In January 1656, Elizabeth Key came to court, sue for her freedom from slavery and won her case. 10 years later, she could have never gained her freedom. There were several reasons why slavery became a cultural part of the Colonies, and the later United States, by the end of the 17th Century.
Slavery was useful to Jamestown because indentured servants could gain freedom and compete...etc.
Bacon's Rebellion 1676- Tensions erupted between indentured servants/black slaves and the wealthy upperclass in Virginia. Nathaniel Bacon, a wealthy Englishman who had been denied access to the fur trade by the landed Virginia elite used these lower classes to rebel... burned Jamestown to the ground. This motivated wealthy planners to culturally divide the white and black poor... along racial lines. Marked the beginning of racism in US.
The slave trade, including the Royal African Company, which included the brutal Middle Passage ("more than half the slaves perished in some areas while making the trip") , made African slaves readily available. This made creation of the plantation system
While slaves could and did resist (Stono Rebellion 1712), they were racially separated from poor whites and thus did not have enough power to rebel.
cotton gin- 1793. short staple cotton. could grow inland. solidified plantation slave society.
The Domestic Slave Trade: A Planter's View vs. a Slave's Experience