Plantation Slavery

The Rise of Plantation Economies

The Rise of Plantation Economies

The rise of plantation economies had a lot of factories within it. In this flyer I will cover seven topics that was within the framework of plantations. First off plantations brought a lot of wealth which made people turn to violence and death to secure wealth and power. Second tobacco work was a huge thing in the Americas and made was made up of many jobs. Third the Dutch had a huge impact on sugar production within the Americas and brought advanced technology for increase production. Fourth slaves of all ages and genders were treated the same when it came to work. Fifth Slaves worked side by side with free workers. Sixth slaves were able to have family and children. Seventh slaves were mistreated and abused.

Violence brought by the Slave trade

The rise of plantation economics brought a lot of death and violence, from the people who were in charge of transporting slaves to the New World. From the book African Slavery in Latin America & the Caribbean, written by Herbert S. Klein and Ben Vinson III, “the establishment of an independent Dutch nation in Europe had a major impact on the distribution of slaves and plantations in America.” (49) Because of the Dutch becoming an independent nation there was a power struggle with competitions within the slave trade that lead to violence and fights. The Dutch became a powerful slave traders in the Atlantic which ultimately affected and shaped sugar production through Brazil and the Americas. From the map provide you can see the routes the slave traders took. The risk of slave traders coming across one another on the open seas was high which lead to them killing one and another for what they had in their possession. The map also shows what kinds of crops were grown and harvested and the map also shows the number of slaves that were transported from West Africa to the locations they were needed.

Slave Trade

This map shows how many slaves were transported to a specific location and what kind of crop were harvested in that location

Slave workers in all walks of life

Slaves of all ages and genders were treated the same when it comes to work. From the reading of, African Slavery in Latin America & the Caribbean, written by Herbert S. Klein and Ben Vinson III, “the organization of plantation labor was probably one of the most efficient labor systems then operating in the Western world.” (59) This was because there was no discrimination about sexual identity or age discrimination. Women were able to do all the jobs men could but when it came to skills. Skills were only exclusive to males. Tasks were assigned to the ability of the slave. As children aged they were given more tasks and put into the field to work. The male slaves were usually give the more labor intensive and heavy lifting work. Women played a huge role in the slave gangs. Women slaves made up 60% of the work force gangs. The two following picture shows and represents the non-bias against age and gender work when it comes to slave work. The first picture below shows slaves of all ages working in the cotton fields. The second picture shows women working within the slave owner's household. The two pictures show what kind of work that slaves were put through and what different stages are in the job.

Cotton feilds

Slaves of all ages working in the cotton fields picking and transporting cotton

House slaves


Female slaves working within the slave owners household

Tobacco production

Tobacco was a huge factor in the Americas and need a lot of slave work to produce enough tobacco and harvest for the owners to make a profit. In the readings of World of a Slaves, by Kym S. Rice, Martha B. Katz-Hyman, the book talks about how slaves of all ages worked to harvest and produced tobacco, “ slaves in tobacco factories in cities… performed both heavy and skilled work.” (510) Slaves work on all kinds of jobs within the tobacco industry to hard manual labor, transportation, unpacking and packing to clerical work. Children even worked to help move the tobacco to more skilled workers who processed the leaves feather. Many slaves used the skills they learned to escape the factories and even learned how to read because of the clerical work. Because the slaves were able to get some kind of wage out of there work this made white people fear that the slaves were gaining too much power. The white people felt it was undermining the slave system. The picture below shows the different stages and work on a tobacco factory. This allows us to see just what kind of work that the slaves were forced to do on a daily bases.

Power struggle within sugar production

The Dutch had a huge impact on the sugar revelation in the west Indies. From the reading of, African Slavery in Latin America & the Caribbean, written by Herbert S. Klein and Ben Vinson III, “Dutch Brazil would become the source for the tools, techniques, credit, and slaves that would carry the sugar revolution into the West Indies….” (51) This shows that the Dutch had a huge part in the sugar revolution. They supplied the slaves to carry out the work on the sugar plantation. The Dutch gave the West Indies the techniques to speed up sugar production allowing them to make more of a profit and break down the Brazil’s monopoly over the sugar industry. Because of the Dutch denying Brazil slaves and the replacement of Pernambuco with Bahia, the most sugar producing, it lead to the use of Indian slaves. By demolishing the monopoly power in Europe it lead to wealth in the new Americas. It also lead to interior trades to open in Brazil to try and recapture power in the sugar trade. By the mid 18th century slave plantation based in sugar plantation was deeply rooted in the Americas. Because slave work was the most efficient in the production of sugar, slaves were used in mass amounts. The picture shows slave production of sugar fields. This shows different stages and jobs with in sugar production. It shows teamwork between slaves to accomplish a job.

Sugar Plantation

Slaves cutting and transporting sugar cane on a plantation

Slaves in every occupation

Slaves did all kinds of jobs and even did jobs that white people did. From the book The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United states, by Laird W. Bergad, “enslaved African men and women worked in every occupation.” (38) Slaves worked as miners, house servants, cooks, drivers, and in many different trade skills. Without slaves, Spanish societies could not have functioned. African slaves were much needed by the Spanish in the 16th century because of viral and bacterial diseases spreading throughout the Spanish people. Because of the diseases that were spreading among the community many slaves died. Slaves worked side by side with free workers. Even though Slaves and free workers worked side by side slaves were still treated as property and abused and mistreated by the slave owners. In the picture below shows some slaves serving in the army during the Civil war. This shows that slaves did all kinds of jobs and not just hard labor jobs.

Family structures

The use of family bonds were used by slave owners to try and prevent slaves from running away. From the book The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United states, by Laird W. Bergad, ….”One theory was that if slaves were bound by wives, husbands, and children they would be less likely to run away…” (42) Though slave owners used this to try and control the slaves it actually made the slaves feel more empowered and look forward for a better future for there kids. In the second picture below shows a new tradition of getting married. The passing of the couples over the broomstick showed commitment to one and other. This started there own world and culture, within a very degrading community. By the slaves having children it made the slave owners happy so they could have more people to work for them. Even though a couple was married they still had no power even over their own children. The first picture shows the kind of houses that slaves had to live in. This shows how families were crammed into a little house. This shows how families were mistreated and forced to live in inhuman conditions.

Living Condtions

This shows a family of slaves having to live in a small house

Marriage of slaves

A slave couple getting married by stepping over a broomstick

Abuse of Slaves

Slaves were mistreated and abused by the slave master. Slaves were subject to all kinds of abuse that included sexual abuse, wiping, and treated like animals. In the book, More Than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas, by David Barry Gaspar, Darlene Clark Hine, they talk about sexual harassment and sexual assault, “...slaves were vulnerable to sexual harassment.” (158) This book shows that slaves were sexual harassed and sexual assaulted by there owners and by other slaves. These assaults were rarely brought to court and even less likely for a conviction to come to the guilty party. This shows the injustice that slaves faced and the horror that the slaves had to go through. Slaves were also subject to wearing a collar or ball and chain or whippings. The pictures below show just how slaves were mistreated. In the first picture it shows a slave being whipped by a slave owned because he wasn't working hard enough. The second picture shows the slaves chained together. This kind of treatment and abuse is very degrading and inhuman way to treat others.

Miss treatment of Slaves

This picture shows slaves forced to wear chains around there bodies and neck and chained to one and other


There was many factories within the rise of plantation economies. The most tragic out of these was the fact of slaves, the death and abuse that slaves endured on a daily basis. Because of the wealth and power that was gained through plantations people became violent to keep this power. Even though slavery formed the background of our nation there should never have been slaver. It is important that we remember what our ancestors have done so future generations will not make this tragic mistake again.

Works Cited

Bergad, Laird W. The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States. New York: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print.

Gaspar, David Barry., and Darlene Clark. Hine. More than Chattel: Black Women and Slavery in the Americas. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1996. Print.

Katz-Hyman, Martha B., and Kyn S. Rice. World of a Slave. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Group, 2011. Print.

Klein, Herbert S., and Ben Vinson, III. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.