It has been claimed (see below for example) that America's relatively high prosperity is the result of slavery, which enabled the development of American capitalism, by using slaves as, well, capital, in various financial endeavors, which in turn, allowed for the financial development of the Industrial Revolution. Is this a historically/economically correct claim? Is slavery the reason that America today enjoys relative wealth and prosperity?

Example Claims: American prosperity was built on slavery and torture

How the Slave Trade Built America

closed as too broad by Oddthinking Jul 20 '15 at 12:18

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    One of the definitions of "too broad" is that a whole book could be written on the topic, and clearly this is the case here, because a whole book has been written. It also seems to be largely opinion-based economics - there is no definitive answer. (I can be persuaded otherwise - please explain what a good answer to the question might look like.) – Oddthinking Jul 20 '15 at 12:20
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    @Oddthinking Perhaps if I edited the question to state: was the industrial revolution financed by profits from slavery (taking a specific quote from say the nytimes article and using it as my claim)? – user20902 Jul 20 '15 at 12:21
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    How could the answer to that be no? – Oddthinking Jul 20 '15 at 12:50
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    However, the industrial revolution proceeded most quickly in the nothern states that didn't have slavery... which was a contributing factor to the civil war. – kbelder Jul 20 '15 at 15:21
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    This does not appear to be falsifiable. You can show there was slavery and you can show links to the prosperity but there were lots of states which used slavery which did poorly later. Saying it's the "result" of slavery can't be proven/disproven. There's no way to know whether there would have been similar prosperity had slavery been outlawed early. – Murphy Jul 20 '15 at 16:27