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Economics of American Negro Slavery

            Time On The Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery.
             Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman's book Time on the Cross, analyzes the Southern economy before and after the Civil War. The book's purpose is to show how important African Americans were to the Southern economy, and tries to "correct the perversion of the history of blacks - in order to strike down the view that black Americans were without culture, without achievement, and without development for their first two hundred and fifty years on American soil." The authors believe that historians and abolitionists before World War II were racist who believed African Americans were inferior to whites. They believed that blacks were lazy and lied to get out of work. Fogel and Engerman try to provide an analysis of the Southern economy to show that the blacks were great workers with a strong family core and a strong sense of culture.
             The first chapter of the book discusses the history of the slave trade in the western hemisphere. The transportation of slaves to the new world began in 1502 and the end did not come till the 1860's. During this time, the largest importer of slaves was Brazil, accounting for 38% of the 9.5 million slaves brought to the new world. Only 6% were brought to the United States during the Atlantic slave trade. Some have attributed the slave trade to the cotton and tobacco crops. Fogel and Engerman point out that 80% of the slaves were brought to the new world between 1700 and 1810. Cotton was in its early stages in 1810 and in tobacco production, a typical slave could produce about a ton of tobacco. At an annual growth rate of 350 per annum, the amount of hands needed to produce tobacco would increase at seventy thousand hands per annum. This is a small proportion of the six million slaves brought to the New World. The main reason for the slaves was for the production of sugar and, as a result 60 to 70% of slaves that were brought from Africa ended up on sugar colonies.

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