Slavery crucial for capitalism
Without the bloody slavery of Africans, the US and Europe could not have developed in the same way.
Nearly 20 million African slaves were abducted to America between the landing of Christopher Columbus and the end of the American Civil War. Of this, about half a million went to the US and nearly eleven million went to regions in Latin America south of the American border. Countless lives were lost on these murderous crossings from Africa to America. The dead were not counted but simply thrown overboard. Those who suffered from an illness or lost their vitality due to the miserable circumstances during the passage, were beaten to death or thrown overboard alive. This macabre and despicable slave trade showed the blind murder rage under European powers, led by the British Empire. His “much-praised” industrial revolution and developed mercantilism led to the “divine” economy of capitalism,
Karl Marx, philosopher, economist and historian, described the slavery of Africans as an essential force for growing capitalism, not only in the “New World” but also in Europe. In the late 1840s, Karl Marx wrote about slavery as a necessary tool for the survival of capitalism and as a condition for the development of the American empire. In addition to the machine and others, direct slavery was the pivot of civilian industry. Without slavery no cotton, without cotton no modern industry.
Only slavery has given the colonies their value. The colonial system created world trade. World trade is the condition for large industry. So slavery was an economic category of great importance according to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
In his 1944 book Capitalism and Slavery , Eric Williams put the established doctrines of European and American history away as myths. Eric Williams, who was Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1962 to 1981, strongly emphasized that the African slave trade has propelled Europe into the dominant world economic power. The huge profits from the triangular trade (firearms, iron, textiles for West Africa; slaves from West Africa to North America and the Caribbean; silver, coffee, tobacco, sugar, rum from America to Western Europe) helped the financing to support the industrial revolution. Williams argued that the slavery and exploitation of captive people from Africa was a condition for the complete conquest of the so-called New World.
In his research into this economic history, Williams focused on the British slave trade in the West Indies. The triangular trade gave the British industry multiple incentives. The profits achieved represent one of the most important flows of capital accumulation in England that have financed the industrial revolution. Sr. Josiah Child estimated that every Englishman in the West Indies who worked with ten black slaves – including their food and clothing – created jobs for four men in England. According to Davenant’s calculations, one person on the islands, white or black, was just as profitable as seven in England.
England was the dominant power in the triangular trade from the 17th to the 19th centuries. A powerful combination with seemingly unlimited capital gave the British a golden age in human trafficking, although the French, Portuguese, Dutch and later the Americans were strong competitors.
Karl Marx came to the conclusion that all capitalist societies needed primitive accumulation in terms of origin and growth. The slave trade was thus the necessary main artery in the emergence of the early forms of French, Dutch and British capitalism.