The First American Boom

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Morgan argues that the first American boom that took place in Virginia had many faults and ended up a catastrophic mess, due to the overwhelming number of men allowed into the state which led to a period of famine, but he states that we must not blame the men that were allowed to come into the state as the culprits, rather we should look at the leaders who allowed this to happen and other possible events that contributed to this disaster. Some examples he gives us for Virginias troubles are the Indian Massacre that killed off about 347 men, fighting within the company, and the kings desire to maximize revenue on tobacco. Morgan focused a lot on the availability of food as Virginia progressed through the years because this is where laborers of the land are going to be in much demand in order to keep up with food availability for the growing population. Morgan’s main point of this article is to point out the advancement of a system of labor that eventually led to better working conditions for men and treated them more as “men”. Morgan claims that Virginia differed from other boom towns in that success depended not on the right land but on men. Men were stolen, traded, fought over, and sold. Some of these stolen men were the “duty boys” who were taken off the streets in England and given a contract of seven years to serve as servants. Some of the conditions the labors had to work in were so harsh that they would instead run away and join the Indian groups. England however was taking steps in the right direction by having laws for them and treating laborers the way they should be treated by giving them control over his own life.
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