17th Century Virginia

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Transformation of Colonial Virginia
By: Gabby Pyles
Early 17th century Virginia faced many social and economic hardships. Many people came to Virginia in search of treasure and gold, but their miracle turned into somewhat of a disaster and they were in for a ride that they were not expecting. Due to starvation and diseases, the beginning of 17th century Virginia was a suffering colony. Famine seemed to take over colonial Virginia. Indentured servants and slaves are what helped save Virginia during these hardships. In Virginia, indentured servantry was very common. The indentured servants had to work hard both night and day for a mess of water gruel and a mouthful of bread. Document D is written by an indentured servant. He tells that he would much rather be in England, even without a limb, than to be where he is now. Indentured servants chose to be what they were because of what they got out of it. As Document E says, "..at the end of the said terme, to give him one whole yeeres provision of Corne, and fifty acres of Land, according to the order of the country." Nobody expected that they would be in such misery. During their term, they started to think that they put too much into their work than what they were getting out of it, but they continued to strive on because they wanted land and corn. Indentured servantry affected the economic status of Virginia. The more they made other people work, the less that they had to do to provide for themselves and the rest of the colony of Virginia. Slavery was also very common in 17th century Virginia. Slavery had a massive effect on the social status of citizens in Virginia. If somebody owned slaves then they were considered higher ranked people than people without slaves. Slaves (blacks, Indians, or mulattos) were on the bottom of the social chain. They were looked down upon and were treated like dogs (very badly). In Document H, it says that if any slave runs away or commits any other crime that they shouldn't have,...
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