Distribution of Slaves in 1825 (From Fogel, p.30)
% Total Imported Slaves Distribution in %
16th - 19th Centuries Slaves in 1825
U.S. 6 36
Brazil 38 31
British Caribbean 17 15
Spanish America 17 11
French Caribbean 17 4
Others 6 2
The table implies that, relative to other slave importing countries/colonies,
slavery in the U.S. was not as harsh.
For example, more Slaves were imported into Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica
than to the U.S.
The difference is primarily due to Sugar -- almost 70% of all imported slaves
into the Western Hemisphere were sent to the various sugar colonies and the
working conditions in the sugar colonies were very harse.
Europeans became familar with sugar as a result of the Crusades (Sugar Cane
was grown in Palestine).
The Europeans first cultivated sugar cane in Cyprus, Crete, and Sicily
using White slave labor during the 12th to 15th Centuries. It was in these
colonies that Europeans developed the institutional apparatus they later used
in the Caribbean.
The increasing demand for sugar led the Spanish and Portugese to islands
off the African coast where they began to cultivate sugar cane using African
By 1600 focus shifted to the New World and Brazil was temporarily the
leading supplier of sugar.
Spanish and Portugese monopolized sugar production until 17th Century
when the British, French, and Dutch moved into the Caribbean and established
sugar colonies (Haiti, French; Barbados and Jamaica, English; etc.).