In the 1500 English poor laws allowed people to make children indentured servants until they became adults and were able to live alone and be free. This event ended up coming to the united states and they decided to put those kids in foster care. Even though indentured servants were looked down upon they thought it was better than putting them in almshouses where kids were abused unhygienic and didn't learn trade or any basic knowledge that they will need for when they become adults
Those that came here seeking a better life and a better economic future were often met with troubles from the start. Many couldn’t afford the trip over so were contracted to act as servants for a number of years. Once the contract is completed, they were free to do as they wished. There were also those that were brought here against their will as slaves. These were prominently Africans that were bought and sold through along trade routes. There was an estimate of about 700,000 slaves in the colonies by 1790. There were convicts that England sent over that they could no longer afford to house or willing to keep (History.com Staff,
The slave trade into the United States began in 1620 with the sale of nineteen Africans to a colony called “Virginia”. These slaves were brought to America on a Dutch ship and were sold as indentured slaves. An Indentured slave is a person who has an agreement to serve for a specific amount of time and will no longer be a servant once that time has passed, they would
During the 18th century, indentured servitude had become very common in British North America; this was one way many poor Europeans could come to America for a “better” life. In order to emigrate to the American colonies, they would sign long-term labor contracts, to pay off the debt they picked up when they wanted to come to the American colonies. The primary source, “Gottlieb Mittelberger on the Trade in Indentured Servants” is written by Mittelberger himself in 1750, who was an emigrant that arrived in British North America as an indentured servant. In this source, he explains the negatives of coming to British North America; the ups and downs he faced, for instance: the long and horrible voyage conditions, and the sale of human beings once they had landed.
In the essay "The Evolution of Slavery in Colonial America," author Jon Butler examines the growth of the slave practice in the land which would become the United States. As the European nations began exploring North America, they overtook the native populations of the areas and turned them into unpaid laborers. However, these people were not enough to supply landholders with sufficient aid. To make up the necessary numbers, plantation owners utilized indentured servants and then a number of slaves imported from Africa. Indentured servants were people who would be taken from the Old World to the New in order to start a new life. However, since they would not have the necessary funds to pay for their transportation, their journey would be funded by either a manufacturer or a plantation owner and their debt would be paid off by working for their benefactor. Slaves were not given this opportunity. These were people who were taken from their homes and families and forced into labor by threat of violence or death. This practice did not begin in the United States, but America was still allowing slavery well into the 19th century, long after other nations had come to the conclusion that slavery was inhumane and brutal.
Slavery and indentured servitude were the primary means of help for the wealthy in America. Either as a slave or as an indentured servant a person was required to work in the fields maintain crops, as a house servant or as the owner of debtor so chooses. The treatment of both was very similar, but the method and means to which they came to America were uniquely different as the following examples will illustrate.
The slave trade in the North American colonies began to grow in the 1600s. The African slave trade sourced their slaves from many different West African villages and countries. The business of slavery was a growing and profitable field, not only for the slavers, but also for the slaveholders. With the decrease of indentured servants, settlers in the English colonies looked for a new source of labor to satisfy their growing labor demands. The next source was Africa. “By the 1690s slaves outnumbered indentured servants four to one” (45). Europeans largely disregarded the ethical dilemma posed by slavery due to the European view of Africans and their culture as uncivilized, foreign, and heathen (44). The largest forced migration in history (44)
In the middle colonies, a large part of the labor force consisted of indentured servants--men and women, but more often men, who would travel to the colonies to work under a contract for approximately four to seven years. However, according to “Indentured Servants in The U.S.”, “an indentured servant’s contract could be extended as punishment for breaking a law” such as running away or becoming pregnant, in a woman’s case. Throughout the time that they worked, the indentured servants were under the complete rule of their masters, but they were provided transportation/passage, food, clothing, and shelter. Indentured servants were a useful source of labor, but the problem was that it was only temporary, and after their contract ended, they had the option of continuing to work
Indentured servants were used in early colonial times as a means of passage to the new world. The cash crops of the early settlers were exhaustingly labor intensive. In fact, U.S. History (2015) indicated that “the growth of tobacco, rice, and indigo and the plantation economy created a tremendous need for labor in Southern English America” (p. 1). The technology did not exist at the time for machinery that clears the ground and works the land as it does today. The work had to be done by hand; from clearing and prepping the fields to harvesting the crops, it was all manual labor for which the new land did not have ample supply of.
In the 17th and 18th century many were lured, some were forced, children even kidnapped to travel to America as indentured servants. These people became “commodities of profit” to everyone they were controlled by, much like the slaves. The immigrants agreed to pay the cost of their voyage to the New World by working as a servant for a master for five to seven years, they then would be free (but most likely still poor) to build a life of their own in America –that is, if they survived the whole process. Indentured servants were severely mistreated, but they did have some rights during their service- even if those rights were fist decided on by their masters (who they could marry, etc.). They were much like slaves, but they could go to court (even though the court almost always decided in favor of the
Servants were forbidden to marry or to have children during their indenture and were unable to trade or sell to freemen. Indentured servants could not travel without written permission from their masters. A person who committed a crime in England could be sentenced to a term of servitude in America. A person also could become an indentured servant through redemption. Redemptions’ often included families from Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland.
“Indentured servitude declined over the century, and most of these domestic servants were now either free women or slave women” (Coryell, pg. 104). Those who worked in a servitude role were indentured servants, who had the ability to work a number of service years in order to earn their freedom and they would be given a small plot of land, afterwards, to continue to thrive. Eventually, in order to compensate for the growing American need of lower overall costs to purchase labor workers, longer time in servitude, and to decrease the need to give land lots, the term of indentured servant changed to slave, which limited potential freedoms and humanity. This demand for labor changed the owner and slave relationship. “Owners began providing minimal clothing and food. Owners viewed all of slaves’ labor as their own” (Coryell, pg. 105). By forcing a dependent relationship, owners were able to maintain their
This allowed the freed servants to be self sufficient, and in some cases, these servants would even hire their own indentured servants. However, when these dues were not sufficient and did not include land, some servants had no choice other than continue in servitude. As such, the “freedom dues” would directly affect the colonial economy, determining whether or not there would be additional land owners. The indentured servants would also prove to help the already existing landowners to gain more land. The head right system, implemented in southern colonies such as Virginia and Maryland, gave a landowner or planter 50 acres of land for each servant he paid for to come with him to live in that colony. Here, the indentured servants helped the economy by allowing landowners to expand their territory, and produce more goods/crops. While at work, the servants also had a major and direct effect on the economy. From the early 1600s to the early 1700s, indentured servants comprised the majority of labor on the plantations and farms of the colonies. Without the use of indentured servants, the colonial economy would have crashed, as there would have been no labor to work on the vast plantations. Until African slaves became a more cost-efficient option for colonial landowners, the use of indentured servants was a very much viable alternative.
American history, as we know it, all began when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered the New World. Soon later, the Europeans began to populate the New World as well. They created the first settlement in the Americas, known as Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was responsible for creating the idea of indentured servants. People were even brought to this colony all the way from Africa to fulfill this idea . The whole indentured servant idea did not last too long, because the idea of seasoning came about. Seasoning was the Europeans’ way of having slaves work lightly for one to two hours a day. The idea of seasoning became very useful when the plantation of tobacco and rice came to farms. These new farms created the need for slaves.