African American slave family representing five generations all born on the plantation of J. J. Smith, Beaufort, South Carolina.jpg

UNPAID LABOR Shaped America's Economy

The Extraordinary Growth of a Nation

Investors paid the cost to bring hundreds of thousands of Africans to America to put them to work. Unpaid Laborers were needed to clear America's land. They were needed to grow America's food. In 1776, when the United States started, one (1) of every five (5) people in America were Unpaid Laborers.

Americans such as George Washington made fantastic fortunes using Unpaid Laborers. They depended on the work of Unpaid Laborers to support them and their families. Thomas Jefferson also accumulated great wealth using Unpaid Laborers although he left his family in crushing debt when he died.  Twelve (12) of the first eighteen (18) U.S. Presidents owned slaves. 

In 1803, the United States doubled in size by buying the Louisiana Territory for $15 million dollars. In 1800 there were 893,605 Unpaid Laborers in the U.S. Back then it would have cost over $268 million dollars to buy that many slaves. That let’s you see how important the Unpaid Labor force was to the country.

In the Mid 1800's Cotton Was King

Cotton was king in America in the mid 1800's. It was as important as Oil is in America today.  The throne of the cotton kingdom was in the North, especially New York City. Northern banks made loans to southern planters. Insurance companies insured their crops, their laborers, and their farms. Businesses in the North made the ships that were used to bring Unpaid Laborers to America before slavery was abolished. They made fortunes from the cotton they sold all around the world. Auctioneers, warehouses, brokers, merchants, and many other businesses in the North depended upon the Unpaid Labor System.  The system produced extraordinary economic prosperity and wealth.

Cotton planted and picked by Unpaid Laborers was the number one product that America sold to other nations. In 1860, the South was producing 66 percent of all of the cotton in the world. They sent it to the factories in Europe that made and sold all kinds of cotton products.

The Rapid Rise to World Power

In 1860, more Unpaid Laborers than White people lived in the states of Mississippi and South Carolina. They were 40 percent of the population in eleven (11) southern states. Unpaid Laborers and the wealth they produced made those eleven (11) southern states one of the five (5) richest societies in the world.

The state of Georgia estimated (3) billion dollars as the value of Unpaid Laborers in the South in 1860. Mississippi’s estimate was four (4) billion dollars.

Cotton produced by Unpaid Laborers was the raw material for the first world wide manufacturing system. Their labor and the wealth it produced is the reason the USA grew faster than England, France and all western economies.