Thus, during those two decades, the ratio of blacks to whites had narrowed from one in thirty to one in ten.The African-American were a more visible element in society than they had formerly been.Herbert Moller observed that such laws reflected not only repugnance toward sexual liaison between the two races, but a sexual double standard as well by excluding white males and black females.In view of the scarcity of black women in Maryland at this time, the exclusion of liasons between white males and black females may be accounted for on that basis.Furthermore, by the 1660's, Maryland was firmly committed to a tobacco staple economy that demanded an abundance of cheap labor.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.The earliest slave sex ratio figures are those computed by Kenneth Davies from delivery records of the Royal African Company between the years 1673-1711.
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In 1640, the black population had been a mere twenty individuals in a non-Indian population of about 600.
In 1660, the number of blacks had risen to 760 out of 8,500.
There were several reasons why the first slave law should have come at that particular time.
Perhaps the most important factor was the rapidly rising number of Africans in the colony.