this was key to the maintenance of the existing order. As long as the poor white indentured servants and the black slaves were kept divided, whether it be through laws or by offering the whites a bit higher status - some land, a gun, some corn and some money, the goal was to keep them separate to reduce their potential power, their potential to put their heads together, understand more clearly how they were being controlled and strategize on how together they could resist that control, plan a revolt, take back their dignity.
“Only one fear was greater than the fear of black rebellion in the new American colonies. That was the fear that discontented whites would join black slaves to overthrow the existing order. In the early years of slavery, especially, before racism as a way of thinking was firmly ingrained, while white indentured servants were often treated as badly as black slaves, there was a possibility of cooperation."
So, this is where the color line was drawn; as a strategy to protect the economic interests of wealthy landowners and merchants, to preserve the slave industry. In order for it to succeed, in order for them to conquer.
And then things get even more complicated. We go into Chapter 3: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition. More whites are immigrating to the New World. We have the ruling class, the white servants, Indians, black slaves, the indentured servants who’ve completed their time and are now free, the frontiersmen, and the genuine distress, genuine poverty and severe economic distress. Goodness what a complex place and time we live(d) in.