The Growth of Slavery

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The Prompt: How did economic, geographic, and social factors encourage the growth of slavery as an important part of the economy of the southern colonies between 1607 and 1775? Translating my comments:

“Dulp” or “Dvlp” = develop
“Dulpmt” or “Dvlpmt” = development
A with circle = analysis
Triangle = change
Triangle ‘d = changed
“god” = is actually good written too fast!
AWK =awkward
It’s in the DETAILS: lots of good ideas that went undeveloped. For example, don’t just write about tobacco, but write of all the crops grown in the southern colonies & write the names of specific colonies.

Ideas not Linked to the Prompt: so many potentially good points, but then they weren’t clearly linked to the prompt. A common example was writing about the fertile soil & rivers and stating how that enabled a productive cash-crop agricultural economy …but not linking it directly to the growth of slavery. Instead, continue this analysis of the geography by stating that the crops which grew so well in this land were labor intensive and demanded a large work force to effective plant, grow, & harvest these crops, which slavery could provide. Further, write about how the southern colonies had a similar hot, humid climate as West Africa (not just Africa –which is a BIG, diverse continent, you goofs who just wrote ‘Africa’), the region from which most slaves came.

Generalizations: lots of misleading and inaccurate statements because of oddball generalizations. I’m guessing (or hoping!) that many of these occurred because of the stress of writing a timed essay. But, for the record, here are some examples of generalizations which you should avoid:

-“Indentured servitude ended” (No, it severely declined; it was still around during the Rev’l War)
-“All the Indians died from disease” (No, there are still tribes on the East coast today! Yes, lots died from disease, but others fought colonists in wars or moved away beyond the reach of colonists). Follow the Prompt: Look closely at what the prompt requires you to do. Many essays didn’t included the notion of showing change over time (1607-1775) that “the growth of slavery” required. Some Finer Points:

Some essays compared the South to New England. The prompt didn’t ask for that, so don’t do it. Lots of essays mentioned the Las Casas quote (4 indians=1 african), but not with PURPOSE. It’s a powerful quote that was mentioned & left hanging. Instead, show how this quote demonstrated the long-held racist preconceptions about the value of Africans as a “hardy” and “suitable” labor force. Some Content Clarification:

Southern slaveowners didn’t go to Africa to get slaves. Traders came to Southern ports (like Charleston, SC) to sell their human cargo …which was often first ‘sorted’ at a port in the West Indies. Servitude is NOT the same as slavery. Don’t use the terms interchangeably. Slavery implies a sense of permanency & ownership that servitude does not. There were white indentured servants, but not white slaves. Slaves weren’t cheap & slaveowners DID care if slaves died. Slaveowners took basic (minimal!) care of slaves because if the slaves died then owners would lose their investment. Slaves became cheapER, but not cheap; MORE affordable for the wealthy, but NOT affordable (only the very wealthy southerners could afford slaves). The headright system was NOT an indentured servitude system, but a land distribution system established in early colonial VA & MD (remember MD, no one wrote of MD as an example of a southern colony ) in order to bring more land into production so that the colonies would make a greater profit. The headright system wasn’t linked to slavery. Bacon’s Rebellion was NOT by indentured servants. Instead, poor whites (many of whom were formerly indentured servants) led this rebellion. Nonetheless, Bacon’s was a great piece of evidence to include in order to show the shift away from indentured servitude & toward African...
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