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The history of African Americans in the United States is intimately intertwined with the history of American agriculture. From the colonial era to the early nineteenth century, the labor of African Americans—enslaved ones, specifically—powered American agribusiness, producing crops such as cotton, tobacco, rice, and sugar. Although emancipation ended African Americans’ legal bondage as agricultural laborers, African Americans remained a significant portion of the Americans who made their living by agricultural labor. U.S. census statistics from 1900 through 1954 show that during that time African Americans constituted an average of 28.7 percent of the nation's farm operators. Between 1954 and 1959, the percentage of African American farmers dropped by nearly 9 points. Since 1959 the number of African American farmers—then 265,261—has continued to dwindle until in the early twenty-first century there were only about 15,000 African American farmers remaining, which is less than 0.2 percent of all American farmers.


The triangular shipping route of the slave trade largely formed the banking industry in England. British goods such as textiles, arms, and iron were exchanged for slaves in Africa, which were then transported to the West Indies and traded for sugar, tobacco, cotton, spices, and rum. The triangular trade was a system of immense earnings, as every ship sailed with a profitable cargo. The wealth generated by the triangular trade brought increased affluence to the planters who cultivated the West Indian produce, the merchant capitalists who sold the slaves, and the industrial capitalists who produced the British goods, which in turn demanded new banking facilities and functions.

Primary of these new requirements was insurance Shipowners and slave merchants themselves insured early voyages travelling the triangular trade route However the increasing amount of bills drawn against West Indian merchants and accumulated wealth soon required large scale insurance schemes most often drawn ...


Jonathan Morley and Cassandra Adjei

City with historic links to the slave trade. The first guns to be exported to Africa in 1698 were manufactured in Birmingham, renowned for its metalworking; this triggered a growth in the city's industries, and by 1766, 100,000 guns a year were shipped, as well as other tools of the slave trade: manacles, chains, branding irons, thumbscrews, pincers, muzzles, and instruments for prising open the mouths of recalcitrant slaves to make them eat. Cheaply made flintlock muskets, the guns were often dangerous to their users, and contributed to the militarization of the continent: it has been estimated that 20 million went to Africa by 1907.

The city's Lunar Society (a group of freethinkers and radicals) included members who were vehement abolitionists. Thomas Day, from Lichfield, was co‐author with Joseph Bicknell of the poem The Dying Negro (1773 a famous tract that spoke of a ...


Erin L. Thompson

Major movements of the black population within the United States began with the importations of the slave trade and continued with the movements of runaway slaves. After they were emancipated, many blacks moved to the North and West to find economic opportunities; some, disappointed, returned to the South. Blacks have also migrated to the United States from other countries, notably those in Africa and the Caribbean.


Ana Raquel Fernandes

In 1847 the brothers John and Benjamin Cadbury established a cocoa and chocolate firm, Cadbury Brothers of Birmingham (Cadburys). After their partnership was dissolved in 1860, John's sons Richard and George ran the business. They were the founders of the Bournville works in Birmingham. Strongly influenced by Quakerism, they were very aware of the social conditions of their workers. In Bournville they were able not only to expand their industry but also to improve employment conditions and create a housing estate model. After Richard's death in 1899, George became the chairman of Cadburys. He became involved in many social activities and was a pacifist. In 1901 he acquired a controlling interest in the Daily News in order to give a voice to the Liberal Party and to oppose the Boer War.

In that same year Cadburys learnt that its cocoa beans acquired from Portuguese owned plantations ...



Melissa N. Stein

While class has been a driving force in American history it has been particularly central to the story of both racism and African American life Throughout its history America developed a racialized class system by which African Americans were often shut out of venues of political and economic power regardless of individual circumstances Race and class have been virtually inseparable in America from its inception Furthermore as the black middle and upper classes grew following Emancipation so too did tensions among African Americans across class lines Thus the story of class for African Americans is one of blacks as a racialized class and one of class divisions among blacks Undeniably there have been instances in American history when blacks and whites have come together to protest shared economic exploitation and African Americans of different classes have fought side by side against institutional or structural racism However these fleeting moments of ...


D. Clayton Brown

Cotton, the world's chief natural fiber for textile manufacturing and the principal ingredient in a variety of other products including foods and building materials, has figured prominently in American history. It played an important role in the growth of slavery in the American South and was the major export earner for the United States until around 1920. Since cotton requires semi-tropical growing conditions, it was grown exclusively in the southern states until the early twentieth century, when it expanded westward into Arizona and California, and New Mexico.

The settlers of Jamestown brought cottonseed to the New World but they were unable to produce the fiber in significant quantities The lack of a technology able to separate the seed from the lint retarded the production of cotton Planters along the southeastern tidewater belt grew small amounts of long staple sea island cotton a variety with a longer fiber but not ...


Patricia Hunt-Hurst

Fashion has been a phenomenon of collective behavior since the fourteenth century Yet as an industry in the United States it did not exist until the beginning of the nineteenth century The early fashion industry in the United States was based on custom made clothing fitted to the individual Tailors produced custom made suits for men and women dressmakers also known as mantua makers specialized in women s dresses skirts and bodices The mass production of clothing did not begin until the mid nineteenth century with menswear At that time women s wear including such items as cloaks and mantles was still produced on a small scale As a result there was a need for skilled needlewomen to produce custom made clothing The fashion industry created significant opportunities for women in the needle trades as dressmakers seamstresses and tailors and later as designers models fashion writers and editors and factory ...


Suzanne Albulak

Fraunces Tavern, located in lower Manhattan and still operating as a restaurant, was opened in 1762 by Samuel Fraunces (1722?–1795), a West Indian immigrant who built his business by catering to those with a taste for English cooking, especially elegant desserts. As well as being a successful entrepreneur and chef, Fraunces was deeply involved in the American Revolution and set up the tavern and its adjoining inn as a meeting place for the independence movement. Known by his contemporaries as “Black Sam,” he was an avid supporter and close confidant of George Washington. His involvement in the Revolution included giving aid to American prisoners of war, but the high point followed the war, when Washington bade farewell to his troops at a commemorative feast at Fraunces Tavern.

Samuel Fraunces s racial origins have long been a matter of debate Research suggests that he may have ...



Jacqueline Jenkinson

One of Britain's leading trading ports between the 17th and 20th centuries. Links between Glasgow and the black world originated through trade. In the late 17th century the merchant guilds of Glasgow added to its flourishing trade with the colonial tobacco plantations in mainland North America by forging trading connections with the West Indies. The Glasgow West India Association was founded in 1807. The Association spent many of its early years defending the slave trade interest. Glasgow was involved in the slave trade, but to a much smaller degree in comparison to the major slaving ports of Bristol, London, and Liverpool. Trade connections and the slave trade led to the creation of a permanent black presence in Glasgow by the late 18th century as black people arrived, settled, and married. One early black Glaswegian was David Cunningham lawfully born to Anthony a black labourer and ...


H.R. Costello

City in north‐western England which, by the end of the 18th century, had become one of Europe's greatest ports because of its involvement in the slave trade.

1.18th‐century settlers

2.The 1919 riots

3.Black seamen

4.Social and economic disadvantage


Whittington B. Johnson

Marshall, Andrew Cox (1756–11 December 1856), pastor and businessman, probably, was born in Goose Creek, South Carolina. His mother was a slave and his father was the English overseer on the plantation where the family lived; their names are unknown. Shortly after Marshall’s birth, his father died while on a trip to England, thus ending abruptly the Englishman’s plans to free his family. Marshall, his mother, and an older sibling (whose sex is not revealed in extant records) were subsequently sold to John Houstoun of Savannah, a prominent public official.

Houstoun was the second of five masters Marshall had during his half century of servitude Marshall became devoted to Houstoun whose life he once saved and the latter apparently grew fond of Marshall for whose manumission he provided in his will Nevertheless when Houstoun who had twice served as governor of Georgia and later as mayor of ...


Aaron Myers

Minas Gerais was a densely forested region sparsely inhabited by Tupi and Guarani Indians before the arrival of Europeans in the seventeenth century. At that time explorers and bandeirantes (slave raiders) moved inland from São Paulo in search of Indian slaves as well as precious stones and metals.


Valerie Cunningham

New Hampshire's African American communities became clearly defined in the twentieth century. During the colonial era, as few as one to three enslaved African or black Americans were living in nearly all the towns and villages in the state, with larger clusters in and near the Atlantic trade and shipbuilding center of Portsmouth. As the former slaves gained their freedom after the Revolutionary War—not by legal statute but through individually negotiated emancipation—employers gave preference to white workers, displacing blacks from the labor force. The black population as a percentage of the total for the state had peaked in 1767 with 633 slaves representing 1.2 percent of the total population. Throughout the nineteenth century, while the white population multiplied, the number of black people, now free, declined; 494 blacks, at .15 percent of the total population in 1860 was the lowest number reported in the federal census during the period ...


once common forms of farming throughout the United States. The tenant paid the landowner rent; the landowner paid the sharecropper wages. After the Civil War, landowners, former slaves, and yeomen in southern states often disputed rights of land tenure, ownership of crops, and the legal priority of their respective claims. The complex arrangements negotiated by landlord and tenant resulted in frequent litigation.

Sharecroppers brought only their labor to the bargaining table; landowners customarily supervised farming operations, marketed crops, and paid sharecroppers an agreed-upon sum. Legally, sharecroppers were wage laborers. A sharecropper's claim for wages might conflict with the economic interests of a landowner or a credit merchant. Some states gave the sharecropper's claim priority in such cases, but after Reconstruction the legislatures and courts generally favored landlords and credit merchants The number of sharecroppers peaked at 776 000 in the early 1930s During and after World War II ...