Slavery first started in America when the first 20 Africans were brought to the thirteen colonies, specifically Jamestown Virginia. They used these men and women as indentured servants doing hard manual labor in return for land and freedom. As the colonies prospered they were reluctant to lose their labor.
Unlike their european counterparts who held citizenship in their own country, Africans were not subject to english common rights. They were workers without rights. In 1641 slavery was legalized. Africans became chattel personal property that could be owned for life. SLave labor became so profitable that in 1660 England’s King charles II established the royal african company to transport africans.