Essay On Slavery In Jamestown

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In 1607, the first wave of colonial settlers arrived in Virginia and began to establish Jamestown. Many of the new settlers came from wealthy families never performing a day of manual labor. With agricultural farming, being the revenue source of the new colonial settlers there would soon be a great demand for labor. Contracts of indentures were expiring and with much devastation in England, there was a shortage of English servants. Since the number of Africans far outweighed English servants, the English dominant sought to take advantage of this and in 1662 passed an act that racialized slavery by defining it as a status inherited “according to the condition of the mother.” In January 1639/40, Act X passed stating, “All persons except negroes to be provided with arms and ammunition or be fined at pleasure of the Governor and Council” giving us one of many documented acts of how racial freedom was affected. In this essay, I…show more content…
This again helps to establish a timeline of when laws were passed that affected race and freedoms. If in 1630 a law of this magnitude was spoken without question as to its meaning then does it not stand to reason that an undocumented law was already in place? It has been written that the Virginia colonies were not as proficient in record keeping when it came to African slaves. The evidence presented here presents an overwhelming argument that race did exist before the seventeenth century. Just by looking at the few facts provided and reading between the lines it will become evident that freedoms defined by race and slavery existed much earlier than what is in our history books. However, in order to get a true picture of historical events I believe history also needs people who are willing to read between the lines and argue ideas. This is just a brief glimpse into a very large historical database but the possibilities

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