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Virginia Law Essay
Virginia Law Paper
The Virginia Laws primary document addresses various issues concerning race, such as the intermarriages between the Whites and Blacks, slavery, and the power of White masters. Before the rise of Black slavery, the landowners relied on the Irish and English indentured servants who would work on their farms to pay off debts or acquire passage into the New World. However, the life expectancy of the White servants was not high; hence, they would pass away during their years of service to their masters. It was thus relief for the White landowners when African American slavery was accepted as a valid institution in the country. With time the African slaves and the Whites servants started to intermarry and bore children. The practice gave rise to the issue of whether the kids born out of such unions should be free or bonded to their masters. It is evident in the Virginia Laws that African slaves had to relinquish all their rights to their owners, which included children and the allowance to receive corporal punishment for mistakes (William, n.d).
The analysis of the Virginia Laws affirms the notions presented in the secondary sources written by Walter Johnson and Gordon Hodson. The social construction of the concept of race introduced the practice of slavery. The Whites viewed themselves as a superior race. As such, they limited the rights and freedoms of the Africans by turning them into slaves and using their laws to control every aspect of their life from their children to religious beliefs. In Hodson’s article, the biracial challenge is addressed for the individuals who were born from parents who were either White or Black. For most biracial kids, life was slightly bearable since they had the advantage of coming from the “superior” White race. However, they had to and still have to deal with the problem of belonging to one particular side of the struggle, that is, they needed to choose if they were White or Black (Hodson, 2016). Walter Johnson, on the other hand, examines the institution of slavery and the cruelty faced by the African Americans under the hands of the White masters, which is clearly stipulated in the Virginia Laws that give the slave owners the right to punish their servants (Johnson, n.d.)....................GET A PLAGIARISM FREE COPY