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Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating


Early American legalities, however, differed markedly for women of color—whether free, indentured, or enslaved, and whether Native or African in origin or descent—whose relationships to the legal regimes of early America were manifold and complex.

Terri L. Snyder

In their status under the law, experiences at the bar, and, as a result, positions in household polities, women of color reckoned with a set of legalities that differed from those of their European counterparts.

Indigenous people had what one historian has labeled jurispractices, while Europeans brought and created a jurisprudence of race and status that shaped treatments of women of color across imperial spaces. The most important legal distinction for women and men in early North America was their status along the range of freedom and unfreedom. Scholars of prerevolutionary North America argue against neat conceptualizations of slavery and freedom in starkly oppositional terms; instead, they recognize that a range of multiple dependencies existed across the regions of early North America.

In the earliest years of settlement, before the midth century, Africans, Europeans, and Indigenous Americans understood human bondage as part of a continuum that might range from temporary to permanent. In order to understand the position of women under the law, it is useful first to discuss the variety of unfree statuses that coexisted across early America. The three principal groups that populated early modern North America—Africans, Native Americans, and Europeans—all practiced Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating of slavery and captivity.

Slavery in Illinois existed for...

In the earliest years of the settlement of British America, slavery was initially a fluid category, one not necessarily permanent, inheritable, or fixed. Rather, for both men and women, slave status encompassed the possibility of change through baptism and legal challenge; the same was true of New Netherland.

Outside of these jurisdictions, in French, Spanish, and Native settlements, African- or Native-descended women in particular could alter their status through marriage, Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating, or work.

Although the English settlements, as opposed to the French and Spanish, had few legal models for slavery aside from apprenticeship law, for the most part Europeans considered enslavement to be an acceptable legal status for cultural outsiders.

The territorial government enacted a...

Similarly, for some Indians and Africans as well, enslavable groups were war captives and others understood to be cultural outcasts; slaving defined who was included or excluded.

Initially, Europeans did not restrict slavery to Africans and their descendants in America. In North America, Europeans traded Indian slaves—some two to four million from the late 15th to the early 19th centuries, many of whom were initially enslaved by other Native Americans.

In contrast, a range of unfree statuses existed in Native communities across early North America. Although Native America was remarkably diverse in the centuries before European settlement, Indigenous communities had developed distinctly complex practices of captivity, treating prisoners as spoils of war, as slaves, or as hostages or pawns in intercommunity diplomatic interactions, and these norms crossed ethnic lines in the north.

If these practices appear to have lacked what Europeans recognized as jurisprudence—a written body of laws, a corpus of legal theories, and a judiciary system—Native Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating engaged in what Katherine Hermes calls jurispractice; that is, they adhered to customs of Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating legally, for instance using standard mechanisms and adhering to rules for resolving disputes, remedying wrongs, and punishing crimes.

Within Native communities, slavery was governed by these legal structures and existed across a continuum that might range from temporary unfreedom to permanent bondage. A range of behaviors blurred the differences between enslaved and free, from Creek settlements in southern Georgia and Florida north to New France and across the continent to the Texas and New Mexico borderlands.

In the southwest borderlands, Native communities before and after Spanish contact practiced a unique form of slavery in which women and children were captives and hostages.

Because slavery was tied to kinship rather than labor, however, the captured women "Black codes in illinois racial encounters dating" became cultural mediators despite their marginalization.

Among Southern Indians, slavery was a status on the continuum of captivity. Cultural and political outsiders—prisoners of war, individuals traded as property, and even those who voluntarily came to Indian communities—were slaves who brought human capital and social standing to her or his master. Particularly in the southeast and the continental interior, where the balance of power remained on the side of Natives as opposed to Europeans, the former often defined captivity and slavery on their own terms.

Captives were not necessarily either prisoners, property, or intended strictly for labor. Gender mattered within these varying statuses and definitions because women typically predominated as captives and assumed distinct roles that might range from pawns to agents.

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