Plantation (settlement or colony)

Plantation (Settlement Or Colony)

Plantation (settlement or colony)

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Plantation was an early method of colonization in which settlers were "planted" abroad in order to establish a permanent or semi-permanent colonial base. Such plantations were also frequently intended to promote Western culture and Christianity among nearby indigenous peoples, as can be seen in the early East-Coast plantations in America (such as that at Roanoke). Although the term "planter" to refer to a settler first appears as early as the 16th-century, the earliest true colonial plantation is usually agreed to be that of the Plantations of Ireland.

The term "plantation" transferred to the large farms that were the economical basis of many of the 17th-century American colonies. The peak of the plantation economy was in the 18th century, especially the sugar plantations in the Caribbean that depended on slave labor. Most of that time Britain prospered as the top slaving nation in the Atlantic world. Over 2,500,000 slaves were transported to the Caribbean plantations between 1690 and 1807. Because slave life was so harsh on these plantations and slaves died without reproducing themselves, a constant supply of new slaves from Africa was required to maintain the plantation economy. What has been called a "natural decrease" among the slave population continued for two centuries. In this sense, a plantation represented a killing machine. In 1789 Saint-Domingue, producer of 40 percent of the...
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