Slavery in the British North American colonies grew slowly. Slavery was not as prosperous in the beginning years but it became a vital institution for the southern plantations and the cultivation of their cash crops. Slavery rose from its origins and developed in the colonies from 1607 to 1776. Bacon’s Rebellion ended the indentured servant era in the colonies, the Stono Rebellion forced legislatures to pass laws reforming some aspects of the slave trade and treatment of slaves and the Pre Revolutionary and Revolutionary events planted seeds that would alter slavery in the colonies. Slavery in the British North American colonies became widespread when indentured servitude ended and grew to become the lifeline of the colonies with respect to southern cash crops and northern laborers.
Bacon’s Rebellion (1675) was a revolt by former indentured servants, poor whites and poor blacks against the Virginia Governor William Berkeley. There had recently been Indian attacks on frontiersmen (many of whom were former white indentured servants that had settled the west because of the cheap land) which Berkeley had refused to retaliate against. In the end, the rebels chased Berkeley out of Jamestown and torched the capital. Leading up to this the English settlers believed in racial superiority thinking that the blacks were uncivilized and inferior. The indentured servants became poor white farmers when they were freed, making them the lowest group on the social hierarchy before slaves were present. The first slaves in the British colonies landed at Jamestown in 1619. These slaves were needed to cultivate tobacco, a labor intensive cash crop. Many planters, besides tobacco farmers, began choosing African slaves as their workers over indentured servants. Some reasons were because of their resistance to disease, no familiar place for them to runaway to and their expertise in certain areas such as rice cultivation which was needed in the Carolinas. Mercantilism and Salutary...
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