APChapt4 - Chapter 4 As the seventeenth century wore on...

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Chapter 4 As the seventeenth century wore on, regional differences arose, most notably the continuing rigidity of Puritanism. The population of the Chesapeake colonies throughout the first half of the seventeenth century was notable for its scarcity of women. In the seventeenth century, due to a high death rate families were both few and fragile in the Chesapeake colonies. During the seventeenth century, indentured servitude solved the labor problem in many English colonies for all of the following reasons: the Indian population proved to be an unreliable work force because they died in such large numbers, African slaves cost too much money, in some areas families formed too slowly, and families procreated too slowly. The "headright" system, which made some people very wealthy, entailed giving the right to acquire fifty acres of land to the person paying the passage of a laborer to America. By 1700, the most populous colony in English America was Virginia. By 1700, the colonial South generally lacked reliable overland transportation, and an urban professional class Seventeenth-century colonial tobacco growers usually responded to depressed prices for their crop by growing more tobacco to increase their volume of production. Merchant planters reaped the greatest benefit from the land policies of the "headright" system. . English yeomen who agreed to exchange their labor temporarily in return for payment of their passage to an American colony were called indentured servants. For their labor in the colonies indentured servants received passage to America, a suit of clothes, a few barrels of corn, and at times a small parcel of land. Throughout the greater part of the seventeenth century, the Chesapeake colonies acquired most of the labor they needed from white servants. Most immigrants to the Chesapeake colonies in the seventeenth century came as indentured servants.

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