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• Why did slavery start in the colonies?
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Slavery in Colonial British America was introduced in imitation of labor practices used by the Spanish and Portuguese in their South American colonies.
The first Africans to be brought to North America landed in Virginia in 1619. It is unclear whether they were outright slaves or other kinds of unfree laborers, such as indentured servants.
By the 1670s slave codes enacted by individual colonies made slavery a legal, racially-based institution throughout the American Colonies. Until the American Revolution, slavery existed legally in all American colonies, north and south.
It was the monk Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474–1566) who came with the idea of using inhabitants from Africa as slaves instead of Indians. At first, Las Casas was a pioneer for people's rights and fought for the indigenous peoples in America and their rights, since they were originally used for slavery. However, when the indigenous slaves almost died out, he suggested importing slaves from Africa. Las Casas struggled with the slaveholders for the termination of slavery until his death.
Following the Revolution, some of the new states began to write constitutions that eliminated slavery, though the new Constitution of the United States protected the rights of slaveholders.
Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution