根据Mintz的研究，无产阶级这个词指的是“自由但没有财产的劳动力作为商品出售给资本主义的商品买家，其中包括劳动力的商品，进行新鲜生产的人”(Mintz, 1978)。根据所有的研究和马克思理论，可以说种植园制度是以一种矛盾的方式将资本主义和前资本主义相结合的制度(Mintz, 1978)。奴隶制基本上是前资本主义的生产方式。然而，种植园在全球经济中发挥了重要作用，因此这主要是资本主义。种植园主以损益为基础工作。尤金·热诺维斯(Eugene Genovese)认为“奴隶制是一种生产方式，它对种植园主提高劳动生产率的程度施加了内在的限制，这迫使种植园主转向领土扩张，以保持制度的运行”(热诺维斯，2014)。所以在这种情况下，奴隶不是无产阶级。虽然有种植园主付工资，从他们那里得到额外的工作，这些奴隶仍然必须完成他们作为一个拥有或购买奴隶的所有正常职责，这些工作他们没有得到支付。
因此，“有些种植园主确实向他们的奴隶支付工资，因为他们做了超出正常职责的额外工作”(Genovese, 2014)。因此，通过这一点可以说，雇佣劳动被奴隶劳动所取代，在某种程度上，种植园奴隶也是无产阶级。种植园制度是资本主义经济的一部分，奴隶制是资本主义的核心。奴隶制是一种制度，在这种制度下，奴隶被迫在种植园上工作，通过威胁和羞辱他们。这种劳动使人麻木，而且是重复的。奴隶们必须每天做同样的工作，直到季节变化。种植园里的劳动力并不是到处都一样。甘蔗种植园的工作与水稻种植园不一样。18世纪，北美的种植园主要求大量的普通奴隶在他们的种植园里工作。他们试图用各种劳动技能来维持自给自足。个体劳动被帮会劳动制度取代——帮会制度和任务制度(Morgan, 1988)。
According to the study of Mintz, the term proletarian refers to a person “who is free but property less seller of his labor power as a commodity to the capitalist buyer of commodities, among them the commodity of the labor power, to undertake fresh production” (Mintz, 1978). According to all the studies and Marx theory, it could be said that the plantation system was a combined system of capitalist and pre-capitalist aspects in a contradictory way (Mintz, 1978). Slavery was basically the mode of production that belonged to pre-capitalist manner. However, the plantations played important role in the global economy and thus this was principally capitalist. Plantation owners worked on profit and loss basis. Eugene Genovese has argued that “slavery is the mode of production imposed intrinsic limits as to how far planters could improve labor productivity, which forced planters to turn towards territorial expansion in order to keep the system going” (Genovese, 2014).So in this case, slaves are not proletarians. Though there were planters who use to pay wages to get extra work done from them, these slaves still had to complete all their normal duties of being an owned or purchased slaves, and for those works they were not paid.
So, “there were planters who did pay wages to their slaves for extra work done other than their normal duties” (Genovese, 2014). So, through this point it can be said that wage labor was superseded by the slave labor and to some extent, plantation slaves were also proletarians. The plantation system was the part of capitalist economy and slavery had been the heart of capitalism.Slavery was the system under which slaves were forced to work on plantations by threatening and humiliating them. The labor was mind-numbing and repetitive. The slaves had to do same task every day till the change of season. The labor in plantation was not same everywhere. The work on sugarcane plantations was not same as that in rice plantations. In the eighteenth century, the planters in North America required a large number of common slaves to work in their plantations. They tried to maintain self-sufficiency with varied skills of their labor. The individual labor work was replaced by the gang labor systems-gang system and task system (Morgan, 1988).