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The first African slaves were brought to the Americas in the early 1600s, where their labor was used primarily for agricultural and household purposes. The institution of slavery in the New World presupposes not only the existence of slaves and owners, but also a system of laws in place which recognized and protected the practice of slavery. However, laws were not enacted, for example, declaring slaves the personal property of their owners and imposing punishments upon those who aided slaves in escape, until many years later.
If the sentences in the passage above are true, then they support which one of the following statements?