Virginia Tobacco Dbq

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The poor Virginian tobacco-growers of the 1700s blame the pressing economic issues they faced within the realms of slavery and debt as their driving force behind the American Revolution and battle for independence. (Holton, 60) The conflict between the British Merchants and Virginian farmers wasn’t shy of bloodshed; the intense debt to the merchants that the farmers found themselves in stirred anger and thoughts of rebellion which were not easily appeased. (Holton, 42) The cause for their debt is caused by a culmination of lavish spending, the decisions of Parliament (such as the Navigation Acts), and slavery. It was obvious that the government’s policies were favoring that of British mercantilism, jumpstarting the trade monopoly and making …show more content…

(Holton, 66) Most slave imports were sold on credit due to Virginia’s money crises. The Currency Act—which made printing legal paper tender illegal—did nothing to help alleviate the problem. (Holton, 62) Even big-shot, wealthy growers were unable to make some purchases without using credit. The problem was only more intense for the poor Virginian farmers, who made almost all purchases (especially slaves) on credit. It didn’t help that the slave duty was at a whopping twenty percent. This only brought the farmers into more debt with which their tobacco could not render enough profit to get them out of. According to William Allason, the poor farmers were dedicated to lowering the duty on slaves as low as possible as opposed to shutting down the slave trade altogether, for the farmers needed hands to cultivate their product. (Holton, 71) Britain sided with the gentry’s opponents which were the poor farmers. This example of camaraderie between the British and the poor Virginians establishes the farmers’ stance on independence; despite the troubles they have had with the economy, the poor farmers are so bad off that they would rather turn to Britain (home of the Parliament that imposed sanctions negatively affecting the economy) for aide in lowering the duty on slaves. (Holton,

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