American History Lecture Four:
Virginia and Maryland Continued
• Sold labor for 6-8 years in an indentured contract. You are given a master
and you work with them for a while. After that time you get freedom, free
entrance to America, and Room and Board.
• It was hard work, and many people died. They did the same things as
slaves, but it was voluntary. Their contracts could not be sold.
• Tobacco was the main thing sold. It was different because it destroyed the
land, so every few years you had to move to a different area to farm. It
made a lot of money, but things like the concept of towns weren’t that
common. Virginia had very little towns.
• Many plantation owners owned more land than others, creating a
hierarchy. They also lived in a very fragmented society. It was very spread
out, and very young and male dominant. No one in Virginia and Maryland
lived long. 45 was the life expectancy. This kept the workers young. Men
outnumber females 5 to 1. This creates marriage problems.
• In 1660 tobacco prices start to fall, and more and more people are
opening plantations. Virginia is heading for an explosion, which hits in
• Bacon was