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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Why did a Slave society develop in colonial Virginia?

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Why did a slave society develop in colonial virginia

Why did a Slave society develop in colonial Virginia?


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 shortage

Tobacco’s popularity exacerbated the labor shortage


Tobacco s popularity exacerbated the labor shortage1

Tobacco’s popularity exacerbated the labor shortage

  • Labor intensive crop


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


Why did a slave society develop in colonial virginia

  • Why would anyone do this?


Why did a slave society develop in colonial virginia

  • Why would anyone do this?

  • To escape poverty in England!


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 aristocrats

Opportunity for aspiring aristocrats

  • Headright system


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

  • Runaways


Problems with indentured servants1

Problems with indentured servants

  • Runaways

  • Rights of Englishmen limited control by masters


Problems with indentured servants2

Problems with indentured servants

  • Runaways

  • Rights of Englishmen limited control by masters

  • Frustration upon completion of indenture


Frustration upon completion of indenture

Frustration upon completion of indenture

  • Little “good” land available

    • Distant from waterways

    • On fringe of English settlement


Moving toward african slavery

Moving toward African slavery

  • Precedent in Latin America


Moving toward african slavery1

Moving toward African slavery

  • Precedent in Latin America

    • Caribbean, Brazil


Moving toward african slavery2

Moving toward African slavery

  • First African slaves to Jamestown, 1619


African slavery

African slavery

  • Very limited for most of the 17th century


African slavery1

African slavery

  • Very limited for most of the 17th century

    • More expensive than servants

      • Perpetual servitude


African slavery2

African slavery

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Increased longevity in colony


Over time slavery began to make economic sense1

Over time, slavery began to make economic sense

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Increased frustration of former servants

    • Slaves never became free!


When and why race based slavery

When and why race-based slavery?

  • Historians tend to agree that:

    • Indentured servitude as a model


When and why race based slavery1

When and why race-based slavery?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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: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?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • Africans equated with slavery


Slavery supported legally and socially by 17001

Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700

  • Africans equated with slavery

    • Manumission limited


Slavery supported legally and socially by 17002

Slavery supported legally and socially by 1700

  • 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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