Wed. Feb.

4th = The Culture of Scarcity: Socio-economic divisions and Bacon's Rebellion (1670s)
The Culture of Scarcity: Socio-economic divisions and Bacon's Rebellion (1670s) 1. Why so few slaves in early- to mid-1600s Virginia, despite the huge amount of cheap labor needed to grow tobacco? A. Overpopulation & tensions in England, plus offer of headrights & benefitrs of indentured servitude in the colonies create a large supply of English laborers (early 1600s) B. Planters can hire indentured servants (2/3 of all immigrants in 1600s) cheaper than buying slaves [see 1st chart below]

2. Tensions build by late-1600s A. Navigation Acts (1660-98) cut supply of slaves to British colonies i. England's wars with the Netherlands (1660-64) closes the Dutch slave trade into the English colonies ii. Mercantilism forbids trade with any non-English colonies (including Portuguese, Spanish & Dutch trade in slaves) [see 2nd chart below] B. The downside of growth i. quantity of headrights & freedom dues decreases over time ii. quality (accessibility) of lands given decreases, increasing the anxieties of recent freedmen (ex-servants) C. Bacon's Rebellion i. fears of Indian wars increase (1675-76) ii. to deter Indian attacks, Governor Berkeley builds forts in the Backcountry, paid for by a poll tax [see 3rd chart, below] iii. ex-indentured servants find a leader in Nathaniel Bacon, former counselor to Gov'r Berkeley a. Bacon's demands reveal divisions between Backcountry farmers and Tidewater planters b. rebels attack plantations and sack (loot & burn) Jamestown, before Bacon dies of dysentery

iv. Legacy: the mystery of Bacon's and his followers' motives i. personal power struggle with Gov'r Berkeley? ii. class struggle between farmers and planters? iii. colonists' greed for more land? iv. anti-tax/anti-big-government ideology? v. excuse for racist attack on Indians? Review of AMST themes: * land as source of real economic power and the basis for political power (voting) * "free" still an economic/financial (not racial) status for most of 1600s ----------------------------------CHARTS:

c.1620s-1650s Cost of Labor in Colonial Virginia: Indentured servants: * availability = high * cost = L.500-1,000 * life expectancy = low * term of service = 5-10 years (average) Slaves: * availability = low * cost = L.1,500 * life expectancy = low * term of service = life (+ children until age 21)
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c.1660s-1680s Cost of Labor in Colonial Virginia: Indentured servants: * availability = low * cost = L.1,000-1,200 * life expectancy = high * term of service = 5-7 years (average) Slaves: * availability = very low

* cost = L.2,000 * life expectancy = high * term of service = life (+ children until age 21) ----------------------------------1670s farming economy in Virginia, Backcountry vs. Tidewater Volume of land & crops: low vs. high Distance to coast: far vs. close Cost of transporting crops to market/port: far vs. close Potential profit: low vs. high Could afford poll tax? no (Backcountry farmers) vs. yes (Tidewater planters)

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