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Fri. Feb.

6th = Cultures of
Exploitation and Liberty: the transition
from Indenture to Slavery (1680s-1710s)
Cultures of Exploitation and Liberty: the transition from Indenture to Slavery (1680s-1710s)

1. Why did the indenture system decline after the 1680s?

A. colonies give out fewer headrights and freedom dues, leading to Bacon's Rebellion (1676) and
other tensions

B. Some slaves in ex-Dutch New York (1660s+); growth of Barbados (1680s+) brings a few British-
imported slaves into the Chesapeake (VA. & MD.) -- see Morgan pp. 29-31

C. Fewer potential indentured servants leave England after the Glorious Revolution (1688)

i. Post-Revolution stability (1690s) leads to fewer indentured servants leaving for the colonies -- see
1st chart below [see also link to discussion of England's 1689 "Declaration of Rights" that would
later inspire American colonists to declare independence, at:
http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/42110.html]

ii. Labor-starved colonies petition England's "liberal King & Queen" to repeal the Navigation Acts
(granted in 1698), allowing "free trade"

D. "free trade" brings huge numbers of enslaved Africans into the British colonies (early 1700s) [see
2nd chart below]

E. transition to slave labor saves poorer Anglo-American laborers from being the lowest social class
in the colonies; new term "white" comes into popular usage (1700s)

Review of AMST themes:

* land as basis of wealth & power

* labor becomes racialized (vs. class divisions) -- "liberty" seen in terms of free vs. slave labor

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CHARTS:

c.1690s Cost of Labor in Colonial Virginia:

Indentured servants:
* availability = very low
* cost = L.1,200-1,500
* life expectancy = high
* term of service = 4-6 years (average)

Slaves:
* availability = very low (due to Navigation Acts)
* cost = L.2,000
* life expectancy = high
* term of service = life (+ children until age 21)

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c.1700+ Cost of Labor in Colonial Virginia:

Indentured servants:
* availability = very low
* cost = L.1,500
* life expectancy = high
* term of service = 3-5 years (average)

Slaves:
* availability = very high
* cost = L.1,000
* life expectancy = high
* term of service = life (+ children for life)