Chesapeake farmers


During the revolution of slavery in Chesapeake, the region was composed of Maryland and Virginia. The two territories were widely involved in tobacco farming but later ventured into indigo and cotton farming. In the late 17th century, the  Chesapeake region relied on tobacco farming as its primary source of income. Cultivation of tobacco was quite demanding due to the intensive labor requirements. At the initial stages of the tobacco business, farmers contracted indentured servants from England who offered their services for a duration of 5 to


At first, Chesapeake farmers hired indentured servants—men and women from England who sold their labor for a period of five to seven years in exchange for passage to the American colonies—to harvest tobacco crops. However, by the 1680s, fluctuating tobacco prices and the growing scarcity of land in the region made the Chesapeake less appealing to men and women willing to indenture themselves.


The scarcity of indentured servants meant that the price of their labor contracts increased, and Chesapeake farmers began to look for an alternative, cheaper sources of bonded labor.


As a result, many Chesapeake farmers turned toward imported African slaves to fulfill their desire for cheap labor.



In slave societies, slavery stood at the center of politics, the economy, labor experiences, and social identities. Slaveholders made up the ruling class in these areas, and the master-slave relationship shaped all aspects of society and daily life.


In slave societies, laws, politics, and economy were structured around the concept of slavery.



Tobacco required intensive labor for cultivation, and the declining availability of white indentured servants —as well as fear of uprisings from wealthy whites—made Chesapeake planters turn toward African slave labor.

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