Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

A Master’s Deprivation, a Servant’s Desperation, Research Paper Example

Pages: 3

Words: 817

Research Paper

In colonial America, masters of houses with slaves and servants owned people, and the increasing legal support given to these customs emboldened them. In the early 1600’s, the Virginia Company solicited payments of tobacco crops from landowners to purchase the shipment of female servants for the purposes of both wife and servant (Roark, The American Promise, p. 73). In the 1700’s, the lives of servants and slaves grew harder and their rights fewer. Mercantilism stipulated that exports outnumber imports, creating a general expectation of large profit. As a result, the production of agricultural goods and the maintenance of social customs, especially in the south, grew increasingly dependent upon a permanent supply of labor. The liberation of Virginia slaves carried with it a monetary fee, in addition to the initial danger of discovery by angry masters (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 2). The state was set for the Constitutional debate and the Civil War to follow, because north and south already parted ways on the issue of servants and slaves.

Masters profited more from the unsavory treatment of their servants and slaves. One seven-year contact explained the hopelessness of a servant entering indenture: “His father and mother and all of his friends [are] dead and he [is] a miserable wandering boy”. An unskilled servant seeking indentured status received a longer term, and masters immediately sought about training some among them (Roark, The American Promise, pp. 72-73). However, masters reaped the greatest financial profit from slaves, who were soon established as a hereditary labor force, as cattle are bred today. Masters experienced total freedom and dominion over the bodies of their servants and slaves- often taking advantage of the sexuality and strength of their enslaved work force- expected a further reward when their illegitimate children by servants and slaves “shalbe held bond or free according to the condition of the mother” (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 2). In other words, rape of a servant or slave legally profited the master, who only risked a small fee if discovered. The law alone did not enforce a master’s authority; fear and power did. In 1669, the courts granted the master the right to kill a slave if he was assaulted by them (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 3). The execution of one slave provided a brutal example to the others, creating a justification that the master only used such cruelty to protect the servants and slaves from themselves, that execution was for the ‘greater good’. Cruel treatment also encouraged servants and slaves to run away, which meant that, according to the 1661 law punishing runaway servants, their masters gained a legal entitlement to fine them, add more years to their service, and generally downgrade the quality of life (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 2).

Religious ideals interfered with the authority of masters and the Virginia legal system. The establishment of servants and slaves as property eliminated their rights as people with souls and avoided the arguments of freedom through redemption by God. The law specifying that baptism does not free slaves stated that even the freedom of the soul belonged to the master “to be admitted to that [baptismal] sacrament” (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 3). With the rebellion of the spirit well in hand, Virginia law authorized the lethal pursuit of threats to masters’ authority, particularly rebels and runaways (“Virginia Servant and Slave Laws,” in Handout Set, p. 3). Presumably, a freed “negroe, mulatto, Indian slave, or servant for life” would often be captured in the absence of the original servant or slave, including the Indians who were charged with turning over runaways who wander into their lands (p. 3). Even rebellions among white landowners, such as Bacon’s rebellion in 1676, justified legal measures to grant more power to the elite upper crust of society (Roark, The American Promise, pp. 75-76).

Mercantilism placed exports on an untouchable legal pedestal which protected the flow of goods above all else. Masters cheated, beat, flogged, raped, and killed without consequence. Virginia law deprived servants and slaves of alternative means of survival, frequently forcing them into service and deprived them of a right to their children, a right to their lives, and even a right to care for their own souls. A debt of blood for blood incurred, a debt which found its historic resolution in the Civil War. The length of that later conflict illustrates the resolve of the wealthy landowners of the south. They would remain on top of the world or leave it altogether, a difficult choice for men who habitually deprived others of all choices of their own.

Works Cited

“Virginia Laws Governing Servants and Slaves.” In James Roark, et al., The American Promise. (Vol. A) (Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2009), pp. 84-85.

James Roark, et al., The American Promise (Vol. A) (Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2009).

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Research Paper Samples & Examples

What Can Be Learned From the History of the Marshall Plan About the Importance of the United States, Research Paper Example

Introduction After the ending of the Second World War in 1945 Europe was changed forever and began a transformation of re-construction of buildings, culture and [...]

Pages: 8

Words: 2098

Research Paper

What Is the Future of the Canadian Economy as the Government Ends Stimulus Spending, Research Paper Example

Q1 |  Jim Flaherty, The Federal Minister of Finance for the Canadian Government expressed the following economic ideology on the ending of stimulus spending :-  [...]

Pages: 6

Words: 1595

Research Paper

Relationships Between Nursing Concepts, Research Paper Example

Abstract In the field of nursing, the major components come together in an almost limitless number of ways. The nurse, the environment, the state of [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1091

Research Paper

PepsiCo Supply Chain, Research Paper Example

Abstract Supply chain management is an ongoing process that must constantly be evaluated and adjusted to enable corporations to improve efficiency and decrease costs.  Currently, [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1432

Research Paper

Hearing-impaired Children, Research Paper Example

When parents have a child with hearing impairment, they are presented with a variety of challenges regarding their child’s social, physical, and academic development.  Hearing [...]

Pages: 10

Words: 2815

Research Paper

Crime Pattern Analysis, Research Paper Example

Abstract Crime Pattern Analysis is discussed within the context of Criminal Justice.  A brief definition exploring the concept of Crime Pattern Analysis and the theoretical [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 782

Research Paper

What Can Be Learned From the History of the Marshall Plan About the Importance of the United States, Research Paper Example

Introduction After the ending of the Second World War in 1945 Europe was changed forever and began a transformation of re-construction of buildings, culture and [...]

Pages: 8

Words: 2098

Research Paper

What Is the Future of the Canadian Economy as the Government Ends Stimulus Spending, Research Paper Example

Q1 |  Jim Flaherty, The Federal Minister of Finance for the Canadian Government expressed the following economic ideology on the ending of stimulus spending :-  [...]

Pages: 6

Words: 1595

Research Paper

Relationships Between Nursing Concepts, Research Paper Example

Abstract In the field of nursing, the major components come together in an almost limitless number of ways. The nurse, the environment, the state of [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1091

Research Paper

PepsiCo Supply Chain, Research Paper Example

Abstract Supply chain management is an ongoing process that must constantly be evaluated and adjusted to enable corporations to improve efficiency and decrease costs.  Currently, [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1432

Research Paper

Hearing-impaired Children, Research Paper Example

When parents have a child with hearing impairment, they are presented with a variety of challenges regarding their child’s social, physical, and academic development.  Hearing [...]

Pages: 10

Words: 2815

Research Paper

Crime Pattern Analysis, Research Paper Example

Abstract Crime Pattern Analysis is discussed within the context of Criminal Justice.  A brief definition exploring the concept of Crime Pattern Analysis and the theoretical [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 782

Research Paper

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!