Partus sequitur ventrem, then, was an important first principle in
this nascent slave-owning society based upon race. Like all efficient legal
rules, it achieved its aimhere, the maximum protection of property rightswith
little or no intervention by the state or other third parties. The private
conduct of men would have no serious impact on the emerging slave society as a
whole. White men could engage in sex with black women without creating a class
of freeborn mixed-race people to complicate matters. Men, who can produce many
more children than women, and who throughout history have been less subject to
social stricture for their sexuality, constituted the greater potential threat
for bringing this class into being. Following the dictates of their English
heritage would have required some white men to tell other white men what women
they could and could not have sex with, knowing full well the day might come
when others would have the opportunity to return the favor. Under the rules of
the game the burgesses constructed, there was no need to interfere with other
men's conduct, even as the efforts to control white women's sexual activity grew
ever more strenuous. Whatever the social tensions and confusion created by the
presence of people who were neither black nor white, Virginia's law on
inheriting status through the mother effectively ended threats to slave masters'
property rights when interracial sex produced children who confounded the
supposedly fixed categories of race.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...