SAT Subject US History Practice Question 1016: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 1016

3. The headright system

A. was an example of the Barbados Slave Codes.
B. referred to the number of people aboard a ship traveling from England to the New World.
C. was a form of slavery.
D. helped to populate the colonies of Virginia and Maryland.
E. increased the number of slaves imported to the New World.

Correct Answer: D


The headright system was employed by Virginia and Maryland to encourage settlement in those areas. According to this system, a person would receive 50 acres of land for every person whose passage to the New World he or she paid. This led to large landholdings in these areas. This system was not designed to keep a count of the number of immigrants. Although some considered indentured servitude a form of white slavery, the headright system was based on a contract between patron and indentured servant. The Barbados Slave Codes were passed in 1661 by the British government and later adopted by South Carolina for the purpose of controlling African slaves.

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