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Slavery itself was never widespread in the North, though many of the region’s businessmen grew rich on the slave trade and investments in southern plantations. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic trade flourished, and the slave population in the U. Slaves in the antebellum South constituted about one-third of the southern population.Between 17, all of the northern states abolished slavery, but the so-called “peculiar institution” remained absolutely vital to the South. Most slaves lived on large farms or small plantations; many masters owned less than 50 slaves.Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation.
After 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 Africans ashore at the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, slavery spread throughout the American colonies.
In 1619, the Dutch introduced the first captured Africans to America, planting the seeds of a slavery system that evolved into a nightmare of abuse and cruelty that would ultimately divide the nation.
Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco.
From the 1830s to the 1860s, a movement to abolish slavery in America gained strength in the northern United States, led by free blacks such as Frederick Douglass and white supporters such as William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the radical newspaper The Liberator, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, who published the bestselling antislavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1852).
While many abolitionists based their activism on the belief that slaveholding was a sin, others were more inclined to the non-religious “free-labor” argument, which held that slaveholding was regressive, inefficient and made little economic sense.
The success of the Underground Railroad helped spread abolitionist feelings in the North; it also undoubtedly increased sectional tensions, convincing pro-slavery southerners of their northern countrymen’s determination to defeat the institution that sustained them.