Professor Bill Ashcraft
United States History I
October 13, 2013
Analysis Paper #1 The 1600’s was a period of time where the American colonies began to form solid sovereign states. In an effort to find profitable resources that can be used to send back to Europe, one Virginia colonist John Rolfe started experimenting with tobacco in 1612 seeing how well it fared in the Southern soil which inevitably yielded favorable results. Upon this discovery, the tobacco industry led its engines at full steam ahead. In 1615, an estimated 2,000 pounds was exported which grew over the next 14 years to 1.5 million pounds (Lawson, 44). This rapid increase was a result of poor immigrants coming from Europe under the conditions of indentured servitude which allowed them to work off their passage to the New World. As the market increased the demand for more crops by raising the prices on tobacco, plantation owners were always looking for ways to expand their farm land and increase the amount of labor in order to keep up the demand to ensure a more profitable situation.
In 1660, the House of Burgess passed an act that allowed African laborers to be enslaved. This historical turning point caused a massive increase in the amount of Africans that were forcefully taken from their homelands by ships and taken on boats to various parts of the
Shugarts 2 world to be sold to business owners. Their wishes for cheap, reliable labor were answered. As the economic status of England improved, the amount of indentured servants being imported to the colonies declined and many of those who worked off their servitude became free men and women which left gaps in the work force which was gradually being replaced by African slaves. By the 1720’s, other forms of laborers emerged. Apprentices, who learned trades from master craftsmen, convicts of Britain’s overcrowded prisons and immigrants known as “redemptioners”, those who worked a deal with shipping agents by
Bibliography: Lawson, Steven F. "Colonization and Conflicts." Exploring American Histories. By Nancy A. Hewitt. Vol. 1. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2013. 44. Print.