England’s opportunity to expand its Empire

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In 1619 the House of Burgesses was established and “the first twenty blacks arrived in Virginia on a Dutch Vessel” (Foner 58). Fast forward forty years, and slavery was rising. Who else would work the fields from dawn to dusk covered in blood, sweat and tears? Certainly not the wealthy land owners. No it must be someone without means and support, most definitely one of “savage” inheritance who was ripped from their land, customs, religion and people. People that are desperate just to live another day. The Indians proved too smart for slavery and the indentured servants would simply run away or refuse to work. Officially dehumanized and ripped to pieces, Africans were easily forced into slavery. African slavery slowly increased as the cash crop tobacco began to make a profit. Tobacco grown in Virginia and North Carolina specifically, “made over 100 thousand pounds a year for the king {of England}” (Zinn 35). England had an iron grip of influence on the colonies sprouting into independent cities across the pond. England decided the prices of tobacco as well as the heavy taxes to ensure a most lucrative export. In order to maintain this level of success England sent enforcements to uphold order after Bacons Rebellion. The slaves and white indentured servants as well as the poor land owners wanted to take back what was theirs and overthrow the rich. “{H}eavy taxes on tobacco and falling prices because of overproduction reduced the prospects of small farmers” (Foner 102). To prevent the black slaves and white indentured servants from teaming up laws were enacted and provisions were given to the whites. Indians were required to turn in any runaway slaves, making them enemies instead of a refuge. The poor whites with their small provi...

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...rliament followed by King Charles II felt they had every right to impose rules, regulations and taxes overseas. The American Colonies were now an extension of British Rule.
The idea of freedom was wrapped around the promise of a better life where land and gold was a plenty. Unfortunately freedom was limited and enforced with slavery and a modern hierarchy which allowed for England to succeed and its people near and far to suffer. There was no gold to be found and the free land was already inhabited. War and bloodshed dyed the soil red while British Imperialism grasped the American Colonies ever more tightly.

Works Cited

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2014. Book.
Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States Volume 1: American Beginnings to Reconstruction. New York: The New Press, 2003. Book.

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