Week Five: The Development of Slave Societies
Week Five: The Development of Slave Societies HIST 1376
Popular in The United States To 1877
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tiffany Yee on Thursday October 8, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1376 at University of Houston taught by Kelly Y Hopkins in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see The United States To 1877 in History at University of Houston.
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Date Created: 10/08/15
The Origins of American Slavery 3 Anthony Johnson 30 lndentured Servants oz William Berkeley 39339 Bacon s Rebellion Transition to slavery is very very slow it takes nearly the entire century to complete The most important factor determining how freely you can move in society is economic status By the end of the 16005 the most important factor in determining in what you can or cannot do will become your race If you are white it will bring certain privileges someone without white skin will be denied those privileges Anthony johnson helps understand colonial uidity people can move in and out of this society and is not based on race He is an African and traveled a lot on the Atlantic world He arrived in the Chesapeake in the year of 1621 When he arrives his labor status is described as servant or slave he is not a free person Anthony Johnson is immediately put to work doing the same thing as everyone else growing tobacco He had a lot of good luck for starters the majority of people in the Chesapeake lived very short lives Johnson lived a very very long time He was also very lucky in that he was able to nd female companionship He eventually got married and his wife was also African this was a marriage that lasted for more than 40 years they were also able to raise 4 children to adulthood Sometime during the 16305 Anthony Johnson and his wife acquire their freedom they did so through a common method called selfpurchase they purchased their own freedom By the 16405 Anthony Johnson is also a tobacco planter he owned a 250acre estate With this large piece of land he needed workers He owned whites and at least one African slave Johnson is able to participate in society just the same as other wealthy tobacco planters He gains bene ts privileges and moves into this society based on his wealth By the 16605 attitudes about that freedom of movement for Africans started to change Free blacks were forced to pay higher taxes and were prohibited from carrying rearms In some cases they lost their rights to vote They were also facing harsher penalties in crimes committed than their white counterparts With this slight shift in attitude Anthony Johnson and his family sold their tobacco plantation in Virginia and moved a bit up North into Maryland There are 3 options for colonists to use as workers for their tobacco plantations lndians criminals from the lower sort and Africans 1 Indians colonists will not be successful in forcing Indians to do their work a Death from European diseases b Chance of uprising c Possibly high death rates of Indians can not keep up the labor force d Knew the landscape well if they wanted to escape 2 Africans a Longest trip to North America across the Atlantic Ocean most cargo doesn t even make it b Tobacco is not making nearly the amount of money sugar is making c Your charging price for an African is going to be very high planters don t want to pay the price d Lot of economic reasons for why African numbers are so low therefore causes colonists to focus on the lower sorts in England 3 lndentured Servants criminals from England s lower sort a An individual in England who exchanges their labor for a ticketpassage to the New World b Will have to work for someone to pay off the debt the amount of time you are a servant is usually 47 years c During that period they are treated as property not human beings d lndentured servants work day in and day out in the tobacco elds e Given minimal food clothing and shelter The white colonial population in Virginia is growing very very slowly as a result of an unhealthy environment There is also a very limited growth in the number of Africans By 1640 there are still very little Africans representing 1 of the population even by 1660 Africans only made up 3 of the population It was rare for white Virginians to be engaged in daily activities with Africans Throughout the 16005 there were approximately 120000 immigrants coming into the Chesapeake 90000 of them arrive as indentured servants The vast majority of these servants are male 80 There is a very imbalanced gender ratio because young men were needed to work the eld A female indentured servant was not put to work in the elds they worked as a domestic in the house of the owner and were prone to sexual exploitation They were not being paid and the only thing they had to look forward to ful lling the work requirement in their contract If you were fortunate enough to survive you were granted quotfreedom duesquot They would be granted a new set of tools some clothes seeds for food amp tobacco and most importantly 50acres of land women do not gain land Planters who owned these indentured servants could only encourage them to do their work is through fear and punishment The most common way to punish servants who broke the rules was by extending their contract term Many indentured servants ran away Once they were captured or returned they had their contract extended by double the amount of time they were gone Another common offense was that they often stole food this practice was so common that the punishment was very severe two years were automatically extended on their contracts For female indentured servants who got pregnant during their term they had two years added onto their contract the time was added on even if it was the owner who got them pregnant In colonial Virginia there was a period of tobacco prosperity From 1630 to the 16605 people growing tobacco were making good pro ts Things are not good in the beginning for indentured servants but the end result is positive More people become encouraged to come By the 16405 people develop better immunities and are farther away from the dirty water population begins to grow However as more people put tobacco on the market the price begins to fall There are too many people growing tobacco in the 16605 and are ooding the market people lose money every year instead of making a pro t after the 16605 If you were a common planter person who arrived as an indentured servant you cannot survive this downturn For someone who is completing their contract they get their freedom dues but it s not good quality land tobacco can not be grown This period of economic prosperity turned into frustration increasingly common planters are focusing their frustration on the colonial governor William Berkeley he is a crown appointed royal governor He was rst appointed in 1641 during the economic prosperity but he is also in charge during the period of frustrations Common planters are increasingly venting their anger on him Africans in America 39339 William Berkeley 39339 Bacon s Rebellion z Rice and Indigo In the 16705 these frustrated planters decided that the best way they can improve their situation is getting access to better quality land they think they can get better quality land from Native Americans Common planters nd a leader who helps organize their efforts Nathaniel Bacon In the Chesapeake Bay area angry planters under Nathaniel Bacon begin to attack Indians the governor orders these attacks against Indians to cease however colonists continue their attacks This now becomes labeled as a rebellion this rebellion is known as Bacon s Rebellion As the attacks against lndians continue in the summer of 1676 the governor orders the arrest of Nathaniel Bacon In September of 1676 Nathaniel Bacon marches his little rebellion straight into Jamestown they march to the governor s mansion When the governor saw this group of angry and armed men he freaked out and ran away Nathaniel Bacon decided to discourage the governor s return so he burned Jamestown down to the ground Unfortunately while Nathaniel Bacon was in Jamestown he got sick In October of 1676 right in the high point of the rebellion Bacon catches dysentery and quickly dies Bacon39s death is a big problem for these rebels they are now leaderless By November of 1676 troops from England show up and begin arresting anyone affiliated with that rebellion The rebellion melts away no one wants to be affiliated with this uprising anymore punishment for rebellion was execution By January of 1677 English order is restored and Berkeley is back in charge The rebellion is completely over When tobacco was selling for a good price people could come over as an indentured servant and had the hope that they would get money and land However the economic toll destroyed the hope they will survive in 1670 but they won t get good land They can t grow quality tobacco and therefore can t earn money People begin to ask quotwhy go to Virginia There39s nothing pro table for youquot there is no reason to go there There is a lack of indentured servants because white men become discouraged from going causing the cost to increase The white labor supply dries up but planters still need workers African Americans were very expensive and it was nonpro table However by the 16605 the vast majority of people are living longer lives The economic promise of tobacco brings many whites in 1670 However by the end of the century people are leaving Virginia With the signi cant decline in the number of white indentured servants Africans are brought into the colony These Africans are not volunteering to come it was a forceful transportation In 1680 Africans made up 7 of the colony by the 17005 they made up 42 of the population As more and more Africans come they are going to be treated increasingly different from their white counterpart They are going to serve as unfree people for longer periods of time By the 16805 that meant life The children of female slaves are going to inherit the status of their mother With the in ux of Africans white owners are going to become increasingly fearful of their slaves After the 16805 laws begin to limit the actions of the Africans for example it becomes a crime for Africans to congregate in a group more than four incase they are planning a rebellion Slaves are prohibited from leaving the plantation unless they have a written pass eliminating the freedom of movement By the 16805 it was illegal to free a slave unless the owner paid to transport the slave out of the colony For freed blacks in the colony they feared getting kidnapped and being brought somewhere else to work The situation in the Chesapeake is increasingly becoming more hostile for free blacks and increasingly becoming harsher for slaves White plantation owners depend on poor whites to help enforce order poor whites work as quotnight patrolsquot or quotslave patrolsquot Wealthy whites try to separate the poor whites and Africans by criminalizing interracial sex and interracial marriage In the 16905 it was illegal for a free white woman to have an interracial relationship with a black free or unfree she would face six months in prison If she ended up getting pregnant and had a child the white woman faced ve years as an indentured servant and the child faced 31 years as an indentured servant White males would also serve six months in prison if he was engaged in a relationship with a free black woman However if you were a planter the owner of a black female nothing happened to you If that slave female had a child the child was a slave this was a way for planters to increase their slaves property The punishment of a white indentured servant and a black slave was different The most common way to punish a white indentured servant is adding more time to their contract In the institution of slavery all the punishment revolved around fear and physical violence This physical violence depends on whatever the owner wants to do Owners are not charged with crimes for abusing or killing slaves The most common form of punishment for slaves is to be whipped on the bare back usually 50 lashes it was very public so you would be whipped in front of everyone else in the plantation as an example Sometimes they would cut the limbs of slaves who were repeated offenders as an example for other slaves and to instill fear in them As the 16005 turn into the 17005 the wealthy try to drive a wedge between poor whites and slaves They want race to be the key identi er in society If you were a person with white skin you are equated with freedom If you are not white that is equated with unfree As race becomes more important Whites no matter how poor they are believe they are superior to blacks they see themselves as better than any other black There is a very slow transition as Africans trickle into the colony There is a slow evolution of treatment of Africans in the colony The development of slavery is a very slow process Just to the South of the Chesapeake there is another colonial region the Lower Colonies or the Carolinas eventually becomes North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia In the Ca rolinas the region starts from Day 1 with slavery they begin with a slave labor system from the very start The colonists were rst settled in 1670 The fundamental reason for why the Carolinas start with slavery goes back to who is going there The original colonists were transplants from the West Indies They are coming from the Caribbean not England When they left the Caribbean and moved to the South they brought their slaves and ideas of running a slave labor system all the ideas and racial attitudes are transplanted to the lower south