ARISTOCRATS, SERVANTS
AND SLAVES
THE ORIGINS OF LIBERTY AND THE FIRST ENGLISH
SETTLERS
THE GREAT PARADOX OF
AMERICAN SLAVERY
“How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from
the drivers of Negroes?”
- Dr. Samuel Johnson
1.) How can “Liberty” and slavery evolve together?
2.) How and why did Americans invent “race”?
3.) Is the U.S. built on a paradox?
*critical race theory = is racial categorization an anomaly, or
is it integral to American identity?
I. COMING TO AMERICA
A. “Mercantilism”
- provide natural resources
- provide markets
- absorb excess people
Richard Hakluyt 1557-1618
B. Impediments
1. Financing
- poor, cheap, pre-occupied
2. Labor
II. JAMESTOWN
A. FINANCING
1.
Joint stock company
- Virginia Company 1606-24
- public/private stock
- compulsory labor
B. LABOR
1. The New Eden
- promise of return
2. Indentured Servitude
C. NEAR DISASTER
1.
Investors want quick profits
John Smith
2. Conflict with Indians
Wahunsonacock
(Chief Powhatan)
3. Bad geography
1609-10 “the Starving Time”
60/500
III. ORIGINS OF RACE
SLAVERY
A. PRIVATIZATION
/ REORGANIZATION
1. George Yeardley
1616
- distributed land for cash crops and food
- Headright System
- combine individualism w/ deferred rewards
2. House of Burgesses
- unequal representation
- planter supremacy
Tidewater Aristocracy
*characteristic of southern colonies
3. Social tensions
- class conflict
What ensured “liberty” for
the poor?
Scots-Irish
The “backcountry”
IV. VIRGINIA ON THE EDGE
A. 1622 Indian War
1. Opechancanough
Waterhouse
Declaration 1622
2. Political scandal
- James I
“Divine Right”
Royal Colony 1624
A. WHY AFRICANS?
1. Availability
- West African Slave Trade
2. Distinction
- easy to isolate
3. Were the English “racist”?
I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
- Othello
Historiography
4. 1600s, little difference between black
&
white laborers
- socialized w/ each other
- coerced by planters
So why does “race” enter the picture?
The Case of Katherine Watkins…
B. BACON’S REBELLION 1676
1. Tidewater v. Backcountry
Nathaniel Bacon
William Berkeley
C. RACIAL HIERARCHY
1. Laws from Jamestown
- 1630s black “servants” willed to family
- 1639 no “Negroes” allowed to own guns
- 1662 lifetime “slavery” first mentioned in law
- 1667 baptism will not bring freedom
- 1670 blacks/Indians cannot own white I/Ss
- 1680 blacks cannot congregate in large numbers
- 1691 no mixed-race marriage; separate trials
no free “Negroes or Mulattos” in the colony
2. Last major white / black cooperation (1880s)
* Southern society divided by race as well as class
* White skin would come to mean better treatment
* Racial caste system (racism) invented to preserve
economic hierarchy
IDEOLOGY OUTLASTS INSTITUTION
GREAT PARADOX OF AMERICAN
SLAVERY
Liberty (for whites) dependent on slavery
Leaders of Independence
movement from planter class
Vested interest in this system
(Civil War)
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Aristocrats, Servants and Slaves