Archive for November, 2005

Why Did Virginia’s Rulers Invent a Color Line?

November 1st, 2005

Why was the endogamous color line invented in the Chesapeake and nowhere else? Why was it invented at the turn of the eighteenth century and not before nor after? This essay presents several theories. It Was a “Divide and Conquer” Tactic suggests that it was a deliberately calculated solution to a unique problem of: too few yeomen, too many European laborers, and too little time. Other Voices presents a collection of alternative theories including: fair-skinned people have an instinctive loathing for those with dark skin tone, people of certain religions or cultures were taught to reject Africans, and it was related to the numbers of European women.