• The American Paradox
Slavery accompanied the rise of liberty and equality.
Slavery, liberty, and equality grew up together.
Slavery “allowed” liberty and equality to flourish.
• Rev. Samuel Davies
“Can you bear the thought that slavery should clank her chain in the land of liberty?”
Virginia in peril once again but it was now England threatening to reduce the colonies to slavery.
• How a people could have developed the dedication to human dignity have developed and maintained a system that denied that same human dignity?
• Slavery was an on the ground innovation in the Chesapeake.
• Indentured servants
Type of labor that promoters of the settlements preferred.
English men and women who earned free passage from England to the colonies and had to work for the person who paid for their voyage until their debt was paid off. Usually six or seven years.
Cheaper than African slaves.
• Black and white Virginians lived together for years before black Virginians’ status became fully and legally debased.
• Creole cosmopolitans
People that show up in records but are Negroes. The ones that owned land and owned slaves and such.
• Negroes could be indentured servants as well
• Race was like lineage and religion. Just one of many different social markers in the social order that Atlantic Creoles understood well.
Race was not as important as it would be later on.
• A society with slaves is what the Chesapeake was. Not yet a slave society.
Society with slaves has different types of labor, but slavery was marginal to the central productive processes. Not dominant form of labor. Slavery was not the exemplar relationship.
• A society with slaves
When slaves were marginal to the central productive processes of the economy.
When the master-slave relationship was not presumed to be the social exemplar.
• By 1680, death rates had dropped in the colonies, so owning slaves became a better investment.
• Slave prices, at the same time, went down because the English crown had ended a monopoly of the Royal African Company.
• 1660s – Legal changes.
1667 – Virginia House of Burgesses passes law that says that religious conversion would not entail freedom (religion was more important than skin color before this?)
1662 – VHoB status of a child, one of whom was slave and the other who was free, would follow that of the mother. It gave white planters a kind of reason to rape their black female slaves.
1662 – Laws passed in colony that banned the freeing of slaves inside Virginia. You had to transport that slave out of the colony to free them.
• By 1705 all these laws get formalized into a formal legal code, called a slave code. Started to connect race and slavery much more firmly.
Formally legalized violence against slaves.
• A slave society
When slavery stood at center of economic production
When the master-slave relationship was the model for all social relations
• By 1700, black people were 10% of society
• By 1740, they were 40% of society
• Was slavery the result of white racism or was white racism the result of slavery?
Default answer: “of course slavery was the result of white racism”
Winthrop Jordan, White over Black (1968): racial prejudice predated and was the necessary prerequisite to slavery.
Barbara Fields, Edmund Morgan, and Oscar and Mary Handlin: emphasize slavery’s role in constructing racial difference.
• Slavery is an economic situation. A way to make money. But in the US a racial cast system is thrown on top of it
• Slavery was a way to control labor.
• By the 1660s, there was an overproduction of tobacco so prices