Social development of the Atlantic World

The Social development of the Atlantic World

The modern ways of living in peace or unity in history has been constantly changing often competing with other cultures in order to define civilization. The development of the Atlantic World influenced many social standards, economic development and cultures into today's world. A historian named John Hope Franklin discusses some of the lifestyle of what slaves have gone trough throughout the years. (1).The Europeans was much interested in exploring and colonization for variety of economic, technical and demographic reasons, but there where other countries as well like Portugal, Spain, France and England who where exploring and colonizing in Africa, Asia and America. Colonization meant power and wealth and was an important key for a social and developing country. Also, religion was another reason to colonize because Europeans wanted to spread Christianity and establish a main religion which was a major conflict with many Muslims of North Africa and other African Kingdoms. The economic development was also a form other countries as well which evolved trade and wealth of India, china and East Indies. This is where we see the development of agriculture and plantations, thus reflecting on the need of European colonizers to enslave more laborers. The demand was high on growth, land, food and money which were the cause of Atlantic Slave Trade. The New World is an historic reference to the Americas that was viewed in many ways to Europeans and Africans. Understanding the history will help understand the development of agriculture, the different plantations into an economic stand point, thus influencing the social stratifications betweens Europeans and Africans into the Atlantic World.

The development of agriculture is an important role and is the key factor that led the rise of civilization by developing many skills and improvising on the crop production systems of foods and goods. The history of growing crops took an impact on Africans by the Europeans. Slavery was being introduced to the new world because the (2.) Caribbean got a surplus of Africans, thus exporting them into other countries. (3) The slave lifestyle was very harsh with little of no food. In the 18th century slave's lifestyle was very dull and many slave owners used minimal amounts f money, food and housing like furniture. The food consisted of most on corn, salt pork and fish and the clothing was also very minimal as well for example slave children where naked until they would reach puberty which slave owners did not care because they where not seen as equal or superior on the white men which influenced harsh labor work for slaves. Many skilled labored slaves where used in plantations one commonly know owner is George Mason which owned many slaves. One of George Masons sons witness many of the different skilled slaves which he stated (4.) "My father dad among his slaves carpenters, coopers, sawyers, blacksmiths, tanners, shoemakers, spinners weavers, and even a distiller.

Cotton was rapidly emerging and was the key prosperity in the 18th century. (5.) Cotton in today's society is not big deal because we have it everywhere and it is so common, but in 1793 the invention of the cotton gen made a new revelation on economic growth and development. The cultivation of cotton was very tiring and extreme amounts of manual labor work in order to separate the cotton boll as it did to harvest the crop and this would work under the hot sun weeding heavy hoes in the summer and spring time. The demand of cotton was high and with the invention with the cotton gin made the production much more productive, which made cotton and clothes more affordable, thus also making the price of slaves increase. (6) A male slave was sold for about 1.250 dollars which is about 21.00 current dollars. Eli Whitney was the invention of the cotton gin and is known as genius when it came to mass-producing. This machinery was a key development of economic revelation, but with every revelation there is an expansion on slavery labor.

One main crop development was the tobacco which was known a cash crop which was a big stimulating economic growth which plantation economies rely on the export of cash crops as a source of income. Tobacco was grown more in the southern states and was also spread westward from Maryland and Virginia. (7) Tobacco colonies were demanding Africans and 1700 and 1990 about 80,000 African slaves where arriving to the tobacco colonies. The first plant used was Orinoco tobacco that was a (8) permanent settlement for the British colony in North America in James Town known as the Joint Stock Corporation in 1607 and many slaves where brought into the crop production that later influenced more into a harsh and brutal labor work for Africans. During the years they where exporting many cargos of tobacco by late 1700's they had 1.5 million cargo of tobacco was being exported out to other countries.

The sugar plantations were another important crop and were the produced on the numerous plantations throughout the Caribbean through the 18th, 19th and until today's. The main source of labor was African slaves. (9) These plantations was a growing expansion trough many countries and cultivation in the Americas was along the Mississippi River in southern Louisiana and produced eighty to ninety percent of the sugar consumed in Western Europe. Also, rice was another plantation which also produced about then percent of the agriculture industry. Rice was not a big hit like tobacco and cotton, but it did do a significant difference in the Atlantic World. There where vast plantations for capital investments which masters would still monitored their slave's productivity. With all this productivity there was the enslaved Africans on low country plantations which where suffering high mortality rate because of disease, overworking conditions and poor treatment. Also, the expansion of slavery was growing larger and larger until whites were realizing that they are out numbered and causes a lot of insecurity and more punishment for slaves. The punishment evolved with lots of whipping, disassembling or even death and it was not an illegal, but many slave owners wouldn't want to kill their own slaves because the amount of labor work and value they have. John Hope Franklin always discussed about the issues on slavery and the freedom to reach a goal he stated (10) "We are going to do our best to reach out to every citizen of the United States, to engage them in every way possible, and to make certain that they appreciate fully the opportunity which we have to do something not only significant but even spectacular.


1. "America's Black Forum: John Hope Franklin DVD/videotape

2. "Exploring African- American History, CD-ROM. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall 2006.

3. Harold, Stanley. African Americans: a Concise History. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2004.

4. Morgan S. Edmond, Harold, Stanley. Virginians at home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century Pg: 53-54. African Americans: A Concise History. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010, 2009, 2006, 2004.

5. "Walter Hawthorne. "Planting Rice and African Life: Occidental, Oriental and African Slave traders. New York: Cambridge university press, 1990 New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

1. "The European Age of exploration and Colonization African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) pg: 26 Prentice Hall 2006

2. Fisher, Damany. Classroom Presentation. Mt. San Antonio College, walnut, CA. September, 15, 2009

3. "Slave in early America African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) Pg: 60

4. Voices: "a description of and Eighteenth- Century Virginia Plantation Virginians at home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century African Americans: A Concise History. (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) Pg: 60

5. The Expansion of Slavery African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) pg: 124

6. "Cotton African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) pg: 128-129

7. "Plantation Slavery African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009)

8. "The British and Jamestown African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) Pg: 52

9. "Sugar African Americans: A Concise History (New Jersey: Pearson, 2009) pg: 128

10."America's Black Forum: John Hope Franklin DVD/videotape

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