Review of Black Majority

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Peter Wood's Black Majority is a clear and distinctive history of the English South Carolina Colony. He unravels their history through an examination of the black population in the colony from 1670 through the aftermath of the Stono Rebellion. Following the course of Wood's examination we are able to obtain a social, political and economic understanding of life in South Carolina during this time.

Only after reading Black Majority can one come to understand the astronomical impact that the African indentured servants and slaves had on the success of the colony. But in the same regard one will also realize the negative impact the lopsided African population had on the Carolina colony.

After the dust had settled from the English civil war, John Colleton returned to England to capitalize on the restart of the monarchy under Charles II, who was in debt to Colleton for his devotion to the crown during the war.

To repay this debt Charles II granted Colleton, and seven others in the same position, the status of "Proprietors" for the Carolina region. Colleton and the others set out to colonize the region for economic prosperity.

Within the first decade of the Carolina colony, the colony tried its hand in many crops but none had proven to be a staple crop that the Proprietors sought to discover. However, the Carolina landscape lent itself to open grazing and fed the increasingly large demand for meat in the Caribbean colonies, allowing Carolina a foothold in the trade market. The growing black labor force provided an expertise in tending and developing large herds in the open areas, with which the Europeans were not as experienced. Profits from livestock gave the Carolinas the ability to pursue other investments, such as highly labor to be used for other industries.

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