African Slavery in Colonial British North America
Directly or indirectly, the economies of all 13 British colonies in North America depended on slavery. By the 1620s, the labor-intensive cultivation of tobacco for European markets was established in Virginia, with white indentured servants performing most of the heavy labor. Before 1660 only a fraction of Virginia planters held slaves. By 1675 slavery was well established, and by 1700 slaves had almost entirely replaced indentured servants. With plentiful land and slave labor available to grow a lucrative crop, southern planters prospered, and family-based tobacco plantations became the economic and social norm.
Jefferson’s parents were loyal citizens of the British Empire and members of an elite colonial society.
Slavery made the world Thomas Jefferson knew. The colonial society into which he was born would not have existed without it and education and livelihood depended upon it.
Does this change the way you think about Thomas Jefferson?