The main problem which arose during the first half of the seventeenth century was the scarcity of laborers combined with the high demand for workforce. Later, when it was solved in part by maximizing the Atlantic slave trade, a whole range of issues emerged. They can be grouped into two broad categories. The social issues included the segregation of society and the legal discrepancies. The economic problems were mostly consistent with social inequality and took the form of the widening gap created by the unfair conditions and worsened by the financial dependence of slaves.
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The initial workforce deficit was caused by the bound labor system in use in the early 1600s. The indentured servants were the primary laborers. The indentured servitude was determined by contract (usually seven years) and ended in freeing the slaves after its termination. The slaves (mostly white immigrants) could then become owners, which in the long run decreased the immigration rates and resulted in a scarcity of the workforce.
Tobacco, which was a dominant culture and significant labor investment also contributed to the matter. Thus, by the late seventeenth century the indentured servants were scarce, and the demand for cheap labor was very high, and the farmers, who by that time were wealthy individuals, started investing in the Atlantic slave trade (Gallay 107). With the influx of African slaves, the issue of the new kind emerged, mainly regarding the rights of the new segment of the population.
The economy of the country essentially became reliant on an external factor. This problem was dealt with primarily by legalizing slavery and introducing rules and regulations which stripped the Africans of rights, including the right to be free (Gallay 118). Besides its visible inhumane nature, such a solution created a multitude of long-term effects, some of which are observable in the country to this day.
Gallay, Alan. Colonial and Revolutionary America: Text and Documents, New York: Pearson, 2011. Print.