil included arduous irrigation projects, seemingly endless hours, and work among the mosquito-infested swamps that left many slaves dead. As slaves passed away, planters would systematically bring in more.

The three slave regions mentioned in this investigation have a number of elements that need to be cross-examined. Most glaringly, it is important to examine the differences in the various labor and social climates of these three British-controlled realms. Of these slaveholding entities, perhaps the least grueling was Virginia. There are a few reasons for this; namely, having to grow and tend to tobacco fields was far less a labor-intensive task than having to raise rice or mind sugar crops. While tobacco slaves needed to simply plant seeds, maintain the crops, and then harvest tobacco leaves on fields, rice slaves had to labor in the swampy rice paddies, toiling with planting, weeding, and then harvesting the rice all the while combating dangerous mosquitoes, mucky conditions, and then, for those in charge of irrigation projects, having to move “tons of dirt,” (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 83). Of the three profiled regions, the slaves in the British West Indies had the worst conditions of all within which to labor. Because slaves were inexpensive and the price of sugar was so high, slaves were literally “worked to death” as they worked, subject to “brutal discipline,” in sweltering heat as they toiled to keep the sugar industry well supplied with the highly demanded commodity (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 83).

Social matters were also another set of factors behind the variances in slave holding regions. In the West Indies, slaves were treated as nothing more than metaphorical cogs in a wheel. Because sugar profits were so high, planters could afford to essentially burn slaves out until they died of exhaustion, injury, or disease, and then replace the fallen slave with another, only to likely face a similar fate. Slaves in South Carolina did not fare all that much better than their West Indies counterparts. Rice slaves, also having to maintain operations of a highly lucrative crop, were pushed to their physical limits, for they, too, were effectively replaceable. If these African laborers died, and all too many indeed perished in their harsh work environment, the deceased slaves were readily replaced.

The scheme of slave life in Virginia was relatively less harsh than was the case in South Carolina and the British West Indies. Virginian slaves, principally, had far less-demanding farm work on tobacco fields than that which was found in the swampy rice paddies to the south or the hot sugar cane fields on the islands in the Atlantic. Furthermore, slaves were treated with much greater care than their counterparts mentioned elsewhere in this review. However, this gentler slave handling was not necessarily the result of a more humane philosophy, per se. In fact, the milder treatment of slaves in Virginia came from the fact that many slaveholders in the colony usually could not afford to replace slaves, as could the rice and sugar planters. Therefore, the slaves were treated considerably more carefully so as to prevent extreme fatigue, injury, or death, allowing them to live longer as functioning laborers—much in the way that one may treat a machine carefully so as to avoid having to pay to replace it.

Another issue surrounding the Virginian slave population is that slaveholders would impel African men and women to procreate so as to provide free, additional labor. Between natural births, the further addition of new African slaves, and a lower death rate due to less rampant spread of disease and less aggressive labor and abuse, Virginia saw significant natural net increases in the black population.

When looking at slave population numbers throughout the eighteenth century, it is important to note the high death rate of slaves in South Carolina and the Caribbean. In Barbados, for example, 85,000 slaves were transported to the region between the years 1708 and 1735; yet, the population of blacks increased from 42,000 to only 46,000 (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 80). This source further notes that ”

One factor that led to various degrees of violence toward slaves was indeed the relative population of slaves in a certain region. While blacks in the North saw relatively “little violence,” slaves in the highly black West Indies could expect to receive punishment involving the use of branding irons; slaves in the rice-farming areas of South Carolina, where Africans outnumbered Europeans eight to one, were often tightly monitored while away from their plantations (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 86).

The need for slavery in the South and the West Indies as opposed to the North was in large part due to the fact that the North and the South had different types of economies. While the South boasted the production of profitable commodities such as rice, tobacco and, later, cotton (all which required vast farms and large numbers of laborers, a position filled mainly by slaves), the North was seeing a growing economy tied to the ports along coastal regions such as Boston, Newport, New York, and Philadelphia (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 89). Those who were attracted to the jobs and climate of these emerging urban giants were British and German immigrants and laborers and artisans from rural areas (Henretta Brody, Dumenil 89). One area where blacks did see a role in the northern economy was in having to fill the duty of unloading and stocking barrels of goods from ships that would enter and leave the various ports of places such as Philadelphia and New York City, where blacks accounted for ten percent of the workforce (Henretta, Brody, Dumenil 90).

As seen in this examination of slavery in these particular regions, slavery was not only an extensive institution, but indeed a complex one as well. Furthermore, one can begin to understand that slavery was not practiced in universal fashion. While all slaves had to endure existing in inhumane bondage, some slaves did experience less brutality than others, thanks in large part to economical and agricultural differences among the three highlighted terrains. Furthermore, as evidenced, there were also social implications involved in the various slave climates; while some slaves lived as veritable farming machines, others, particularly those in Virginia, were often able to create families.

This illustration of these British-led slavery practices indeed serves not only to depict the dynamics of slave economies, but also to convey just how grueling the slaves’ condition really was. While some survived, and even thrived, most did not, and many died while having to commit to forced labor. Sadder still is the high number of slaves which perished due to the abhorrent conditions on the slave ships as they traversed the Middle Passage to the Americas. The slaves that did survive and toil helped to produce a roaring economic engine in the South and the Caribbean that led to great wealth not just for the planters who owned the crops, but the colonies themselves. More so, the economic network that would span from Europe to the Caribbean to the Carolinas and Virginia and up to the Northeastern colonies helps to elucidate just how integral the institution of slavery was for the involved entities. Insomuch, one can begin to realize that the institution of slavery was key to emboldening the economies of the American colonies, the Caribbean, and even parts of Europe. Profoundly, though, slavery had not only an economic impact on these regions, but it left a glaring social fingerprint as well that, as many will argue, is still felt to this day.

Works Cited

Henretta, James A., David Brody, and Lynn Dumenil. America: A Concise History. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006.
“South Carolina.” Microsoft Encarta. 2006. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Online. 27 January 2007

“United States History.” Microsoft Encarta. 2006. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Online. 27 January 2007.

West, Jean M. “Sugar and Slavery: Molasses to Rum to Slaves.” Slavery in America. Undated. 27 January 2007

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Business Ideas and Business Start Up Advice for Women

Perhaps you are looking for a full time business, a part time business opportunity, or perhaps a business that fits around you current work or life commitments. Whatever it is you are looking for, here are a few ideas as to what businesses you might like to consider starting up.

Business Ideas for Woman.

  1. A party plan business, you could run this from your own home and you could organize parties that sell anything from candles to lingerie and underwear. You could start your own part plan business or work under say a well known brand name/company.
  2. Start a personal assistant/secretary business that you can start, run and operate from your own home. You could work for a number of clients that could include small local businesses to businesses overseas. Work hours that suit you and your needs and find clients and work through networking both online and offline.
  3. Start a property business, this could be anything from helping people raise finance for a property, to investing in property development and refurbishment yourself. In addition to this you could always offer additional services such as buying, selling and letting.
  4. Start your own tutoring business, even if you are not a qualified teacher or tutor, there is nothing stopping you from recruiting tutors, finding them work and then say charging them for any work they receive through you. An alternative to this could of course be that you start a business, hire tutors and then organize and hold classes. Either way the potential is limitless.
  5. Start a childcare business, you could look after peoples children before or after school or perhaps you could even start up your own nursery. If you love children, or perhaps have children of your own then this could be the perfect win win situation.

TOP TIPS FOR STARTING A BUSINESS

  1. Do your research, don’t just jump in at the deep end, conduct market research discover if there is a demand for your product and services.
  2. Find and take all the free advice you can get with regards to starting up a business. Visit local business centres to help get you started on your business journey.
  3. Talk through your ideas, thoughts and feelings with family, friends and loved ones. See what they think and feel about your business ideas, get their input, advice and help wherever you can as having a support system is very important when it comes to starting and running your own business.
  4. Utlise free websites, sources and blogs such as www.entrepreneur.com, www.businesslink.gov.uk and http://business-women-and-entrepreneurs.blogspot.com/

Striped of Her Miss California Title, Courtney Silva Sues

Courtney Silva was crowned Miss California to find out four days later that the pageant officials are taking away her title because of an accounting error. According to Zimbio, Courtney Silva is suing K2 Productions and the Miss Universe Organization for $500,000 for emotional stress and misrepresentation among other things. Silva also claims that they violated her civil rights because they wanted a winner with a different ethnicity then her.

I have been in several local beauty pageants, and I was in the in the Miss California, USA pageant one time. I won several of the pageant and I have lost others. One thing that was true about all the pageants is that there were certain biases and favoritism shown to some people. One of the pageants I was in, the director of the pageants daughter was running in it. That was a very unfair and strange situation. It was obvious that her mom would favor her, and give her benefits that other contestants would not get. Another pageant I was in the one contestant knew the judges. I am sure if you were a judge it would be hard to judge contestants fairly if you have previously known them.

One of the hardest parts of being in beauty pageants was the other contestants. It can be such a hostile environment backstage at the pageants. I was in one pageant that was a wonderful experience. During all the practices, all of the contestants became really close, some of them felt like family to me. I still talk to many of them. I even went to one of their weddings, and anthers baby shower. I was truly happy for the girl that one. This was the only pageant I was in that was so nice and friendly. The other beauty pageants I was in were very superficial. The other girls would pretend to be your friend, then turn around and talk about you behind your back. In one pageant there was one girl that had convinced another contestant that her talent was not good enough and that she should change it. She did this to sabotage the other contestant, because her original talent was great.

It’s sad how catty girls can be. There are prizes and great things you can win from the pageants, but they are supposed to be fun. I quit doing pageants because they stopped being fun. I hated dealing with people being fake. You never knew the reasons behind why people were acting the way they were. I decided that I didn’t want people like that in my life, and effecting my self esteem.

I think what happened to Courtney Silva is very strange. I couldn’t imagine finding out you won something just to have it taken away from you. It does seem very suspicious that the votes could have been counted wrong. I know in every pageant I have been in the votes were counted several times before they announced a winner. I am sure the directors of the Miss California Pageant make sure they have counted the votes correctly before they crowned a winner. But I think Courtney Silva’s lawsuit of $500,000 is exorbitant. I understand her being upset, and I think the pageant should do something to rectify the situation, but I feel this lawsuit is taking it to far.

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Handgun Ownership: What it is Really like to Own a Gun

Six months ago, shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings, I got myself a handgun. It’s a .357 Magnum with a black handle and silver barrel. It looks like a shortened version of those handguns the cowboys use in all those country western movies. My husband also got a gun, too. The Virginia Tech shootings happened just a little too close for comfort for us, so we made the decision to exercise our Second Amendment rights to “keep and bear arms.”

The decision to become gun owners did not happen overnight. It happened over a period of time in which we discussed what handgun ownership meant to each of us. We each had a different idea of what it would be like to own a firearm. My husband had never owned or even shot a gun in his life, and he worried that we would be cavalier with a deadly weapon. He feared what many people fear: that one of us would view the gun as a toy, or that we might cause an accident. Meanwhile, I looked at handgun ownership more from the viewpoint that a gun is a tool. I had grown up around guns. Under the guidance of my ever-watchful father, I shot my first gun at age seven and have been hooked ever since. He and I spent many weekends taking his various guns out target shooting. He taught me how to respect guns and handle them with care by showing me what a bullet could do to a phone book at close range. “Imagine that’s what it would do to a person,” he said in his most serious voice. This is when I formed a gun trust.

Having grown up around guns and having handled guns most my life instilled me with a healthy respect for them. I never once thought about taking out one of my dad’s guns and playing with it, even though I knew where he kept them. In my household, guns were not toys, nor were they weapons. They were tools to be handled with the utmost care. Continue reading “Handgun Ownership: What it is Really like to Own a Gun”

The Best Nursery and Garden Store in Cheyenne

Hands down, the best nursery and garden store in Cheyenne, Wyoming is the one-of-a-kind YART. YART has a full nursery of flowers, houseplants, fruits, and vegetables, and fruit tress! Whether you are looking for seeds, seedlings, container plants of full trees, YART is the nursery and garden store you want to visit in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Visitors can peacefully meander through the Cheyenne sanctuary of gardens, greenhouses, and a full nursery, and when they have had their fill, they can stroll inside to the garden store, which carries not only gardening supplies, but also showcases indoor garden-themed art and outdoor art for the garden. Nearly the entire store is stocked with eco-friendly decor and gardening supplies and gallery-quality garden-themed art like none you’ll find outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The inventory of this nursery and garden store in Cheyenne, Wyoming is so beautiful as to be almost spiritual, but the artists, location, owners, and staff make YART even more impressive. YART proudly represents over fifty local artists from Cheyenne and Wyoming, and they are located in a historical renovated hacienda with a rich history and beautiful gardens. So much more than a garden store and nursery, YART has a special place in the hearts of Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Even Julia Roberts has shopped there!)

The eclectic inventory of YART’s garden store and nursery is matched only by the eclectic backgrounds of YART’s people. The owners of the YART garden store and nursery in Cheyenne, Wyoming are both gardening women who live off-the-grid just outside Cheyenne. YART’s employees are comprised of artists, psychics, dog-lovers, single moms, and much more. The people of YART are genuine and friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and you will come away with the best customer service experience of your life!

In addition to their top-notch garden store and nursery, YART also sends out a widely acclaimed monthly newsletter that features monthly garden and nursery tips, a unique calendar of events, a charming advice column called “Dear Soup” (Soup is one of the owner’s dogs), links to good news and wellness on the web, gardening videos, poetry, humor, and stunning photography. The newsletter for the YART garden store and nursery can be found at http://www.Cheyennegardenstyle.com/page/our-newsletter.

YART is also on the web, for those gardeners who can’t get to this lovely garden store and nursery in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Their main page is http://www.Cheyennegardenstyle.com and you can visit their online store under the “Home Store” and “Garden Store” tabs. Take time to explore the full site-it will be worth the time of all who love gardens, art, and beauty.

YART isYART is located at1325 Merchant Road in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a bit south of the Gusdorf-Cañon roundabout. The garden store and nursery are open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00am until 5:30pm. YART is closed on Tuesdays. Feel free to call and talk to the amazing people at YART in Cheyenne, Wyoming by calling [575) 737-YART or email them at yartinfo@Cheyennegardenstyle.com.

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Casper, Wyoming: Unusual Attractions and More Awesome Museums

It takes more than one visit to Casper, Wyoming, to really get a low down on all the awesome museums and unusual attractions that lurk in this city. These museums and odd attractions make Casper, Wyoming, really worth your time. Here’s some more eclectic attractions and incredible museums that can be found in Casper, Wyoming: Continue reading “Casper, Wyoming: Unusual Attractions and More Awesome Museums”

Behind the Breed: Persian Cats

There is one important rule that all cats follow; take care of your cat and she’ll take care of you. Any cat you get will make a wonderful pet as long as it is happy and comfortable, but there are some breeds that will need extra special care. Take for example, Persians.

I have owned a Persian for three years now, I rescued her off the street. When I found her she was completely starved, her coat was a mess, she was sick, she was scared and, despite all that, she was the sweetest cat I had ever met.

Persians, by nature, are a genuinely sweet breed. Persians usually will take to one person in the household, usually the first person to show them love and affection. This is exactly what happened with my Persian; I took care of her and nursed her back to health for weeks. She gradually gained weight, her coat grew out beautifully and she was still the sweet natured cat I rescued. And now, it is obvious who she sees as her “mommy” in this family. Me! I am the only one she lets pick her up without fidgeting , I am the only one allowed to give her kisses on the head, I am the only one she will cuddle next to. And she puts up with a lot of stuff from me. She is never hostile towards anyone in the house, but she does let everyone know who she prefers.

Persian Cats Breed. Continue reading “Behind the Breed: Persian Cats”

A Review of Moongazerz Restuarant in Santa Fe, New Mexico

l’m no skier, but most of my mutual friends are fanatical about the sport. After Halloween, no dinner conversation escapes at least a mention of fresh powder; my coffee table is littered with snow porn (ski magazines); and my spare bedroom resembles a post-apocalyptic loading dock at REI. While I don’t quite understand the draw of high-altitude self-abuse, 1 certainly can relate to the healthy appetites of its practitioners. For skiers, eating on the cheap leaves more expendable income for life’s true necessities: lift tickets, gasoline, and Alpine equipment. So, for an apres-ski nosh or early-morning fueling, I have scoured Cerrillos Road to find one of the best motel-dining options that might be unfamiliar to locals and tourists alike.

During my early days in the restaurant business in Santa Fe, there was no better (or faster) sustenance to be had between shifts than a Real Burger at the hut of the same name on Don Gaspar Avenue. The menu, while sparse, was executed with an efficiency usually associated with the fast-food set. But don’t get me wrong: the burgers, while efficiently and consistently prepared, were, well, real.

Moongazerz Restuarant Santa Fe.

A few months ago, while trolling Cerrillos Road for a new spot to enjoy lunch, I saw\v a sign: “Moongazerz – Home of the Real Burger.” Before I continue, let me first apologize to the row of cars behind me on that fateful day. In the future, 1 will apply a bumper sticker that explains my erratic behavior: “This truck makes sudden stops – mostly for ground-beef patties.” Moongazerz, connected to the Park Inn amp; Suites, is indeed the new home of the Real Burger. Divine in its simplicity, owner John Chavez’s well-seasoned quarter-pound beef patty is cooked to order. Tucked inside a toasty seeded bun with requisite garnish (tomato, dill pickle, lettuce, etc.) and served with fries, no better burger can be had for the price south of St. Michael’s Drive. If you’rc really hungry, you can add a second beef patty (the Super Real Burger) for just a dollar. Continue reading “A Review of Moongazerz Restuarant in Santa Fe, New Mexico”