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Peter Woods Black Majority is a social history examining the cause and effects both explicit and implicit of the black majority that emerged in colonial South Carolina His study spans the time period from the settlement of Carolina through the Stono Rebellion which took place in 1739 He also takes into consideration and examines certain events that took place in the years immediately preceding the settlement of 1670 as well as those that immediately followed as a direct result of the Stono Rebellion and their respective relationships to the black majority that existed in the colony Wood introduces the book as possibly the first real study of this black majority and its impact on the colony in its earliest years Wood also proposes that many preceding social-historical studies of colonial South Carolina generally ignore or discredit the significance this overwhelming segment of the population played in the most developmental years of the colonies establishment Through his studies of various contemporary documents Peter Wood illustrates a South Carolina that was largely shaped by the numerical majority of the population far more than previous studies have acknowledged Furthermore he also suggests a South Carolina that was in fact shaped more by the majority of the population than by the whites who while in the minority had considerably more power within the social order of the colony Wood begins his examination of the black majority in colonial South Carolina by explaining the development of the colony itself as a business venture led by a group of men known as the Lords Proprietors The Proprietors both initially encouraged the use of slave labor and later organized a headright system which would grant land to men bringing servants black and white alike with them to the colony As a result of this headright system many of the first slaves brought into the colony were forced to migrate along with their owners primarily coming with settlers emerging out of Barbados
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