Political Economy of Slavery/Freedom in the Anglo-America Colonies
Political Economy of Slavery Jeremy and Peter candidly and comprehensively portray the barbarous economy that wasprevalent in America during the 15th century. They present mercantilism as a collection of equivocal and amorphous ideas that were continuously being improved to suit the dynamic needs of the population. To guarantee a balance of payment (BOP), bureaucratic oversight and active intervention was required (Atack & Peter 28). Colonies had to provide alternative domestic sources of supply of goods and services to fit in the mercantilist model. Apparently, the rapid economic growth during the period is attributed to the growth in population as the economic needs of the people increased and markets became diversified.
Additionally, the authors reiterate that the shipping industry employed approximately 5-10% of the labor force and attributes it to the increase in per capita income and a major source cause and source of colonization (Atack & Peter 31). However, they ingeniously applaud the industry’s performance without clearly indicating how it relates to colonization and the acrimony that prevailed in most colonies.
Moreover, the authors examine why the indenture contracts were common among men than women servants/workers and identifies that the imbalance was steered by the notion of gender discrimination (masculinity) that was predominant during the era. The upsurge in the number of immigrants in some colonies is also reconnoitered and pinpointed that it was steered by people’s urge to better their economic conditions and the disheartening unemployment that was threatening to engulf most colonies.
The reading on colonial economy ostensibly illuminates and informs the paradox of economic freedom and slavery that Edmund Morgan elucidates in his writings (Morgan 99). Racism, exploitation and oppression plummeted the economic strength of Americans and hampered the growth of democracy and liberty (Walton & Hugh 46). The whim of the market worked ominously to perplex the social, political and economic balance. However, was controlling the economic markets through policy formulation and implementation apposite in improving the overall economic performance and outlook?
Atack, Jeremy and Peter Passell. A New Economic View of American History: From Colonial Times to 1940. New York: Norton, 1994. Print.
Morgan, Edmund S. Slavery and Freedom: the American Paradox. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 1972. Print.
Walton, Gary M, and Hugh Rockoff. History of the American Economy. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990. Print.