Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

4-27-2016

Advisor

Jonathon Nash, History

Abstract

This paper is a comparative study examining how slavery impacted Virginian and Jamaican society in the period 1740-1820. In both regions, slavery provided an important source of labor to facilitate intensive agriculture. However, differing geographic, demographic, and economic forces in Virginia and Jamaica served to forge two distinctly different slave societies. To explore how slavery impacted society in the two regions, and the tools slave-owners used to maintain control, the diaries of William Byrd of Virginia and Matthew Lewis of Jamaica are used. While in Jamaica slavery created fundamental societal instability, in Virginia slavery served as a tool to promote the rule of plantation patriarchs.

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