Slavery And Circuses : The Development Of Race And American Slavery Essay

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Slavery and Circuses: The Development of Race and American Slavery as a Result of Fabricated Class Divisions Imposed by the Jamestown Elite The rise of slavery in mid-seventeenth century Jamestown brought forth a new system of economic and political organization that reinforced not only the older class divisions, but also reinvigorated the already existent, but limited racial divide. From the beginning, the Virginia Company was incorporated on a disastrous union of these two forces. The failure to attain the desired profits gave rise to indentured servitude, setting a precedent for forced labour in the colony. The servant system continued even beyond the arrival of the first Africans, collapsing only when both social and economic conditions threatened the rule of the landlords, at which time race became the dominant factor in determining the role of the labourer. The racial divisions rising in Jamestown resulted not solely or even mostly from, pure racism or pure economic interest; rather, the two motives became inseparable because the planter-class controlled media and perception to create new racialized classes, dividing opposition. The 1606 charter of the Virginia Company established the privately owned colony that would become Jamestown soon thereafter. While the English Crown endorsed the mission in order “to preach and baptize into the Christian religion… and recover out of the arms of the Devil a number of poor and miserable souls”, the intent of the investors to

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