In the early years of what later became the United States, Christian religious groups played an influential role in each of the British colonies, and most attempted to enforce strict religious observance through both colony governments and local town rules. Most attempted to enforce strict religious observance. Laws mandated that everyone attend a house of worship and pay taxes that funded the salaries of ministers. Although most colonists considered themselves Christians, this did not mean that they lived in a culture of religious unity.
A servant uprisingPDF - MarylandVirginiapdf also available Until the late s, the labor supply for the Chesapeake plantations was indentured servants, not enslaved Africans. Of theemigrants to the Chesapeake colonies in the s, 90, were indentured servants.
Their experiences varied, of course, depending on their master, their work, their health, and their temperament. Many died before they could attain freedom. Here we read two opposing views of servitude by former servants in the Chesapeake colonies, followed by the punishments ordered by a Virginia court after a servant uprising in Probably due to political strife in England rather than poverty, George Alsop worked as an indentured servant in Maryland from to He devotes a full chapter to the defense of servitude against those who "prick up their ears and bray against it.
Admitting he was one of the "giddy and wild-headed youth" that Alsop deplored, James Revels wrote a four-part poem relating his fourteen-year indenture in Virginia, which he earned as a sentence for thievery. In simple rhyming couplets he describes his early life of crime, his arrival in Virginia, and his hard labor on a tobacco plantation before being bought by a more considerate master.
Truth be told, while Revels and Alsop relate different experiences of servitude, they join in extolling its reformative power. Little is known about Revels, and no published edition of the poem exists beforeyet scholars generally agree that "The Poor Unhappy Transported Felon's Sorrowful Account" is a document of the s.
In six white servants and a black slave were punished for stealing arms and a boat to escape down the Elizabeth River to a nearby Dutch plantation. From this brief court decision that reviews the uprising and lists the men's punishments, we can infer the men's reasons for escaping and the planters' fear of future rebellions.
We can also make inferences about the relationship between servitude and slavery and about Virginia's attitude toward blacks in From only black slaves inVirginia had nearly 3, slaves forty years later, a transition we will consider in the next topic, POWER.
In viewing the two indenture documents, note the contract agreements, the signatures, and the template form. Discussion questions From these selections, how would you characterize the experience of indentured servitude? How do the authors' background and servant experience influence their opinion of servitude?
Consider class, reason for their servitude, and status on return to England. What relationship between planters and indentured servants do you infer from these selections? What relationship between indentured servants and enslaved Africans do you infer from these selections? Compare these selections with the accounts of free colonists in this section such as the Mexico City tradesmen, the Barbados planter, the Pennsylvania official, and the Connecticut farmer.
Compare their visions of prosperity, stability, and permanence. What role did the institution of servitude play in the colonies' transition to permanence?
In America, Pilgrim women had the right to sign contracts and to bring some cases before local courts. Widows could also own property. From time to time, local courts recognized the ways women helped the business community. Virginia struggled with a legal definition of slavery and in the mid s laws known as "slave codes" were designed to control the slave population by ALL of the following laws EXCEPT Requiring that the laws applied to New England, middle and southern colonies equally. In the early s, in rapid succession, the English began a colony (Jamestown) in Chesapeake Bay in , the French built Quebec in , and the Dutch began their interest in the region that became present-day New York.
In the indenture contracts, who is contracting with whom for what? Who does and does not sign the contract?
What does the template form signify about the institution of servitude?Claim: Early in Americas history, white Irish slaves outnumbered black slaves and endured worse treatment at the hands of their schwenkreis.come.
Religion in Colonial America: Trends, Regulations, and Beliefs Democracy & Civic Engagement To understand how America's current balance among national law, local community practice, and individual freedom of belief evolved, it's helpful to understand some of the common experiences and patterns around religion in colonial culture in the period.
Slavery in America started in , when a Dutch ship brought 20 African slaves ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia.
France faced similar problems as its Caribbean possessions increased in the mid s and the plantations owners became dependent on the labor of imported Africans.
Like the Spanish code of and the Virginia code of , the code set strict limits on the actions and status of slaves and freed slaves as well as regulating the masters.
Claim: Early in Americas history, white Irish slaves outnumbered black slaves and endured worse treatment at the hands of their schwenkreis.come. In America, Pilgrim women had the right to sign contracts and to bring some cases before local courts.
Widows could also own property. From time to time, local courts recognized the ways women helped the business community.