AIM: How did slavery develop into a formal institution in the British colony of NY?

March 2005
Social Science Docket;Summer/Fall2005, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p19
The article focuses on the development of slavery into a formal institution in the British colony of New York City. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, New York City was one of the major cities of the world. For the Dutch, who established New Amsterdam as the first permanent European colony in the area, the port and the lands surrounding it were a minor part of a global trade empire that was centered in the Netherlands and had spokes extending to East Asia, Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. Dutch West India Co. that coordinated the operation of the colony was unable to attract sufficient settlers to make the venture successful. Because of its isolation, the colony was run in an autocratic way by its governor and a small group of local merchants. Many residents actually welcomed the British force that overthrew Dutch rule. In Dutch New Netherland and the British colony of Virginia prior to 1664, permanent, racially-based, hereditary slavery was not a clearly established institution. Once the British took control over the region now known as New York, the status of enslaved Africans was codified and their lives became increasingly more regulated. In 1665, a law confirmed that slavery was a legal institution.


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