Sample Essay

Words 1,320

An argument for the colonization of Ireland was that since the Irish were mainly pastoralists, the productive capacity of the land for agricultural produce was being wasted. This argument was applied to the lands of the Native Americans as well, even though it was known that the Native Americans farmed corn on a large scale. This shows that the ‘savage’ as a (non-English, non-Christian) non-agriculturalist race was a rigid social construct with little basis in actual observations of the Native Americans (Takaki).

According to Takaki, the institution of slavery was built upon the tensions of an underlying class struggle. The plantation owners feared rebellion from their White indentured servants and started replacing them with Black in indentured servitude (Takaki). These were then replaced with Black slaves who were easier to exploit. Legislation was passed that allowed Whites to oppress the Blacks, gradually Blacks were deprived of all rights allowing White slave owners and White indentured servants to bond together over shared superior status to Blacks (Takaki).

The Nathaniel Bacon rebellion, although was based on the extremely racist view that the colonial authorities were over indulgent and overprotective towards Native American who should be driven off their lands or exterminated, nevertheless brought together Blacks and lower class Whites (Takaki). It was for this reason that it was seen as extremely dangerous by the colonial authorities who knew that the stability of the existing order depended upon the unity of lower and upper class whites in the oppression of Blacks.

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