Throughout the early 16th century, through to the mid 18th century, slavery and forced labour was widespread in Europe and the New World, particularly in America. Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 by the Dutch to aid in the production of valuable resources such as tobacco, sugar and cotton (Slavery in America, 2015). However, the Africans were purposely brought in to the New World because the Africans were recognized as a necessity for labour and the masters believed that the blacks were inferior and were cursed by God as most of the whites were Christian Catholics. However, these factors ultimately led the whites to become greedy and relied on trades at the Middle Passage.
The first African slaves were brought over out of a necessity by the whites. The landing at Chesapeake Bay, Virginia was made by Captain John Smith along with 104 other sailors (Colonial Settlement). The colonists had made their landing by the order of King James I and were given a task to make the colony profitable for England; however, they were sparsely populated with only few workers. The first settlers were poorly equipped and were devastated by hunger and disease. Thus, colonists were not able to make profit as, ". the Englishmen who first went to the colony were an unskilled, improvident, and lazy who are no more sensible than beasts, would rather starve in idleness . than feast in labor." (Carl Bridenbough (Jamestown Settlement)). During the desperation of the colonists, the first African slaves arrived in Jamestown on 1619, the slaves were immediately became indentured servants for the poor English settlers. As the first colonists were more fragile and less agile than the Africans, they forced the Africans to work for seven years to produce sustainable resources for the settlers and to make profits for England (Slavery in America).