Colonial Lives Paper African Slave essay


ColonialLives Paper: African Slave

There are fivemajor factors to choose from in the analysis, namely cultural,economic, environmental, political, and social forces. From this listof forces, I will identify and analyze two most fundamental forcesthat shape the colonial figure`s experience of colonial America.Again, why were these factors or forces significant enough in shapingthe character`s life? How did these forces influence how the colonialfigure positioned within the colonial society, more so about othergroups and people? In this paper, I will focus on the African slaveas the colonial figure.

The two most significant forces shaping the African slave`sexperience of colonial America are economic and social forces. First,economic forces shaped the African slave`s experience of the colonialAmerica through slave trade (Yazawa, 2001). The transatlantic slavetrade was an economic force that changed the experiences of theAfrican slave in colonial America. Three factors came into play, andin turn, changed the colonial America completely. For instance, largeparcels of land were seized from the Native Americans and remainunused. On the other hand, the Europeans – colonialists – werelooking for a place to make investments (Yazawa, 2001). In turn,cheap labor, in the form of the African slave, was available. Americabecame a booming economy.

The Africanslave was captured and forcefully transported to work for theAmericas. The economic forces strengthen due to cheap labor. Thecolonial Americas` economies were dependent on the African slavebetween the 16th and 19th centuries (Robert, 1999). The Africanslave`s experience of colonial America was a tough one. The need toimprove the economic situation of the Americas meant that there wasmore dependency on the enslaved African hard labor for economicsurvival and improvement. Additionally, the economic forces duringthe colonial America ensured the African slave worked hard to improvethe entirety of the economy.

Social forcesshaped the African slave`s experience of colonial America by creatingintense emotions with which it weighs down collective memoriescreated through hard labor. These social forces always reminded theAfrican slave that their personal state or condition of theirsocieties is derived from their &quotsavage&quot and &quotugly&quotinvolvement through the slave trade and hard labor (NationalHumanities Center, 2009). Social forces through slave trade createdimmense social problems, which face the African slave, in that theseproblems continued to have a drastic impact on the realities incolonial America.

Again, social forces in colonial America subjected the African slaveinto getting involved in the European demands. As a result, theAfrican slave established social systems that proved to bedetrimental to their social welfare and benefits to the Whites.Additionally, social forces shaped the colonial America throughwidening the gap between different social classes, including theAfrican slave (Robert, 1999). Once the slave trade turn out to be adominant basis for economic success, it became difficult for theAfrican slave to be successful.

These factors –economic and social – were influential in shaping the Africanslave`s life because of the massive role played to restructure anddictate the direction of the colonial America based on them (economicand political forces). First, economic forces were necessary becauseof the massive slave trade during the colonial times. For instance,Africans in Africa were socially stable and economically sufficientwhen the Europeans came to trade with them. Close to a century oftrade and commerce with the West, the African slave lost both itssocial place and economic autonomy to the whites (National HumanitiesCenter, 2009). Africa became a place where chiefs, warlords, andlocal states connected to Europeans to oppress the vulnerableAfricans captured.

Here, these factors were significant in that it shaped the directionof the African slave in terms of socio-economic potentials followingthe impact of the slave trade. As Yazawa (2001) puts it,socio-economic forces developed experiences in colonial Americathrough loss of industry, technological invention, skills, andoverall production of the African slave. The transatlantic slavetrade took away available opportunity through disorienting theAfrican traders and in turn, turn them into slaves (Yazawa, 1989).Additionally, socio-economic forces were significant in shaping theexperience of African slave`s life because it shows the resilienceand determination to change misconceptions and assumptions made aboutthem.

Economic forces influenced the African slave`s positioning within thecolonial society, and most importantly, about other groups andindividuals by eliciting a sense of rejection and insecurity. TheAfrican slave was positioned at the peripheral of the colonialsociety because of failing to or not given an opportunity tocontribute directly to the Americas economy. Placed at the peripheryof the colonial setting in the community, the African slave wasprevented from being in the same economic position (Robert, 1999).Other people and groups were the Whites, and the African slave couldnot fit in the colonial society because of being used as a tool tobetter the Americas society.

On the otherhand, social factors influenced the positioning of the African slaveby structural, political, and economic disruptions, which altered theAfrican society. The positioning became involved in the advancementof their development because of the societal constitutions thatfailed to reflect the colonial society`s structural realities(National Humanities Center, 2009). About other people and groups,social factors influence their position by establishing an imbalancebetween the Blacks and the Whites.


National Humanities Center (2009). The Secret Diary of WilliamByrd of Westover, 1709-1712, ed. Louis B. Wright and MarionTinling (Richmond: The Dietz Press, 1941

Robert, B. (1999). Of the Servants and Slaves in Virginia, TheHistory and Present State of Virginia, (first ed.)

Yazawa, M. (1989). Conflicts between masters and Slaves: Marylandin the Mid-Seventeenth Century, p. 57-59.

Yazawa, M. (2001). Slavery and Prejudice: An Act for the BetterOrder and Government of Negroes and Slaves, South Carolina, p. 57