Slavery And The Practice Of Slavery

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Virgina has differences and similarities when it comes to slave narratives. To explain further, this is why the details and experiences that these ex-slaves gave in describing the institution of slavery and the practice of slavery are tremendously important because Virginia became a royal colony, the first in English history. However, the English kings were occupied with affairs at home, the Virginia house of burgesses was able to continue its functions and won formal recognition in the late 1630s. Thus, representative government under royal domain was assured. By 1641, when Sir William Berkeley became governor, the colony was well established and extended on both sides of the James up to its falls. Three-fourths of the European settlers (about 7,500 in 1641) had come as indentured servants or apprentices, but many of them became freemen and small farmers. In 1641, there were also about 250 Africans (the first had arrived in 1619 on a Dutch ship), most of whom were indentured servants rather than slaves. The freeholders, together with the merchant class (from which were descended most of the "first families of Virginia"), controlled the government. Only white males were enfranchised, and property-owning qualifications for voting continued during and after the colonial period. Most of the white settlers were Anglicans, and during the civil war in England, many well-to-do Englishmen (mainly Anglicans and supporters of Charles I, if not actually Cavaliers) came to Virginia.
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