Origins of race-based slavery in the Chesapeake.

Prompt;EXPLAIN the origins of race-based slavery in the Chesapeake. Was racism a cause or a consequence of slavery?

Chesapeake Bay region was mainly composed of Virginia and Maryland with an economy that was mainly reliable of the tobacco industry. In the year 1619 the first ever shipment of slaves was delivered to Chesapeake composing of twenty men form Africa. The main aim was to replace the already weak European labor. At the time the element of slavery was not very common as they were termed as indentured servants. The slaves used to work alongside their master and were treated equally.

According to (Sobel) quoting Elizabeth an indentured slave, the servants and masters used to work, drink, and sleep together. By the 17th century the indentures servants made up the bigger part of labor. The cordial relationship between the black and white servants was a great worry to the middle class whites.

In an attempt to diminish the risk of a revolution the white middle resulted into replacing the indentured servants with black slavery. This was the birth of racial slavery as the white masters tried to reduce the gap between the rich white masters and the white servants.

Most tobacco colonies had made slavery a legal institution. With the end of indentured servants at the end of the 17th century new laws were passed that really were oppressive to the now large black slavery community. For example in 1680 the state of Virginia passed a law that prohibited black slaves from assembling in large numbers and put hard punishment for slaves who tried to escape.

There was a steady increase in the number of black slaves but a sharp decline in the quality of the soil saw the numbers flowing decline sharply. The tobacco industry was on the verge of collapse and by the nineteenth century the need for labor from was slaves was very minimal. Most of the black slaves were freed but under very oppressing laws. For example in 1863 a law was passed preventing any black from captaining any vessel.

Despite the high levels of discrimination there were several attempts to end slavery. The blacks who the majority was free by the 1880 were now watermen who did manual jobs in the farms. Despite the law that prohibited them from steering any vessel several of the black populace worked in ships. By 1780 Pennsylvania passed a law that initiated the gradual abolition of slave trade and several states followed suit.

At the Chesapeake Bay area slave trade did not end completely until the end of the war. Despite the black population being free the elite whites used violence as a way to control the >>>>>>> Get a Similar Complete custom paper

Work cited

Sobel, Mechal. The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth. Princeton University Press, 1987. Web.


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