Views on Slavery by Higginbotham, Jr.,Winthrop D. Jordan, and Edmund S. Morgan

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A Leon Higginbotham Jr.’s argument in The Ancestry of Inferiority (1619-1662), is that the people of Virginia had already began to think of black people, be it they were free or indentured servants, as inferior to themselves before slavery was institutionalized. The Colonist’s had already begun to strategize legalities in regards on how black people were to be disciplined. Higginbotham has two reasons why Africans were not afforded the same liberties as that of the white indentured servants in Virginia. The first reason he states is that the majority of white indentured servants came to Virginia on their own free will. Once they had completed their five or seven-year contract with their master, they were free to buy land and begin working for themselves. Unlike the African’s that he claims were brought here against their will or for desperation. The second reasoning is that the English thought that the black represented evil or danger and because African’s skin coloring was black, they must be evil. Higginbotham offers a couple of examples representing just how the English prior to the actual term of slavery being used, were already creating a racial difference in the judicial system. From court cases that he has reviewed, he states one must find what the case is not saying verses what it is. When the English identified people with names the only time skin color was not used in context is when that person was a white person. Another case he made use of is a good example of black inferiority to white superiority in the early 17th century is in the case In Re Graweere, 1641. The court made certain that a particular African father had no value in society when attempting to get his child back. However, because his son was... ... middle of paper ... ...also used a summary by Philip D. Morgan in Winthrop D. Jordan’s book, White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Vaughn like the previous three authors also used a History of Virginia and a History of Barbados for his research. Although the four authors all used similar sources for their articles, each one had a different perspective on how and when slavery became the norm. Higginbotham appears to have coincided with Vaughn he just did not go back in history as far. Jordan and Morgan are both completely different even with all four being on the same topic. They are all well organized and well thought out for what the point they were trying to prove. However, my favorite is the essay by Morgan. To have someone paint a picture of our Founding Fathers for what they were and not sugar coat it because that is what the public prefers is superb.

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