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Canadian History for Kids: Slavery

Canadian History for Kids exclusive looks at slavery as apart of our Black History Month series.

The first 20 African slaves arrived near Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, brought by Dutch traders who had seized them from a captured Spanish slave ship.
The crew of the Dutch ship was starving, and, the Dutch traded 20 African slaves for food and supplies.
Slaves were most economical on large farms where labour-intensive cash crops, such as tobacco, could be grown.
Slavery in was abolished in Canada in 1833.
By the end of the American Revolution, slavery was beginning to disappear in the United States as farmers were planting crops that required far less manual work. Many slave owners freed their slaves and it began to look like slavery would die out completely.
But things were to change.
In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (a device for processing raw cotton). This meant that a single man could process fifty times more cotton in a day than previously – making cotton a huge money making crop. This caused the almost immediate replacement of many crops with cotton, and the need for slavery was once again needed.
White Southerners grew more and more defensive of slavery. They argued that black people, like children, were incapable of caring for themselves and that slavery was a generous institution that kept them fed, clothed, and occupied.
12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.
And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000

The overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America.

Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone! Some scholars estimate that another 60,000 to 70,000 Africans ended up in the United States after touching down in the Caribbean first, so that would bring the total to approximately 450,000 Africans who arrived in the United States over the course of the slave trade.

Keep following Canadian History for Kids, as we continue to bring you articles for our Black History Month special.

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