Slavery in Colonial America

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Laura Gilliar
History 151.15
Professor Burrows
March 3, 2013
Slavery in British North America

Slave ownership was a common practice in the British colonies in North America. Slaves were owned in the Chesapeake as well as New England though the nature in which the slaves were used was very different. The reason that slave ownership became common was the patriarchy. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the idea of patriarchy was practiced in the colonies, especially the south. This led to a desire to be able to provide for yourself wile being able to command your family and the people that you owned. This created a world where slaves were a staple in the households of British North American colonies through the seventieth and eighteenth centuries.

Patriarchy is the idea of a male oriented society where women, children, lower-class men and slaves were below the elite upper class of white men. On of the ideas behind patriarchy is that the man is meant to have absolute control over anyone that is in a lower social class. Slaves seemed to have a harder time in these relationships since slaves were property not people. (Brown). A natural social hierarchy was the goal; a lawyer in Virginia said, “Societies of men could not subsist unless there were a subordination of one to another…. That in this subordination the department of slaves must be filled by some, or there would be a defect in the scale of order.” Basically meaning without slaves the entire social balance would be disrupted (Morgan). Through the making of the constitution patriarchy was practiced. When the Constitution was being drafted Alexander Hamilton gave a patriarchal speech. He too believed that people in charge should have stable life. He believed that the people in lower classes had lives that were too turbulent to make good choices (Young).

Part of the role of the white man in patriarchy is to be self reliant Plantations were seen as best way for farmers in the south...
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