Compare the lives of slaves in the Chesapeake to the lives of slaves in South Carolina.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although life in slavery was not good anywhere, the lives of slaves in the Chesapeake are generally said to have been better than the lives of slaves in South Carolina.  This is largely because the working conditions were better in the Chesapeake.

In the Chesapeake, the main crop was tobacco.  By contrast, the slaves in South Carolina worked on indigo and rice plantations.  These crops were much harder to work than tobacco and the climate in South Carolina was much harsher.  Because of that, slaves in South Carolina typically had much shorter lives.

In addition, the Chesapeake was much more densely populated.  This meant that there were more people (and more slaves) around.  Because of this, slaves in that area had much more of a chance to form communities than did slaves in South Carolina.

Slaves in the Chesapeake had easier working conditions and more of an ability to create a community with other slaves.  This made their lives better than the lives of those in South Carolina.  This can be seen in the fact that slave populations in the Chesapeake grew by natural increase (more births than deaths) from early on while those in South Carolina did not.