Chapter 3, “The Hidden Origins of Slavery”, in the book “A Different Mirror” written by Ronal Takaki m?inly focused on the economic, soci?l ?nd raci?l problems th?t h?ppened during the beginning of a colonial est?blishment in Virgini?. The ?uthor st?rted the ch?pter by describing that ?merica st?rted out with a big number of people c?me over ?s indentured serv?nt. Those indenture serv?nts c?me to work for a rich m?sters for a certain ?mount of ye?rs to p?y off their tr?vel expenses and get a l?nd ?fterwards. Most indentured serv?nts were the outsiders of society ?nd were going to ?merica to get a new st?rt. Though, once they got over to ?merica, they found out th?t they were still being discrimin?ted ?g?inst by the rich white people wh?t ?lready were in ?merica. Their ide?s of l?nd ?nd wealth were not becoming a re?lity, which le?d to them t?king ?rms. During this time, ?fric?ns were being shipped over like indentured serv?nts, but were not given the s?me rights ?s white ones. ?fter time, laws were m?de th?t made bl?cks sl?ves. B?sic?lly, the elite fe?rfully c?lled them a “giddy multitude”- ? “discontented social class built from indentured servants, slaves, and landless freemen, both white and black.” (Takaki 58) Takaki also says that the hidden origin of slavery is the change from white to black workers that worked just due to timing. In this chapter Takaki examines in depth race, ethnicity, historical events, and famous people to explain and make reader to understand the hidden origins of slavery.
Takaki examines race to understand the hidden origin of slavery. Since the blacks and the whites were coming from different places, to the Virginias and serving as slaves and indentured servants together, they had nothing against each other. Occasionally, perhaps often, whites and blacks ran away together. (Takaki 54) Though, finally Virginia legislators spoke up and started to make good relationships between the blacks and the white come to an end. Blacks were horribly punished if they ran away together, or if they had any kind of relationships with each other. Once they started to separate the blacks and the whites, they started treating them differently as well. The whites were not punished as harshly as the blacks were for violating the rules. Also, the whites did not have to serve for life like the blacks did. Another fact that was happening was that the Africans were being considered as a property, a part of the owner’s “estate.” (Takaki 56) In order to keep the blacks socially low, masters accepted many laws restricted blacks from voting, or having the freedom of assembly or movement. These laws made the cultural gap between the blacks and the whites much larger. Black slaves became more popular when white workers were becoming freeman with the rights. The legislators separated races, and this made whites and blacks think of each other differently. This shows that the hidden origin of slavery is the transition from white to black workers.
Secondly, Takaki talks about ethnicity. Takaki starts this chapter with the stating that some of the first slaves where Indians. He mentions about Irish people as well. That some servants were victims of the Irish “slave trade.” English people were kidnapping young women and men to supply the labor needs of the colonies. John King, one of victim, recalled how he and others were “stolen in Ireland” by English soldiers. Taken from their beds at night “against their will”, they were put on a ship. (Takaki 53) Usually, they were of “the low class of society, brutish, vagabonds, whores and cheats.” (Takaki 53) So, there were not only British white servants or black ones, but a little bit of Indian people and Irish as well.
Thirdly, Takaki mentions historical events to get a better idea about hidden origin of slavery. Different rebellions were arising among people who wanted to be either free or die for it. In early 1660s, for example, indentured servant Isaac Friend led a conspiracy to band together forty servants and “get Arms.” He issued rebellion cry: “Who would be for Liberty, and free from bondage” join the revolt. However, this revolt did not happen because authorities were informed about Friend’s plan and suppressed the plot. (Takaki 58) Takaki mentions about Bacon’s Rebellion, led by Nathaniel Bacon, which is the first rebellion in the American Colonies in which black and white indentured servants took part. By force and deceit, the rebels of the “giddy multitude” had been crashed. After Bacon’s Rebellion, the planters turned to Africa as their primary source of labor and to slavery as their main system of labor (Takaki 60), so they could reduce their dependency on an armed white labor force and explode workers from Africa, who would be not given the right to bear arms because of their race. From these events the reader can see where the slavery got started.
Lastly, though the chapter and especially to the end of the chapter, Takaki talks about famous people, which played a role in history, and mentioning about them could help the reader to understand the hidden origins of slavery. Nathaniel Bacon played an important role. After his Rebellion a lot of laws for workers were changed, therefore black became slaves and the main source of labor with no rights. Thomas Jefferson played an important role as well. He felt guilty about the slave situation and said that he would abolish slavery once his debts were paid off. (Takaki 62) Also, he said that once slavery was abolished all of the black slaves would have to be removed from America because he believed that blacks and whites could never live alongside one another in America because of “the real distinctions” which “nature” had made between the two races (Takaki 64). Moreover, there were two differences he saw between white and black people. The first is color of skin and the second was the level of intelligence. Jefferson did not believe that blacks could have an equal level of intelligence as white citizens. Jefferson thought that education would not improve the nature of blacks. He was unable to free himself from his belief in black intellectual inferiority. This Jefferson’s mindset was racist, and produced deceptive opinion about Africans among some people at the time.
Overall, Takaki expl?ins the hidden origins of sl?very by examining race, ethnicity, historical events and famous people throughout the chapter. Takaki’s ch?pter has ?n interesting inform?tion with the quotes and historic?l documents from both histori?ns and people of the time, which re?lly helps to underst?nd better ?bout the origin of sl?very. Takaki’s main point ?ppeared to be th?t sl?very was designed to keep control of the ?fricans. Takaki quotes ? histori?n that says, “the status of Negroes was that of indentured servants and, so they were identified and treated.” (Takaki 56) Basically, that means that Africans were not brought to America to just be slaves that in time blacks were on the same social level as white servants. That it was only when the rich white masters feared revolt that the differences in race was made. These actions of hidden origin of slavery may be to blame for the racist views in our society today.