Slavery In The Chesapeake Colonies

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Chesapeake colonies transitioned from a society with slaves to a slave society. They needed slaves to work on the tobacco plantations. The demand for tobacco was high and kept growing. This unfortunately encouraged the continuous of slave imports. Chesapeake planters invested in the slave trade to support their tobacco economy. Prices for tobacco dropped but some planters shifted to other production. The majority of slaves both males and females worked in the fields. Not all salves worked in the fields. Some became cooks, seamstresses, or personal servants. Slavery became very common on not just plantations but small farms as well. Almost half of Virginia’s white families owned at least one slave. Slavery expanded over the years. Wealth among the whites became more concentrated. Chesapeake developed a hierarchy based on degrees of freedom. At the top of the hierarchy were the plantation owners, then were the lesser planters and the men that owned land, and at the bottom were convicts, servants, tenant farmers, and then slaves at the very bottom. The existence of slavery put an economic gap between the wealthy and poor. The wealthy dominated the political life. …show more content…

This restricted blacks’ access to freedom. Slavery became very violent, with whippings daily. Race divided society. Whites thought free blacks were dangerous. Eventually free blacks lost the right to employ white servants, bear arms, had to pay special taxes, couldn’t vote, and could be punished for going against a white. Virginia laws required that freed black slaves be put out the colony. A few stayed, but only less than four percent of the population. Chesapeake colonies transformed into a slave society. Society turned horrible for slaves. Being white and being free became virtually the same

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