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A People's History of The United States: Chapter 2 & 3 Revie
Transcript of A People's History of The United States: Chapter 2 & 3 Revie
By: Janelle Young and
Chapter 2: Drawing The Color Line
This chapter explains the beginnings of early slavery in North America which consisted of poor white British people and Africans.
In 1610, the Virginians were desperate for labor to grow crops and other goods to trade. They could not force the Native Americans to work for them because they were tough, resourceful, knew the land better, and could easily rebel against the Englishmen.
Eventually black slaves became the solution to the Virginians labor problem.
The reason why black slaves were vulnerable to the Englishmen was because they were torn from their homes (in Africa). They were helpless and their culture was seen as inferior which justified the obliteration of their way of life.
The Reality of African Civilization
-They were advanced in their own way
-They used iron tools and were very skilled in farming
-They were also very skilled in weaving, ceramics, and sculpturing
-European travelers were impressed with the kingdoms of Africa stating that they were "stable and organized at a time when Europeans states were just beginning to develop into the modern nation."
Wrap Up of Chapter 3
-People were not happy with William Berkeley's decisions and felt he did not care about the poor
-The rebellion against Berkeley had a lot of support because many people had problems with the Natives
-Nathaniel Bacon caused issues for the government
-After Bacon died the English military came to the colonies to regulate the rebellion
-Howard Zinn used Bacon's rebellion as a basis of the economic struggle between the classes
-The rebellion shows how black slaves and the white serving class united to fight against a common enemy
-The government's main concern was to divide and conquer without damaging their economic system
Slavery in Africa vs. Slavery in America
-Basil Davidson (the author of The African Slave Trade) points out that Slavery in Africa was more of a feudal system with laborers working on a lord's estate
-Previous slavery in Africa was used to justify the more drastic and inhumane slavery in America-- but there was no justification due to the fact that slaves in African kingdoms had rights (right to marry, own property, etc.) and in America slaves were property themselves.
- Howard Zinn states that "African slavery is hardly to be praised. But it was far different from plantation or mining slavery in the Americas, which was lifelong, morally crippling, destructive of family ties, without hope of any future."
What created racism?
-In the 1600s, white (poor British people) and black (captured from Africa) servants worked amongst each other
-They worked together and formed relationships
-Laws were passed to forbid such relations because the strength of unity amongst the slaves threatened the power of the masters
-Virginia passed laws that emphasized the seriousness of whites helping out blacks
-Blacks were easier to enslave than whites or Native Americans so as slavery grew, black slaves took up the majority of the slave population.
-This demonstrates how racism was almost forced amongst people at this time.
Wrap Up of Chapter 2
-The first slaves consisted of poor white British people (who were indentured servants) and Africans.
-Racism was created to reduce the strength of slaves and to maintain a system
-Racism is not natural because restrictions were made to forbid fraternization from occurring amongst black and white slaves
Chapter 3: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition
This chapter describes Nathaniel Bacon's Rebellion (Bacon's Rebellion) and includes why other colonists supported him.
Many frontiersmen feared for their safety against Native Americans as they were forced west.
The people's anger was mostly towards the governor William Berkeley for his lack of attention to the poor
-In 1674 Bacon moved to Virginia from England
-William Berkeley was the governor of Virginia
Berkeley was not well liked by the colonists of VA because of :
little protection from Native Americans
-Settlers were forced west due to their loss in land grant deals. These people who were forced west approached Native American territory. The Natives were a threat to the people.
-Berkeley used the frontiersmen as a buffer
-Bacon was anti-Native American and wanted to attack them
Bacon's Rebellion Continued...
-Bacon created unauthorized armies to raid Native territory.
-There was violence prior to the rebellion
-Frontiersmen killed two Native Americans while they were trying to pay off a debt which created animosity between the Natives and whites. Shortly after more raids killed more Natives.
-Natives in return sent war parties to kill white herders
-Raids into the territory of Natives became more prominent
-Later on in 1676, Bacon was elected into the House of Burgesses because he was seen as a "symbol of mass resentment against the Virginia establishment" to the people.
-Later on, Bacon died and the rebellion didn't last long after his death.