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Unformatted text preview: January 31, 2008 HIST 278 Discussion #2: Which came first, slavery or racism? Was European racism a precondition for African slavery, a byproduct of it, or something in-between? What are the origins of European racism? European racism was a byproduct of African slavery. Racism did not exist in the beginning of slavery as it was mainly economic motivation that drove this machine. Simply put, for the Europeans, Africans were the best people to use for the labor that was required. This was for a number of reasons, but mostly because native people that were already living in these areas were susceptible to illnesses and were familiar with the surrounding territory, while people from Europe, mostly indentured servants, were able to gain their freedom after a certain amount of time. The Europeans needed an expanding labor force and Africans were the best possible choice. The main example which proves that racism was not part of slavery from the beginning is Anthony Johnson, a slave that was able to obtain his freedom in the early...
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- Spring '08