The transformation of slavery from simple servitude to race-based slavery happened almost immediately after the New World was "discovered." Slavery in Africa was based not on color or race but on the winners and losers of wars. There were four things that greatly contributed to African, race-based slavery: the European attitude towards Africans, the European attitudes toward slavery, the overall labor shortage in the New World due to the failure of European and Native American laborers, and the great ease that the Europeans had in getting slaves in Africa.
The Europeans often treated the Africans as inferior, libidinous, dirty, uncivilized heathens who weren't even worthy of being called humans. In White Man's Burden, the author describes the basic attitudes of Europeans towards Africans as one of disgust because the African's wore few–if any–clothes and they didn't share the same religious views as them. The Europeans were very close-minded and this only helped to fuel the slave trade in the New World. I would say that the Europeans' mind set had the biggest effect in the change to race-based slavery.During thefirst days of the slave trade, some Europeans felt that slavery was immoral and unjust.
This way of thinking was quickly challenged by pro-slavery royalty, explorers, businessmen, and other people who would benefit from the growth of slavery in the Americas. The pro-slavery Europeans argued that since the Bible never says slavery is wrong, there can be no way that it is immoral. Another argument was that slavery had been around for as long as recorded time so, therefore, there must be something good about it if it can last this long. The European attitudes toward slavery greatly assisted in the growth of the new slave trade. During thefirst few years of the New World settlements, the Europeans tried many different ways to cope with the labor shortage.
Because most of the Europeans tha…