White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America

987 WordsFeb 2, 20114 Pages
Journal Article Review White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America Dr. West History 7A Martin Valdez January 24, 2011 From “The Journal of Economical History”, Vol. 41, No. 1, author David W. Galenson provides a nine-page article published in March 1981 entitled “White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery” which I thoroughly read and will present my own analysis. In a unique approach author David Galenson examines the transition of servants to slaves during the 17th and 18th century of British America. He successfully covers the importance of slavery and the reason for its high demand. Galenson takes into consideration the demographic conditions and its differences throughout the West Indies,…show more content…
So pray if you come neare to any port where shipping comes hither indenture produce and send me [servants]….lett them be of any sort men women or boys… what I shall not make use off and are not serviceable for mee I can exchange with others especially any sort of tradesmen…” The article emphasized the need for servants and slaves in order to make substantial growth however failed to mention where slavery derived from. As wrongful as slavery is it has been installed in our history for centuries. A reference to Ancient Egypt could have easily been made and just like then it was used to build a foundation of civilization. Slavery, indenture servants, immigration and planters all functioned in a cycle, which seemed to work but after long term failed. Planters needed labor to be done and immigrants wanted a way out from British rule so they sold themselves either into slavery or as an indenture servant. As an indenture servant they were contracted anywhere from 3 to 7 years and freed. Slavery on the other hand continued and was instilled into the culture. Galenson explains how servants at one point were worth more than slaves. Overtime the two flopped and slaves were of demand and the reason for that was due to cost. Planters realized they could train the slaves to pick up a trade and replace the indenture servants. This way they would be spending
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