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Slavery's Influence and Importance in South America

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Slavery's Influence and Importance in South America

Slavery has existed throughout history on almost every continent. Perhaps the most famous and well-known example was the slave trade in Africa started by greedy Europeans in search of riches. However slavery already existed in Africa, with the enslavement of other Africans, prisoners of war, and traitors. Slavery was not a new concept to the indigenous people of Africa, but it was the Europeans that helped spread it and make it more popular and important then ever before. The discovery of the Americas in the 15th-16th centuries was revolutionary; it impacted all parts of the world and gave European countries a chance to compete for these new colonies. Being that the Spanish was among one of the first to explore North and South America in the 15th century, they were one of the first to colonize. As time went on the Spanish and Portuguese took over parts of South America, while the British gained control of North America. Both participated in slavery, enslaving the natives as well as importing slaves from Africa. However slavery was by far more influential and important in South America then North America. Slavery in South America was the foundation of their economy; it drove trade between the Spanish and other European countries. Because of the cheap labor and growing wealth, the Spanish and Portuguese began to rise as a superpower in the East. Plantation work and mining became the norm and many other goods came out of South America that allowed those colonies to prosper.

The Spanish began their conquest with the Inca Empire in 1532 under Francisco Pizarro. 169 Spanish soldiers and their native allies took over the Inca at the Battle of Cajamarca. The conquest of the Inca would soon lead to the colonization of a number of colonies as well as expeditions towards the Amazon. With the increasing amount of land under the Spanish's control, the need for labor was growing. Funds from the crown were low due to the military and resources, so they needed something cheap and profitable. The local indigenous population was enslaved and forced to work, and new workers replaced those when needed. This was continued until the native population was decimated. And so the need for a foreign workforce increased dramatically.

Africans slaves gradually became apart of the Spanish economy, they were sent to silver and gold mines, as well as sugar plantations. In 1518 the Spanish government introduced asientos. This was a license sold the highest bidder to supply a given number of slaves imported from Africa. The money from these licenses went directly to the Spanish king and queen and helped benefit the economy back in Europe. The North American colonies had no such thing. Each individual plantation owner was in charge of the buying and selling of their slaves. Slavery in the South American colonies allowed the Spanish to take full economic advantage and was important to their economy. The Spanish government was smart and knew that they could make a lot of money off of the slaves.

The colonization of North America was a mixture of economic and social. Some wanted religious freedom and a fresh start, and some wanted a chance to get rich off of plantations. But in South America, the goal was strictly economic, especially for the Spanish and Portuguese. Hence the greater need and influence of slavery. In the 15th century, Europe's economy was driven by slavery. In the South American colonies enslaved

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