Smoking Hazards: Tobacco Cultivation In Colonial America Essay

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Tobacco was a main crop in colonial America that helped stabilize the economy (Cotton 1). Despite the fact that tobacco took the place of the other crops in Virginia, as well as replacing the hunt for gold with tobacco cultivation. It proved to be a major cash crop, especially in Virginia and Maryland (Weeks 3). Tobacco left many people financially troubled because other occupations were disregarded or not as profitable as tobacco farmers (Randel 128). The unemployment that tobacco brought about made many colonists poor and homeless (128). After the tobacco boom started, many men signed themselves to indentured servitude hoping to be freed and given land along with other promised goods (Tunis 79). Three hundred and fifty thousand …show more content…
The people of England then traded with the Dutch, increasing demand for tobacco (Pecquet 471). Sir Walter Raleigh also contributed to the introduction of smoking tobacco in America and to the English queen, Elizabeth I (Cotton 2-3). The settlers of Roanoke Island smoked tobacco and soon presented the idea of smoking tobacco in court which became a new trend (3). Later on, as the demand for tobacco rose, more labor was needed to supply enough to satisfy the tobacco requirement ("The Growth of the Tobacco…" 3). Tobacco farming required much labor, and colonial America could not supply that labor with just the settlers already living there. This need for labor was satisfied by indentured servants and African slaves (3). Indentured servants raised the population by bringing in people who could not afford their way over to America (Weeks 1). The indentured servants were promised freedom and land after serving for a set amount of years (Pecquet 469). Soon after, as the indentured servants were getting less and less land than promised, if any at all, Bacon's Rebellion broke out in Virginia (Lorenz 14). This forced the colonists to find a different servitude option. They turned to African slavery to quench their desire for a cheap, reliable labor source (Weeks 1). At least 350,000 Africans were needed to produce the amount of tobacco to supply for the demands of the people (1). African slavery started racial tensions and

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