This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "You Can 'Steal' Our Dirty Jobs"
Slavery, one of the most horrific blights on America’s great history, expanded primarily because the exploitation of forced immigrant labor was a cheap path to prosperity.
“The rebellion had also taken place in the midst of a fundamental shift in Virginia's labor force, several decades after leading planters had collectively decided to replace white indentured servants with more easily controlled enslaved Africans, but roughly twenty years before the supply of slaves would make that possible. By 1700 the slave population had soared, British immigration had slowed, and many poor whites had either become better established or had departed the colony. At the turn of the century white Virginians were increasingly united by white populism, or the binding together of rich and poor whites through their sense of what they considered their common racial virtue and their common opposition to the interests of Indians and enslaved Africans. Thus Bacon's Rebellion was, as one writer has put it, a critical element in "the origin of the Old South." (Rice, 2014)
To ensure that this cheap source of labor would remain in place, “slave codes” were instituted across the then colonies as early as the 17th Century. Slave codes were “the set of rules based on the concept that slaves were property, not persons.” The codes were “amplified with laws by the slave owners to protect not only the property but also the property owner from the danger of slave violence.” (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018)
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