Why did a slave society develop in colonial virginia
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Why did a Slave society develop in colonial Virginia?. Big point!. The shift to a slave society was not inevitable!. The shift to a slave society was not inevitable!.

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Big point
Big point!

  • The shift to a slave society was not inevitable!


The shift to a slave society was not inevitable
The shift to a slave society was not inevitable!

  • The status of Africans in 17th century Virginia was fluid and ambiguous until the establishment of slave codes at the turn of the 18th century.


Problems in virginia problem 1 land but no labor
Problems in VirginiaProblem #1: Land but no labor!

  • Lots of land!

    • Available and unused, from a English perspective


Problems in virginia problem 1 land but no labor1
Problems in VirginiaProblem #1: Land but no labor!

  • Lots of land!

    • Available and unused, from a English perspective

    • Landowning tied to idea of “independence”

      • Landowners had control of their lives and livelihood


Problems in virginia problem 1 land but no labor2
Problems in VirginiaProblem #1: Land but no labor!

  • Lots of land!

    • Available and unused, from a English perspective

    • Landowning was tied to idea of “independence”

      • Landowners had control of their lives and livelihood

    • Landlessness equated to “dependence”

      • A tenant was subject to the landlord


Problem 2 profitable commodity but no labor
Problem #2: Profitable commodity but no labor

  • Plenty of land to grow tobacco and plenty of demand in Europe


Problem 2 profitable commodity but no labor1
Problem #2: Profitable commodity but no labor

  • Plenty of land to grow tobacco and plenty of demand in Europe

    • Demand pushed production

      • 60,000 lbs., in 1620

      • 35 million lbs., in 1700




Tobacco s popularity exacerbated the labor shortage2
Tobacco’s popularity exacerbated the labor shortage

  • Labor intensive crop

  • Many tedious, relatively unskilled, steps

    • Planting

    • Tending

    • Harvesting

    • Drying

    • Packing


Lots of land profitable crop but who s going to work it
Lots of land, profitable crop, but who’s going to work it?

  • How about using Indians?

    • The Spanish did!


Lots of land but who s going to work it
Lots of land, but who’s going to work it?

  • Indians?

    • The Spanish did!

  • Didn’t work in Virginia


Lots of land but who s going to work it1
Lots of land, but who’s going to work it?

  • Indians?

    • The Spanish did!

  • Didn’t work in Virginia

    • Could easily run away, knew the land


Lots of land but who s going to work it2
Lots of land, but who’s going to work it?

  • Indians?

    • The Spanish did!

  • Didn’t work in Virginia

    • Could easily run away, knew the land

    • Had “military” backing, support of allies


Lots of land but who s going to work it3
Lots of land, but who’s going to work it?

  • Indians?

    • The Spanish did!

  • Didn’t work in Virginia

    • Could easily run away, knew the land

    • Had “military” backing, support of allies

    • Had suffered depopulation


Lots of land but who s going to work it4
Lots of land, but who’s going to work it?

  • Indians?

    • The Spanish did!

  • Didn’t work in Virginia

    • Could easily run away, knew the land

    • Had “military” backing, support of allies

    • Had suffered depopulation

    • Too dispersed

      • No encomiendas in British America


A solution indentured servants
A solution: Indentured Servants


Indentured servants
Indentured servants

  • An indenture, or contract, to labor in exchange for passage to America.


Indentured servants1
Indentured servants

  • An indenture, or contract, to labor in exchange for passage to America.

  • Terms ranged from four to seven years


Indentured servants2
Indentured servants

  • An indenture, or contract, to labor in exchange for passage to America.

  • Terms ranged from four to seven years

  • Few rights, often cruel treatment




Domestic problems in england
Domestic problems in England

  • Population growth


Domestic problems in england1
Domestic problems in England

  • Population growth

  • Eviction of tenant farmers


Domestic problems in england2
Domestic problems in England

  • Population growth

  • Eviction of tenant farmers

  • Growing poverty and pressure on English cities



Opportunity for aspiring aristocrats1
Opportunity for aspiring aristocrats

  • Headright system

    • 50 acres of land for passage of laborer


Opportunity for aspiring aristocrats2
Opportunity for aspiring aristocrats

  • Headright system

    • 50 acres of land for passage of laborer

    • Often times ship’s captains transported potential servants and sold them upon arrival


Keeping up with the byrds
Keeping up with the Byrds

  • William Byrd I

    • To Virginia, 1670


Keeping up with the byrds1
Keeping up with the Byrds

  • William Byrd I

    • To Virginia, 1670

    • Grandfather, a ship’s captain


Keeping up with the byrds2
Keeping up with the Byrds

  • William Byrd I

    • To Virginia, 1670

    • Grandfather, a ship’s captain

    • Collected a substantial amount of “good” land in Virginia through headrights


Good land went quickly
“Good” land went quickly

  • Wealthy able to grab up land along waterways


Good land went quickly1
“Good” land went quickly

  • Wealthy able to grab up land along waterways

  • The Byrds’ land was along the James and Potomac rivers


Good land went quickly2
“Good” land went quickly

  • Wealthy able to grab up land along waterways

  • The Byrds’ land was along the James and Potomac rivers

  • Advantage to wealthy


But while everything was coming up tobacco it was not coming up roses
But while everything was coming up tobacco, it was not coming up roses!

  • Problems with indentured servants


Problems with indentured servants
Problems with indentured servants coming up roses!

  • Runaways


Problems with indentured servants1
Problems with indentured servants coming up roses!

  • Runaways

  • Rights of Englishmen limited control by masters


Problems with indentured servants2
Problems with indentured servants coming up roses!

  • Runaways

  • Rights of Englishmen limited control by masters

  • Frustration upon completion of indenture


Frustration upon completion of indenture
Frustration upon completion of indenture coming up roses!

  • Little “good” land available

    • Distant from waterways

    • On fringe of English settlement


Moving toward african slavery
Moving toward African slavery coming up roses!

  • Precedent in Latin America


Moving toward african slavery1
Moving toward African slavery coming up roses!

  • Precedent in Latin America

    • Caribbean, Brazil


Moving toward african slavery2
Moving toward African slavery coming up roses!

  • First African slaves to Jamestown, 1619


African slavery
African slavery coming up roses!

  • Very limited for most of the 17th century


African slavery1
African slavery coming up roses!

  • Very limited for most of the 17th century

    • More expensive than servants

      • Perpetual servitude


African slavery2
African slavery coming up roses!

  • Very limited for most of the 17th century

    • High mortality among field hands

      • Rigors of work, disease

      • Slavery was a bad investment


African slavery not a foregone conclusion
African slavery: not a foregone conclusion coming up roses!

  • Up until the last decades of the 17th century, black status in Virginia was fluid.


African slavery not a foregone conclusion1
African slavery: not a foregone conclusion coming up roses!

  • Up until the last decades of the 17th century, black status in Virginia was fluid

    • Free blacks, some who owned servants!


African slavery not a foregone conclusion2
African slavery: not a foregone conclusion coming up roses!

  • Up until the last decades of the 17th century, black status in Virginia was fluid

    • Free blacks, some who owned servants!

    • Black indentured servants


African slavery not a foregone conclusion3
African slavery: not a foregone conclusion coming up roses!

  • Up until the last decades of the 17th century, black status in Virginia was fluid

    • Free blacks, some who owned servants!

    • Black indentured servants

    • Black slaves


Over time slavery began to make economic sense
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased longevity in colony


Over time slavery began to make economic sense1
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased longevity in colony

    • Slavery began to make sense economically


Over time slavery began to make economic sense2
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased longevity in colony

    • Slavery began to make sense economically

  • Decreased supply of white servants


Over time slavery began to make economic sense3
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased longevity in colony

    • Slavery began to make sense economically

  • Decreased supply of white servants

    • Improved conditions in England


Over time slavery began to make economic sense4
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased longevity in colony

    • Slavery began to make sense economically

  • Decreased supply of white servants

    • Improved conditions in England

    • Other colonies (Pennsylvania, 1681)


Over time slavery began to make economic sense5
Over time, slavery began to make economic sense coming up roses!

  • Increased frustration of former servants

    • Slaves never became free!


When and why race based slavery
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Historians tend to agree that:

    • Indentured servitude as a model


When and why race based slavery1
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Historians tend to agree that:

    • Indentured servitude as a model

    • Latin America as a model


When and why race based slavery2
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Historians tend to agree that:

    • Indentured servitude as a model

    • Latin America as a model

    • Economic necessity


When and why race based slavery3
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Historians tend to agree that:

    • Indentured servitude as a model

    • Latin America as a model

    • Economic necessity

    • African vulnerability in Virginia

      • No rights, no support


When and why race based slavery4
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Winthrop Jordan: prejudice/racism led to slavery

    • English pre-disposition toward Africans

      • Negation of white


When and why race based slavery5
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Winthrop Jordan: prejudice/racism led to slavery

    • English pre-disposition toward Africans

      • Negation of white

      • Deficient in religion and culture


When and why race based slavery6
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Winthrop Jordan: prejudice/racism led to slavery

    • English pre-disposition toward Africans

      • Negation of white

      • Deficient in religion and culture

    • Stereotype: Africans inferior, less than human


Evidence de facto slavery 1619 1660
Evidence: coming up roses!De facto slavery, 1619-1660

  • 1640, runaway servants

    • Severity of punishment based on race

  • 1646, bill of sale

    • term of service for “Negros” is “forever”

  • 1648, bill of sale

    • Black “servants” more expensive

  • 1660, slave code

    • Blacks legally defined as slaves


When and why race based slavery7
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Jordan:

    • Legally defined by the 1660s

    • Original English prejudice reinforced and bolstered by economic need and legal definitions. Slavery by custom became slavery by law.


When and why race based slavery8
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Edmund Morgan: slavery led to prejudice/racism

    • Status of blacks ambiguous until late 17th century

    • Lower class whites and blacks enjoyed same rights


Black status ambiguous fluid
Black status ambiguous, fluid coming up roses!

  • Could own property

  • Could sue, testify against, whites

  • Could own servants

  • Class, not race, divided 17th century Virginia


When and why race based slavery9
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Morgan:

    • A calculated strategy by elite plantation owners to divide the lower class by promoting white supremacy and black inferiority


When and why race based slavery10
When and why race-based slavery? coming up roses!

  • Morgan:

    • A calculated strategy by elite plantation owners to divide the lower class by promoting white supremacy and black inferiority

    • An effort to quell the growing unruliness of frustrated former servants as illustrated by Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676.


Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700
Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700 coming up roses!

  • Africans equated with slavery


Slavery supported legally and socially by 17001
Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700 coming up roses!

  • Africans equated with slavery

    • Manumission limited


Slavery supported legally and socially by 17002
Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700 coming up roses!

  • Africans equated with slavery

    • Slavery and racism reinforced each other

      • blacks are slaves so must be inferior, since they are inferior, it is proper that they be slaves


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