Slavery and the Making of America was a PBS series and documentary on African American slaves and their contributions to the United States. Famous African Americans such as Colonel Tye and historical figures such as President George Washington and John Murray were all documented in the series. The series covered African American Loyalists and Black Patriots.
Slavery in the United States had its origins with the first English colonization of North America in Virginia in 1607 and lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865.
Before the widespread establishment of chattel slavery, much labor was organized under a system of bonded labor known as indentured servitude. This typically lasted for several years for white and black alike, and it was a means of using labor to pay the costs of transporting people to the colonies. By the 18th century, court rulings established the racial basis of the American incarnation of slavery to apply chiefly to Black Africans and people of African descent, and occasionally to Native Americans. A 1705 Virginia law stated slavery would apply to those peoples from nations that were not Christian. In part because of the success of tobacco as a cash crop in the Southern colonies, its labor-intensive character caused planters to import more slaves for labor by the end of the 17th century than did the northern colonies. The South had a significantly higher number and proportion of slaves in the population. Religious differences contributed to this geographic disparity as well