Slavery In The Colonies Essay

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Slavery in the colonies did not start with only African slaves and the most common form of servitude in the colonies at its start, specifically Virginia, was the use of indentured servants. Indentured servants were commonly brought over from England with their passage paid for and were under a contract to work for a number of years to pay off their passage to the New World and then when their contract term expired, they were supposed to be freed to start their own work in the colony. Although masters would find ways to keep these servants for longer than the original contract, generally, this would not be an ideal form of labor for the master because they would lose labor after a number of years. In this form of labor, servants were defined …show more content…
The colonies were not all unified under one legislating body and each had their own form of legislation regarding slaves but some states, like Virginia, had slave codes that are adopted by other colonies. With the institution of slavery becoming more racially based on Africans, laws became more restrictive to what slavery looked like in the colonies. Virginia began imposing laws in 1640s that would reflect the change of slavery becoming a racial institution in the colonies and in 1662 one of Virginia’s statutes stated that “Blacks face the possibility of life servitude. The General Assembly of Virginia decides that any child born to an enslaved woman will also be a slave.” As Virginia neared the 1700s, the codes became more restrictive of African slaves and defined slaves as “all black, mulatto, and Indian slaves are considered …show more content…
Virginia had already been incorporating slaves into their economy for years and were increasing the legislature regarding the rights of slaves and the Carolinas would adopt some of the laws that Virginia had in place along with their influences in the Caribbean that had a heavy influence with slavery. Carolina came into the British colonies not having to develop the definitions of slavery because colonies like Virginia had already been developing them. Some of the provisions in South Carolinian law regarding slaves included the public punishment of runaway slaves, the inability to work for pay and had slave owners responsible for abiding by slave codes or else they would have to face fines. After Carolina split into North and South Carolina, tensions between slave owners and slaves would begin to rise because of slave rebellions like the Stono Rebellion in 1739, the eve of the Great Awakening. The Stono Rebellion happened when several slaves raided a store that had guns and powder, the group set out on a path that resulted in the killing of white colonist and the burning of their homes while rallying more slaves towards their cause. Once the group was stopped, the slaves involved in the rebellion were either killed or released to return to their masters who would then punish their slaves as they saw

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