Migrants, Servants and Slaves: Unfree Labor in Colonial British America, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Migrants, Servants and Slaves

Unfree Labor in Colonial British America, 1st Edition

By Russell R. Menard


318 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788386
pub: 2001-03-06

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Written by one of the leading economic historians of British America, the essays in Migrants, servants, and slaves (several of which have achieved the status of minor classics) address a series of topics of central importance to the field. The central theme is that of the transition from a labor force dominated by English indentured servants, to one composed largely of African slaves. In the enquiry the author examines the changing composition of the servant population in the British North American colonies, the determinants of the pace and volume of servant migration, and the opportunities available to servants who completed their terms. On the subject of slavery, he looks at how the initial investments were financed, and the ability of the slave population to reproduce itself.


'Thanks to his intense archival research over the past three decades, displayed in this collection to great effect, Menard has done more to enable early American historians to talk thoughtfully and rigorously about labour in British America than almost any other historian….. demonstrates … a consistently high standard of scholarship…' Slavery and Abolition 'Ashgate has done a major service by reprinting Menard's important essays in a single volume.' History

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Transitions to African slavery in British America, 1630-1730: Barbados, Virginia, and South Carolina; From servant to freeholder: status mobility and property accumulation in 17th-century Maryland; From servants to slaves: the transformation of the Chesapeake labor system; The Maryland slave population, 1658-1730: a demographic profile of blacks in four counties; Immigrants and their increase: the process of population growth in early colonial Maryland; Financing the Lowcountry export boom: capital and growth in early South Carolina; The Africanization of the Lowcountry labor force, 1670-1730; Slave demography in the Lowcountry, 1670-1740: from frontier society to plantation regime; British migration to the Chesapeake colonies in the 17th century; Migration, ethnicity, and the rise of an Atlantic economy: the re-peopling of British America, 1600-1790; Slavery, economic growth, and Revolutionary ideology in the South Carolina Lowcountry; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at Michael.Greenwood@informa.com

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General