Are 1 of Indian slaves

Latin America Institute (LAI)

This demographic catastrophe and finally also the Indian protection legislation (Nuevas Leyes) soon led to the replacement of the indigenous labor with slaves from Africa. The Spanish crown allowed the trade in African slaves as early as 1501 by concluding contracts with Portuguese slave traders who took over the 'import' of slaves into the Spanish colonies. Later other European powers such as England and France were also involved in the brutal slave trade (Bley / König 2005: 762).

At the end of the 16th century there were around 65,000 black slaves living in Spanish America, around 1640 it is assumed that there were around 250,000 people (Edelmayer 2001: 72). In total, it is estimated that between 9.5 and 11 million Africans were deported to America. (Bley / König 2005: 762) It is uncertain how many people started the journey across the Atlantic from Africa and died on the way due to illness, thirst, hunger, and psychological stress. Estimates assume 40 million people. The people sold were chained and beaten, unsanitary conditions accompanied the week-long crossing.

The African slaves were used in agriculture and on the plantations (sugar, tobacco, cocoa, indigo and cotton) of the Caribbean islands and coastal regions as well as the Brazilian coast. Slaves continued to work in the household, as dockworkers and in the transport industry. In addition, they provided the workers in the gold mines of Colombia and the gold and diamond mines of Brazil. In contrast, in the mining centers of the viceroyalty kingdoms of New Spain and Peru, e.g. in Zacatecas, in San Luis Potosí (Mexico) and in Potosí (today Bolivia), indigenous people work as free wage laborers (in Mexico) or despite the Indian protection policy they were with the help of mita-minera, a Spanish form of the Inca labor service, there committed to forced labor. (Bley / König 2005: 759-761)

The living conditions of the slaves varied from region to region and from time to time. Often they were characterized by violence: abuse and punishment were common in addition to physical exploitation and the mostly inhuman living conditions and were unpunished due to the lack of rights of the African slaves. Sometimes slaves achieved freedom through the favor of their masters or were able to buy themselves free through the permission to learn a profession and to practice it. While slaves represented the lowest social class in the ideal of colonial society, free 'blacks' were able to gain social and economic advancement.

For a long time, slavery was tolerated by Catholic and Protestant missionaries and the social hierarchies were defended against slaves. The clergy argued that a life as a slave in the Christian world was preferable to life as a 'pagan' in Africa and thus supported the social structures.

Individual voices that campaigned against Indian slavery, including Bartolomé de las Casas, recommended the forced labor of African slaves. The slave trade was rejected early on by other priests, including Jesuits like Alonso de Sandoval, who worked as a slave chaplain in Cartagena de Indias, the center of the Portuguese slave trade in the 17th century.

Most Latin American states only abolished the slave trade at the beginning of their political independence in 1810; in the USA the war of secession in the southern states (1861-1865) became the end point of slavery, while in Brazil, after decades of debate, it was only abolished without compensation in 1888 (Bley / König 2005: 765).

From: Edelmayer, Friedrich: Hispanic America in the 16th century. In: Jaeger (ed.): The new world. South and North America in their colonial era. Vienna 2001, p. 72

König, Hans Joachim, Helmut Bley: Atlantic world. South American form of economic organization. In: Jaeger (ed.): Encyclopedia of Modern Times. 2005 (Vol. 1), pp. 759- 762

King, Hans Joachim: Mission: guiding principle of European expansion. In: Jaeger (ed.): Encyclopedia of Modern Times. 2008 (vol. 8), p. 595