Imperialism and the Emerging White State in the Early Colony of Virginia
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What accounts for the reality of U.S. imperialism and race today? How, and to what extent, is today’s system of racial domination and U.S. imperialism prefigured by the early English colonization of Virginia during the time period 1607-1669? I examine primary documents such as narratives and laws from the colony Virginia. Through this case study of the colony of Virginia, I utilize anti-colonial, internal colonialism theory, and a Black Marxist approach to show its effectiveness explaining that capitalism and systemic racism are two sides of the same coin. Through the dialectical method, I show the elite colonists’ efforts at uniting all colonists as “white” against the indigenous people and the African servants and slaves in an early emergence of a “white state.” The white people’s state is a unification of the white ruling class and white laborers against colonized people. Through this case study of the colony of Virginia, I show some key characteristics of Euro-American imperialism such as the white elite imperialists’ attempt to attain wealth through stealing land and natural resources of peoples throughout the world. These white imperialists use violence and terrorism in order to steal the land and extract natural resources from peoples around the world. I also utilize the Marxist-Leninist theory of the imperialist state and apply it to my analysis of the Virginia General Assembly. The function of the state is to protect private property and to protect the interests of the elite exploiting class. For instance, this alien state power legalizes the usurpation of land of the indigenous people. It also legalizes the enslavement of Africans and indigenous people and the exploitation of European indentured servants. The largest planters sat on the Virginia General Assembly and wrote laws in their own selfish interests of profitmaking. Through primary sources, I show the early emergence of the white racial frame in the narratives of the elite colonists of Virginia and how it rationalizes stealing the land, natural resources, and labor of colonized people of color.
Becker, Stuart David (2014). Imperialism and the Emerging White State in the Early Colony of Virginia. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from