Slavery In The Colonial Century

769 Words 4 Pages
In 1619, the first twenty African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. By 1700, they comprised 10 percent of its population. By 1763, they were about half of the population of the New World. The demand for African slaves increased as the contentment of English indentured servants increased. Their impatient to obtain their promised liberty caused them to join the Bacon’s Rebellion. This accelerated the shift to African slave labor force. In the colonial era, African slaves replaced indentured servants because land owners wanted a stable labor force. Originally, the South colony depended upon indentured servants labor force. They were the settlers “who voluntarily surrendered their freedom for a specified time (usually five to seven years) …show more content…
To prevent another rebellion supported by “discontented men,” “Virginia authorities accelerated the shift to [African] slave on the tobacco plantations.” This rebellion was the turning point of depending labor force to African slaves. One of the differences between slaves and servants was their duration of servitude. As servants were required to work five to seven years, they “could look forward to a release from bondage.” They could be free men with privileges. For African slaves, they could be owned all their life. Also, because “slavery existed in the African states …it was sometimes used by Europeans to justify their own slave trade.” Thus, unlike indentured servants, African slaves would not revolt because of the lack of economic freedom that was not promised to them at the beginning of their slavery. This way, African slaves would not be as discontented in their freedom as English …show more content…
By 1763, half of the population of Virginia was African slaves. They became a “slave society.” Slavery became vital in their economic success. In 1705, the House of Burgesses created a new slave code to further strengthen the stability of slave labor force. It stated that African slaves became “property, completely subject to the will of their master…of the white community.” This demonstrated the superiority of white people including indentured servants. Also, the large distance between plantations in the South made it hard for slaves to meet and gather. So farming became central in their life and not forming a rebellion. Thus, land owners could have complete and lasting control over

Related Documents