Complete the documents that are attached. Answer the following question from the document: Was The Emergence of Slavery in Virginia an “Unthinking Decision”? The document has to be in essay format, over 1500 words, 12pt font, double spaced, with 1″ margins. AMH 2010 Essay Prompt – Slavery.docx


The Chesapeake region refers to the English colonies of Virginia and Maryland, both founded early in the seventeenth century (1607 and 1632, respectively). Virginia as the first successful English settlement of what would become the continental colonies established important precedence followed by late colonies and therefore what happened in Virginia in the early 1600s can tell us about all of the colonies. Our subject is slavery and the question is: was slavery motivated by racism, economics, or both? There are numerous books, articles, and documentaries on this subject but rather than reading what someone else has written, you can examine the evidence for yourself and come to a conclusion.

What is the evidence?

First, there is a series of laws passed in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland between 1619 and 1680, that you will cite in text by referring to an individual laws law (ex: “the 1664 law outlawed ….” ) and then use parenthetical documentation (Chesapeake Laws).

Second, there are two sets of images. The first are drawings by John White who established the failed colony at Roanoke in 1585 that were later engraved and published by Theodore de Bry, thereby disseminating or sharing the images with a larger audience. White traveled to North America but sailed to England to get more supplies and, of course when he finally returned to Roanoke the inhabitants, including his daughter and granddaughter, were gone. The second set of drawings are by John Barbot. Barbot was French (his first name is actually Jean but the English tended to anglicize names). Barbot worked for the French Royal African Company and sailed to the West Coast of Africa in 1678 and again in 1682 before publishing an illustrated account of his trip in 1682; it was later translated into English. These men provided us with an idea of how Europeans saw Native Americans (White) and Africans (Barbot). Did they view them as similar? Or different?

Third, there are descriptions of Africans and Native Americans. George Best, an Englishman who was part of Martin Frobisher’s 1576 expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, provides us with his speculations on people’s ability to live in the world’s different climactic zones. This discussion led him to conjecture (speculate) as to why Africans (who he refers to as Ethiopians) were black. While he doesn’t speak for all Englishmen, other sources indicate that his views were not unusual. Unfortunately, his writing is a very strong demonstration as to why proper spelling and good grammar are important! He takes the reader through his thought process in which he raises an idea and then rejects it. His ultimate explanation comes from the Judeo-Christian biblical story of Noah’s ark and the actions of one of Noah’s sons, Ham.

Fourth, there are numbers. There are a series of charts that present information on longevity, on the contracted years of service for an indentured servant, and the costs of an indentured servant or a slave. In addition, there is a chart that demonstrates the economic and demographic problems in seventeenth-century England.

Attached files:

AMH 2010 Chesapeake Labor documents.pdf