American Slavery, American Freedom by Edmund S. Morgan Review

2504 words 11 pages
American Slavery, American Freedom
Book Review

Edmund S. Morgan's book, American Slavery, American Freedom, is a book focused on the Virginian colonists and how their hatred for Indians, their lust for money, power, and freedom led to slavery. The Virginian society had formed into, as Morgan put it, a republican society towards the end of the 18th century. This society believed in a certain view of freedom and liberty that would define America, through the realization of how this republican freedom depended on its opposite, slavery. How had the Virginia, a society that originally never incorporated slaves into their workforce, become so dependent on them to the point that they feared them? This question and the republican belief of
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At the end of a servant’s time with a master, the master was required to “furnish a servant at the end of his term with freedom dues of three barrels of corn and a suit of clothes. But as time drew near, it was tempting to both parties to strike a bargain in which the servant gave up his freedom dues in return for an early release” (223). This was in the masters' favor because when the servant became a freedman with nothing, they quickly returned to their master or a new master, because they would not be able to find a food or a home. These servants were quickly losing all human rights to the greedy upperclassmen of Virginia, and slowly their states were transforming to a point of being enslaved to the higher class.
It was in 1675 that it had become apparent, that there was to be a civil war in Virginia. As Indian attacks became more ferocious it was obvious that the people of Virginia needed to take action. Governor Berkeley and his wealthy kinsman, Nathaniel Bacon had differing views on how to handle the Indians. Nathaniel Bacon had turned the angered people against the Indians, and they were ready to take their hatred out on them; Berkeley however would not let this happen, as Bacon wanted to kill all