Punishments towards slaves were often brutal. Severe punishments included:
The long hours and exhausting work rate was largely achieved through punishment, principally whipping. This made economic sense when cheap replacement slaves were available. However this made control by fear a key feature of plantation relationships.
On the plantations African slaves easily outnumbered European planters. Punishing treatment acted as both a cause and effect on the behaviour of the enslaved, creating a vicious circle.
Revolt was prevented by a rigid application of the slave code.