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The issue of "doublethink" (your word) and ambiguity over slavery (in both Morgan and Taylor) is the key issue for colonial and revolutionary Virginia. As the colony depended on Natives at first for survival, they came to see slavery as a "necessary evil" that in fact produced a good, dealing the the problem of poverty. Taylor makes clear how republican ideals clashed when the Somerset case and then Dunmore pointed to a stark contrast between England and Virginia. This fear of central authority undercutting slavery described by Taylor, becomes a root of states' rights (as you point out). In his "Notes," Jefferson suggests that race was such a wedge that those freed ought to be removed from the country (hence the establishment later of the American Colonization Society and Liberia).


I think that your post is spot on. The reason for African enslavement was driven by economic pressures. As you say “mortality rates went down, however, and the colony turned to the production of tobacco, planters began to recognize the advantages of investing in African slave labor.” In addition to the decrease in mortality rates, one distinct advantage of slavery over indentured servants was that slavers were in perpetual bondage. Indentured servants would eventually earn their freedom while slaves could be owned forever. In addition, subsequent generations would supplement in the initial investment. Not only could you count on the labor of one generation of slaves but also future generations.


I agree with your analysis regarding the unfortunate and obvious hypocrisy of many of the Founding Fathers. I support the premise that, "the Founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry understood the contradictions of their actions, yet made no attempt to correct these moral wrongs because personal greed drove them more than any claimed morality." I came to a similar conclusion in my essay. Thomas Jefferson wrote about the evils of slavery throughout his life. However, he owned hundreds of slaves and only freed a hand full during his life and upon his death. This contradiction is the definition of hypocrisy. Thomas Jefferson once said that, "having slaves was like holding a wolf by the ears, you didn't like it but you couldn't let go." I guess that was Jefferson's way of rationalizing the practice of slavery. As horrific as slavery was it helped run the country and nobody in power had the courage to abolish it.