SOC 134 Lecture 3: Lecture 3

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9 Feb 2017
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Lecture 3
Foundation of Racism
The age of discovery
o On new soil, but still seeking westward
Modern rationalism
o Settlers understood their position as a result of technological
and moral superiority
Rise of capitalism
o Wealth and prosperity required a cheap labor force
Rise of the Nation
o Those eventually considered Aeia itizes ee those
who were western European
Conquest over civility
o Non-English settlers were uncivilized and must either be wiped
out or assimilate to white culture
Bacons Rebellion 1676
African, English, and Irish workers collectively rose up against wealthy
plantation owners and colonial government
o They were crushed by English soldiers
White servants then refused to go across the color line when
struggling against labor exploitation
o View of white servants changed, it was possible to assimilate
them as citizens
Military offered white servants freedom in exchange for
service
Revolution made servitude become about race, not class
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2
The Revolution
After Independence was declared
o Stated north of Virginia abolished slavery
o In the south, slavery played a more important social and
economic role
Slavery and Freedom
Many of the advocates of independence were slave owners
themselves (Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison)
Slaves sent petitions to colonial governments, asking for their natural
right to freedom
o The US constitution secured whites freedom, while legalizing
black slavery
Owners justified slavery by arguing that blacks were inferior and not
fit for freedom
o Freedom came into the world on the scarred backs of black
slaves
Freedom was a relative concept
The Slave: 3/5 of a Person
Southern and northern politicians debated how slabs should be
counted for the purposes of appointing members to congress
o Abolitionist states argued slaves should not be counted since
they cannot vote
o Policy inflated the political power of the southern states
Invention of Whiteness and Blackness
Whiteness and blackness were new creations defined by/through
slavery
Both aes ee foed out of diese goups that peiously had
little in common
The world came to be seen as made up of people of different races
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