Chapter 2: Drawing The Color Line

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Gary Lee


US History AP

Per. 6

Chapter 2: Drawing The Color Line

  1. The Virginians massacred the Indians because they were unable keep the Indians enslaved. The fierce Indians outnumbered the English newcomers, who had superior weaponry. The English feared they would face massacre themselves if they had not taken action.

  1. The choice to import black slaves was due to the fact that blacks had been torn from their own culture, and forced to adjust and work in a foreign land. Additionally, millions of blacks had already been in the slave trades many years in Europe, prior to English arrival.

  1. Africans were vulnerable to enslavement primarily because of inferior military power. They were helpless against the guns and ships the Europeans had.

  1. The problems that both whites and blacks faced was toiling conditions and harsh masters. It was said that both worked laboriously in their condition. Punishment, however, was more severe for blacks. Whites received lighter sentences. They would have received whippings just as blacks would, but it is likely that blacks would receive many more. In addition, a court record showed that a black runaway was burned in the cheek with an R and continued service with is master. The blacks were punished lifetime service while whites had their service extended only shortly. Nevertheless, both blacks and whites despised the condition of servitude, and as a result worked with each other to run away and cause revolts.

  1. We know that slaves resisted their enslavement because they were willing to drown themselves by jumping off boats and ships into the sea. In the Spanish colonies, fugitive slaves conspired with Indians to cause slave revolts, while in the English colonies they held regular meetings in which they made plans to kill whites. They resisted work by behaving lazily and carelessly – stealing, destroying property, attacking their overseers, and faking illnesses.

  1. We know that indentured servants resisted their indentured condition because in many cases, they conspired with black slaves to form rebellions against their white masters. They suffered similar mistreatment as black slaves and felt it was for a common good to work together.

  1. The Virginia ruling class drove a wedge between indentured servants and enslaved blacks by introducing law which would give the socially inferior whites property such as food, money, and guns. Newly freed indentured servants would receive 50 acres of land. This caused the indentured white servants to become more accepted of their condition and less dangerous.

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