Slavery in the Colonial United States
In this video, there is a discussion of how the English colonies transitioned from indentured servitude to the enslavement of Africans as was seen later in the American South. Between 1640 and 1660, the English colonies gradually began transitioning from the paid services of Native Americans and indentured servants from England as laborers to the use of unpaid and purchased African slaves. Many of the African slaves were taken in wars between African chieftains and then sold to European traders. Some of the African states entered into this trade as a means of protection for themselves. However, others used it a means to get wealthy. In 1661, Virginia became the first colony to legalize slavery. To prevent slave uprisings, slaves in Virginia were forbidden to be taught to read, assemble together, possess weapons, and not leave the plantation without written permission. There was some organized opposition to slavery from the very beginning of the institution. It was opposed on moral, spiritual, social, and experiential grounds.
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Last updated: 04/09/2018
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