By The 1700S What About Slavery Had Changed

The Transition in Slavery During the 1700s

In the 1700s, the institution of slavery underwent several significant changes, reflecting shifts in the economic, social, and political landscapes of the time. These changes contributed to the evolving nature of slavery and its impacts on societies around the world.

Increased Demand for Labor

During the 1700s, there was a significant increase in the demand for labor, particularly in the New World colonies. This demand was driven by the growth of industries such as sugar, tobacco, and cotton, which required large numbers of laborers to cultivate and harvest crops.

Key Point: The increased demand for labor led to the expansion of the transatlantic slave trade, as European powers sought to fulfill the labor needs of their colonies.

Rise of Abolitionist Movements

Despite the continued reliance on slavery for labor, the 1700s also saw the rise of abolitionist movements that sought to end the institution of slavery. Abolitionists argued against the immorality and inhumanity of slavery, advocating for its abolition on moral and ethical grounds.

Key Point: The rise of abolitionist movements challenged the legitimacy of slavery and paved the way for eventual abolition in various parts of the world.

Legislation and Legal Changes

Throughout the 1700s, there were key legislative and legal changes concerning slavery in various regions. Some jurisdictions passed laws regulating the treatment of enslaved individuals, while others introduced gradual abolition measures.

Key Point: Legal changes in the 1700s reflected evolving attitudes towards slavery and contributed to the eventual abolition of the institution in many parts of the world.

Economic Consequences of Slavery

Slavery had profound economic consequences in the 1700s, driving the growth of industries and providing cheap labor for plantations and mines. However, the economic sustainability of slavery came into question as debates over its morality intensified.

Key Point: The economic implications of slavery played a significant role in shaping attitudes towards the institution and influenced decisions regarding its abolition.

Impact on Global Trade

Slavery had a significant impact on global trade in the 1700s, with enslaved individuals being bought and sold as commodities in transatlantic markets. The exploitation of enslaved labor contributed to the accumulation of wealth for European powers and fueled the growth of international commerce.

Key Point: The transatlantic slave trade reshaped global trade routes and had lasting effects on the economies of countries involved in the buying and selling of enslaved individuals.

Social and Cultural Changes

The institution of slavery also brought about social and cultural changes in the 1700s, as attitudes towards race, ethnicity, and human rights were challenged and redefined. Enslaved individuals resisted their subjugation through acts of rebellion and cultural expression.

Key Point: The social and cultural impacts of slavery in the 1700s contributed to the growing anti-slavery sentiment and the eventual abolition of slavery in many parts of the world.


In conclusion, by the 1700s, slavery had undergone significant changes that reflected shifts in economic, social, and political dynamics. The increased demand for labor, rise of abolitionist movements, legislation and legal changes, economic consequences, impact on global trade, and social and cultural changes all played a role in shaping the evolution of slavery during this period.

Key Point: Despite the persistence of slavery as an institution, the 1700s laid the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery in the years to come.

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