Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.4a - Agriculture and Slavery

The student will demonstrate knowledge of life in the Virginia colony by

a) explaining the importance of agriculture and its influence on the institution of slavery.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


For most of human history, agriculture was the most important means of making a living.

Before modern technology most agricultural crops required a great deal of human labor.

Some crops are grown mainly for sale.


The success of tobacco as a cash crop transformed life in the Virginia colony and encouraged slavery.

What effect did agriculture have on the Virginia colony?

How did agriculture in the Virginia colony influence the institution of slavery?


Determine cause-and-effect relationships. (VS.1b)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Make connections between past and present. (VS.1e)

Sequence events in Virginia history. (VS.1f)

Terms to know

  • cash crop: A crop that is grown to sell for money rather than for use by the growers

The economy of the Virginia colony depended on agriculture as the primary source of wealth.

Tobacco became the most profitable agricultural product.

  • Tobacco was sold in England as a cash crop.

The successful cultivation of tobacco depended on a steady and inexpensive source of labor.

  • African men, women, and children were brought to the Virginia colony and enslaved to work on the plantations.
  • The Virginia colony became dependent on slave labor, and this dependence lasted a long time.


Updated: Mar 09, 2018