Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865

Language: English

Pages: 636

ISBN: 0521137772

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Freedom Bound is about the origins of modern America - a history of colonizing, work, and civic identity from the beginnings of English presence on the mainland until the Civil War. It is a history of migrants and migrations, of colonizers and colonized, of households and servitude and slavery, and of the freedom all craved and some found. Above all it is a history of the law that framed the entire process. Freedom Bound tells how colonies were planted in occupied territories, how they were populated with migrants - free and unfree - to do the work of colonizing, and how the newcomers secured possession. It tells of the new civic lives that seemed possible in new commonwealths, and of the constraints that kept many from enjoying them. It follows the story long past the end of the eighteenth century until the American Civil War, when - just for a moment - it seemed that freedom might finally be unbound.





















47 percent in 1740. Black incidence in total population then slowly declined over the second half of the century to 41 percent in 1780. Unlike the Chesapeake, natural increase did not contribute significantly to black population growth until after the 1740s. Throughout the first half of the century, slave importation accounted for virtually all growth in South Carolina’s black population 18 . The Mid-Atlantic Of all the regions of mainland settlement, the mid-Atlantic colonies – Pennsylvania, the

century.37 Of the 417,500–458,500 “voluntary” migrants, the analysis presented here indicates some 48–50 percent were committed to an initial period of servitude by indenture or similar arrangement. This status was more common during the seventeenth century, when it applied to some 60–65 percent of voluntary migrants, than the eighteenth, when it applied on average to 40–42 percent.38 The Chesapeake. In the Chesapeake case, the sole contemporary measure of servant incidence in settler population

1607–1776 (Chapel Hill, for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1947), 12, 148–9. Planting: “Directed and conducted thither” 81 of mercantile investment backed by legal enforcement . By specifying a saleable quantum of service (a multiyear period) over and above the capacity to perform labor, the indenture commodified the migrant laborer as an article of commerce. Migrant servants were exported to the colonies in the course of transoceanic trade. This status – article of

shall shortly see, with only one rare and highly particular exception, Roman law no more hypothesized the possibility of land existing outside a state of sovereignty than English common law. Claims that Roman law exhibits a “doctrine” of terra nullius distract attention from the far more potent resources represented in the law of war. Keeping (i): Discourses of Intrusion 115 all, had found no basis for Spanish “sway” over the Indians in claims of either temporal or papal imperium or of papal

reasonable quietnes to continue, there is no barre (as I iudge but that in stoute assemblies, the Christians may issue out, and by strong hande pursue theyr enemies, subdue them, take possession of theyr Townes, Citties, or Villages, (and in auoyding murtherous tyranny) to vse the Lawe of Armes, as in like case among all nations at thys day is vsed: and most especially to the ende they may with securitye holde theyr lawfull possession … And in so doing, doubtles the Christians shall no whitt at

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