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Or perhaps they feared such a law would be disallowed.

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All children born of any black or other slave were to be "Slaves as their Fathers." 3.

To discourage "dives freeborne English women" who, "forgettfull of their free Condicion and to the disgrace of our Nation", married slaves, thus inconveniencing courts and masters with legal debates over the status of the offspring, any free woman so marrying after the act's passage was to serve her husband's master during her husband's lifetime. To further discourage such marriages, the children of matches contracted after the act's passage were to be "Slaves as their fathers were." The children of such marriages contracted before the act's passage were to serve their parents' masters until they reached the age of thirty-one. The first provision recognized only two clear and fundamental criteria for enslavement; a black skin and residency in Maryland.

The African-American were a more visible element in society than they had formerly been.

Furthermore, by the 1660's, Maryland was firmly committed to a tobacco staple economy that demanded an abundance of cheap labor.

While the earlier law only implied that Christianity could not enfranchise a black, the 1671 law was less equivocal.

Observing that many planters were reluctant to see to the religious instruction of their slaves for fear of losing them upon their baptism and lamenting the reluctance of many to import new slaves for the same reason, the Assembly declared that baptism could in no way effect a black slave's status. In 1678, the Lords of Trade, apparently disturbed at the Assembly's departure from English law in allowing enslavement of Christians, called upon Charles Calvert, Lord Baltimore, to account for the law.

But, the 1671 law reflected an ambivalent attitude toward the African-Americans. Conveniently ignoring the law's title, "An Act for the Encouraging the Importacion of Negroes and Slaves into this Province," Baltimore claimed its sole purpose was to "encourage the Baptizing" of slaves.

While its main purpose was to perpetuate black slavery, which implied the chattel status of the enslaved, the language of the law suggested the paradoxical assumption that blacks were people who possessed souls meriting salvation: Whereass Severall of the good people of this Province . He made an awkward attempt to cite English legal precedent to further bolster his argument by comparing this law to an old English law allowing the baptism of villians without their "Manumission or Infranchising." He added that the act had a positive effect because many masters allowed their slaves to be baptized after its passage.

After the first serious tobacco depression, the result of the Navigation Act of 1660, economic conditions in the colony favored those investors with considerable capital who could command large labor forces.

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