Without the significant labor to cultivate the land Europeans claimed to have “discovered,” the conquest would have been for naught. The notion of Europeans or Native Americans working the land was not seriously considered. It was the enslaved Africans who were put to work to transform the abundant land into livable housing, farms and other businesses.
To get an idea of how valued and valuable to the economy the enslaved were, each one represented as much as $130,000 in today’s prices when the South seceded from the United States. Significantly, this was two times as much from 14 years before — a true measure of the impact of the enslaved and the increased demand in the marketplace. According to economists, this alone would crystalize how “investing” in an enslaved person was a money-maker that drove business.
Slave Traders Amassed a Fortune Off Black Bodies
According to a BBC report, between 1761 and 1808, British traders hauled across the Atlantic 1,428,000 African captives and pocketed $94.4 million — perhaps $10 billion in today’s money — from slave sales.