Disadvantages Of Indentured Servants

781 Words4 Pages
Contrary to popular belief, most Europeans who migrated to America were not free settlers or elite landowners. The majority were indentured servants. Indentured servitude is a system of unfree labor bound to contract of obligations through an employer. Men and women servants would work skilled trades to agricultural labor for the debt they owed from the travel cost to America. Their unpaid work spawned several years, but they were provided housing food, and clothing. The idea stemmed from the need to work the vast amounts of land in the Americas, yet having no one to tend to it. Indentured servitude was a way for poor migrants to have a chance at owning property and upholding a life as a citizen. Compared to the enslavement of Africans that occurred simultaneously, slaves were not bound to a contract but bound to their enslavement for the duration of their life. There was no way out of slavery with the exception of a slave gaining the privilege to purchase themselves, successfully escape, or meeting the end of the Civil War. Similarly, indentured servants could be traded, physically punished, and were required permission by their employer to participate in unions such as marriage and further permission to, for instance, become pregnant. They too faced punishment if they attempted to flee which often meant adding years to their contract. Unplanned pregnancies were also a cause for added years unto a contract. A number of servants willingly came to America due to poverty in
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