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The Rapid Growth Of The American Colonies During The 19th Century

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The rapid growth in the American colonies during the 16th to 18th century shaped labor conditions due to increasing economic prospects, labor shortages, and social conflicts. Due to the increase export of tobacco and indigo, these cash crops lead to an economic growth within the New England colonies. With a higher demand for these crops calls for many servants and slaves to work the fields. Labor shortages in the colonies lead to slaves and the need for indentured servitude. Other problems lead to social uprisings such as Bacon’s Rebellion and the Chesapeake Revolution. The rapid economic growth contributed to the poor conditions of slaves and indentured servants in the American colonies which lead to a variety of social and economic…show more content…
Landowners work the servants to death so that they can take their 50-acre land. Poor working conditions, malnutrition and long work hours are what indentured servants go through to expand the growing tobacco economy. Not only did indentured servants tended the fields but there were also slaves. Slaves have made up a large percentage of workers on plantations. Slaves were “considered uncivilized and savage” and abundant; therefore, “the Portuguese and Spaniards pay so much for a Negro” (Tomas de Mercado, A Critique of the Slave Trade). Slaves were sold like commodities to Europe and the Americas. However, the late 1680s were when “black slavery became the dominant labor system on plantations” because there were not enough “white indentured servants to meet labor needs of Virginia and Maryland” (Virginia Slave Laws). Therefore, to meet demands, the Chesapeake region turned to African slaves. Labor conditions for slaves were different from white servants for example, “white servants and free workers could not be stripped naked and whipped” because slaves were looked as property rather than human beings (Virginia Slave Laws). Laws were put into place during the 1600s about black rights and Virginia declared that “it was not a crime to kill a slave” (Virginia Slave Laws). Black labor conditions were inhumane and violations against their basic human rights. As the economy of the colonies increased, the harsh labor conditions of blacks
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