It is evident that raw materials for industrial and domestic use in colonial heartlands were mostly found in the colonies. The items produced included rubber, cotton and palm oil. Similarly, minerals like tin, gold and diamonds were also exploited. In those times, the slaves used to perform all the duties. Statistics show that African slave trade existed since 1440. More over, the Spanish started enslaving Indians who got wiped out within 50 years by perishing in war fields, slavery and mines.
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In his book, “Destruction of the indies” De Las Casas is a chronicler of this horror. Native slavery was abolished in 1542 but it continued in Latin America, as a result, African slaves and white indentured labor filled the labor vacuum in America. Under the African slavery system, it is evident that the Portuguese entered the African slave trade in 1440 with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade beginning in 1502. Under the indentures system, workers were bound to their master for 3 to 7 years. Alternatively, a worker could enter in to contract with a ship owner who would action them on the American shore. These laborers entered in to such agreement because of poor financial conditions. As a result, they under went harsh treatment like famine, they were also not allowed to marry without permission. Incase the female became pregnant indentures could be lengthened; In addition, they could also be physically punished.
Another notable fact was that the workers could pay for absconding from work at the end of their indenture. It is noteworthy that a variety of systems for exploitation where set up in Africa and Asia, as a result, India and china were two main labor reservoirs. Furthermore, major migrations began in the 19th century whereby in 1833 India migration to Malaya began and this led to introduction of indentured labor in 1840.
Basing on the above literature, I believe the colonialists were exploiting the resources in Africa and Asia and this process caused more harm than gain to the inhabitants of the two continents. The major resource they concentrated on was human labor.