Slavery has been considered synonymous to racial discrimination although this is far from reality. With the history of slave trade in mind, it is seen that slave trade and slavery began in the pre-colonial America in the 18th century. As a result of war, debt, or conquest, societies enslaved each other and this was occurred not only in America but other parts of the world such as Europe. The trade that saw wealthy individuals from Germany sell prisoners of the Slavonic tribe to the Arabs in the middle ages resulted in the name “slave.”
The colonial American economy was largely dependent on slavery where wealthy Americans enslaved poor individuals to work in plantations; which played a significant role in the American economy. They later turned to the Europeans especially after the American Revolution which proclaimed equality among the Americans. People from Europe, especially England, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America, not as slaves but to work as indentured servants. The migration to America was attributed to the poor economy in England. Unfavorable working conditions in England at the time resulted in the loss of several lives prompting the move to America.
With the high demand for labor both in America and Europe in the 18th century, business men and wealthy individuals such as John Hawkins capitalized on this and moved to West Africa where they captured blacks and sold them to America and Europe. Slave trade was embraced by most people in America, and the destination for slaves, especially blacks, was in the plantations as they could survive harsh treatment and environment. Amidst the harsh treatment and low wages, Africans were subjected to inequality and discrimination because of their race and skin color. Thus, it can be seen that slave trade in America and Europe sowed seeds of inequality and discrimination seen around the world today.