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The Rise of White Identity In The Chesapeake

Saturday, March 25, 2017 23:10
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(Before It's News)

I’ve already written about the origins of Tidewater in Visiting Tsenacommacah. The English in Virginia only learned through the bitter experience of the Massacre of 1622 to distrust and displace the Indians. In 1619, the first slaves arrived in Virginia, but it wasn’t until 1675 to 1720 that slavery displaced servitude. Virginia became a slave society between 1720 and 1760:

“Since their introduction to the Chesapeake in 1619, blacks had been relegated to a lower status than whites. For the next half century, their numbers had been few, and, despite white prejudice, the line between them and white servants was often blurred, blacks and whites were not rigorously segregated, and the benefits of white society were not automatically closed to them on the grounds of race. At least a few blacks found their way to freedom, acquired land and property, and enjoyed civil rights roughly comparable to free whites. But their position deteriorated rapidly after 1670 as their numbers grew. As slaveholders systematically reduced their slaves to the status of a permanent labor force, the Chesapeake became a caste society organized along racial lines in which all white people, regardless of wealth or status, occupied a superior position to all blacks, even the very few blacks who managed to escape slavery …”

I’ve read elsewhere that Barbadians came to Virginia around this time.

In 1670, settlers from Barbados founded Carolina to the south. It wouldn’t be surprising if Barbadians were instrumental in spreading their system of slavery to both Virginia and Carolina. Slavery had existed in Virginia before the 1670s, but it wasn’t on the scale it would later become. Barbados developed that system in the 1640s. The Chesapeake developed a creole majority later than New England. It was still full of English immigrants rambling around Virginia until the late 17th century.


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