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Indentured Servants And Slaves In The U.S

704 words - 3 pages

A plantation economy, an economy founded on an agricultural mass production like tobacco, sustained the source of income of the Chesapeake regions, consisting Virginia, Maryland, and northern North Carolina. The early settlers soon realized the urgent need for labor in the New World. Due to the fact that many potential immigrants could not afford an expensive trip across the Atlantic, the Virginia Company developed the system of indentured servitude to attract common laborers. Since tobacco required intensive hand labor all year round, indentured servants have become vital to the colonial economy. "Virginia Servant and Slave Laws" represent the elaborate efforts of masters' to profit from ...view middle of the document...

Virginia lawmakers granted masters to control slaves by having legal rights to kill them, "In 1669, the Virginia legislature gave masters a green light to use any force deemed necessary, including death, to control unruly slaves" ("Virginia Servants and Slave Laws," in Handout Set, p. 3). Also, slave woman is considered more valuable due to the child. The law enacted in Virginia shows masters' goal to profit from the children of slaves, "In 1662, Virginia lawmakers specified that the children of slave mothers inherited their mothers' slave status" ("Virginia Servants and Slave Laws," in Handout Set, p. 2). Under theses harsh circumstances, servants and slaves, regardless of gender and ethnicity, tend to work together and that became a great fear of the ruling class.
“Virginia Laws Governing Servant and Slave” reveals the rebellions of servants and slaves who united to fight against their masters. Bacon’s Rebellion, in 1676, occurred in the Virginia Colony in opposition to Virginia's Indian policy (Roark, The American Promise, p. 79). Bacon’s Rebellion demonstrated that poor whites and poor blacks could be united in a cause, and it shows that they are capable of challenging the ruling class...

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