chapter 3 black people in colonial north america, 1526-1763

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  • Chapter 3

    Black People in Colonial North America, 1526-1763

  • The British and JamestownFirst permanent British colony in North America founded in 1607Trading company looking to make money for investorsGold, trade, lumber, rice, silkTobacco was a profitable cropLabor intensiveUndesirables Indentured servants

  • Africans Arrive In the ChesapeakeFirst arrivalsOrigins unknownLucas Vasquez de Ayllon First permanent settlement in U.S. 1526Hernando de SotoDiscovered the Mississippi RiverSt. Augustine 1619 Dutch shipUnfreeEnglish had no law for slaveryEnglish custom forbade enslaving Christians

  • II. Black ServitudeIn the ChesapeakeIndentured servantsSold labor for passage to Chesapeake Two to seven years High mortality ~ most died before term expiredBlacks and whites Only skin color distinguished early laborers Worked, lived, and slept together as unfreeEarned freedom at the end of termAnthony Johnson PROFILEChattel slaverySlaves were legal private property

  • Race and Origins of Black Slavery17th century British tobacco coloniesEvolved from an economy based on white indentured servants to one based on black slavesBritish Caribbean sugar plantations created a precedent British gained more control over Atlantic slave tradeReduced price of African laborers

  • Race and Origins of Black Slavery (cont.)White indentured servants sought greater opportunities elsewhereRace and class shaped the character of slaveryBelief that Africans were inferior to EnglishProhibitions against bearing armsBecoming ChristianDiscrimination in colonial polices

  • Chattel SlaveryFrom unfree to slave for lifeMid-17th century men, women, and children served masters for lifeSlavery followed the motherSlave codes 1660-1710 aimed to control and exploitowning property, making contracts, leaving without a pass Christianity offered no protection against enslavementMasters exempt from charges for murdering slaves while administering punishment

  • Bacons Rebellion, 1676Uprising against colonial elites Demand for land and resources by white indentured servantsClass-based, biracial allianceLess use of white indentured servants and more dependence on black slavesReduced class conflict

  • III. Plantation Slavery, 1700-1750Tobacco ~ ChesapeakeIncreased demands for labor and slavesRacial prejudiceFewer white indentured servants availableMore Africans availableFear of class conflict

  • Plantation Slavery, 1700-1750 (cont.)Rice ~ Low-CountryEarly settlers were immigrants from BarbadosBrought slaves with themNever any black indentured servantsEnslaved more Indians than other British coloniesWest Africans experienced at cultivating riceFigure 3-1

  • Africans Brought as Slaves to British North America, 17011775Figure 31. Africans Brought as Slaves to British North America, 17011775.

    The rise in the number of captive Africans shipped to British North America during the early eighteenth century reflects the increasing dependence of British planters on African slave labor. The declines in slave imports during the periods 1751 to 1760 and 1771 to 1775 resulted from disruptions to commerce associated with the French and Indian War (or Seven Years War) and the struggle between the colonies and Great Britain that preceded the American War for Independence.SOURCE: R. C. Simmons, The American Colonies: From Settlement to Independence (New York: David McKay, 1976).

  • Plantation Slavery, 1700-1750 (cont.)Race relationsWhite fears of revoltSlave codeCarolina had strictest in North America in 1698Watch patrolsCurfewTask systemPermitted autonomy without white supervisionPreserved more of their African heritage

  • Slave Life in Early AmericaMinimal housingDressMen wore breechclothsWomen wore skirtsUpper bodies bareChildren naked until pubertyHeritage and cultureSlave women used dyes made from barkDecorated cloth with ornamentsCreated African-style head-wraps, hats, and hairstyles

  • IV. Miscegenation and CreolizationEarly Chesapeake Africans, American Indians, and white indentured servants interactedCultural exchanges part of creolizationMiscegenationExtensive in British North America in 17th and 18th centuries, though less accepted than in European sugar colonies in Caribbean, Latin America, or French CanadaBritish North America had many more white womenInterracial marriages banned by colonial assembliesKept white women from having mulatto childrenPrevented a legally-recognized mixed-race class

  • V. The Origins of African-American CultureCreolization and miscegenation Created African AmericansRetained a generalized West African heritageFamily structureKinshipReligious ideasAfrican wordsMusical instrumentsCooking and foodsFolk literatureFolk arts

  • The Origins of African-American Culture (cont.)The Great AwakeningBegan process of converting African Americans to ChristianityEvangelical churches welcomed black peopleIncreased black acculturationBiracial churchesSegregation and discrimination

  • VI. Slavery in the Northern ColoniesFewer slavesSee Figure 3-2Cooler climateSufficient numbers of white laborersLack of staple cropDiversified economy

  • Slavery in the Northern Colonies (cont.)Less threat of slave rebellionMilder slave codesNew England slaves could legally own, transfer, and inherit propertyRapid assimilationFewer opportunities to preserve African heritage

  • VII. Slavery in Spanish Florida and French LouisianaRoutes to freedom more plentifulSpanish FloridaBlacks needed as soldiersBecame Catholic and acquired social statusPeople of African descent fled to Cuba when British took control in 1763French Louisiana Most black slaves lived in New OrleansBecame skilled artisansCatholicsExtensive black population remained when the United States took control in 1803

  • VIII. Black Women in Colonial AmericaVaried according to regionNew EnglandBoundary between slavery and freedom permeableLucy Terry PrinceSouth Few opportunities17th and 18th centuries ninety percent work in fieldsIn time more women become house servantsConstant white supervisionSexual exploitationMore complications giving birth

  • IX. Black Resistance and RebellionGoldbricking to sabotage to escape and rebellionEarly resistance and rebellion aimed to force masters to give concessions and not end systemNew arrivalsMost open to defianceMaroonsEscaped slavesEstablished communitiesSpanish FloridaGreat Dismal Swamp

  • IX. Black Resistance and Rebellion (cont.)ResistanceSubtle day-to-day obstructionismMalingered, broke tools, mistreated animals, destroyed crops, stole, and poisoned mastersRebellionsSmaller and fewer than in Brazil or JamaicaSeveral in 18th century British North AmericaNew York City, 1712Charleston, South Carolina, 1739Intensified fear of revolt in Deep South

  • X. ConclusionResistance to oppressionMuch lost but much West African heritage preservedFundamental issuesContingency and determinism in human events


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