Slaves and their owners

The main issues of the relationship between the slaves and their owners were:

  • Humanitarian concerns
  • Religious concerns
  • Financial considerations
  • Fear of revolt
  • Racism and prejudice

Factors that affected the treatment of slaves by owners included religious and financial factors, lack of humanity, fear of a slave revolt, and ignorance of African culture.

Financial considerations dominated the interests of those involved in the slave trade. From the relationship between slave and trader on the middle passage, and between slave and master on the plantations, it was clear that there was only one motive. As slaves were considered property the owner felt in a position of control.

The prime purpose of owning slaves in the Caribbean was to make a profit from their labour. Until the late 18th century, racism, prejudice and a lack of humanitarian concern for the slaves was clearly evident.