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Disease and DiscriminationPoverty and Pestilence in Colonial Atlantic America$
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Dale L. Hutchinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062693

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062693.001.0001

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Landscapes and Liabilities

Landscapes and Liabilities

Chapter:
(p.101) 7 Landscapes and Liabilities
Source:
Disease and Discrimination
Author(s):

Dale L. Hutchinson

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062693.003.0007

This chapter discusses the environmental changes brought about by land transformation in the Chesapeake and Carolina regions, especially rice agriculture, and the effects of that development for creating habitats for parasites and insect vectors. England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was foundering economically, especially for the poorer classes. The population had swelled from three million in 1500 to five million by 1650. Aristocrats replaced common lands used by peasants with fenced lands, through a process known as “enclosure.” As a consequence, peasants were displaced from lands where they formerly lived, pastured livestock, gathered fuel, and raised crops; between 1530 and 1630 about half the peasantry lost their lands. They were known as “sturdy beggars,” to differentiate them from those poor due to ailment or injury, and they roved the countryside in great numbers, looking for work or charity. Most eventually gravitated to the larger cities and seaports, especially London and Bristol. Amidst rising crime, vagrancy, and poverty, the colonial enterprise in the New World offered hope for both the poor and those of the middling class in England

Keywords:   Chesapeake, Carolina, Rice

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