Essay on Americ The Land Of The Free

Essay on Americ The Land Of The Free

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Until recently, I have always considered America to be the land of the free, where people of any ethnic background may seek out better opportunities for them and their family, doing so with minimal governmental interference. However, freedoms that we as Americans share today, was withheld from the general public for decades during the formative years of this country. Such freedoms as a higher education, having (personal) religious beliefs, equal employment opportunities, the right to vote, own land, or guns to name a few, were only permitted to a minority of white men in power. In fact, “freedom” as we know it, was violently fought over, consuming generations of people who were mostly indentured servants and slaves. Poor, lowly immigrants in Europe signed labor contracts called indentures holding a promise for better lifestyle opportunities in the New World that permitted them to labor for 5-7 years with clothing and food provided, and then becoming a free and equal citizen. The idea of an indentured servant was that they eventually became free, unlike slaves, who had no way out of laboring in the colonies; slaves (usually taken from West Africa) were captured and sold internationally and spent their entire lives laboring for the gain of white men. During early colonization, a small amount of African slaves were able to purchase their way out of slavery, until the exploitation of slavery became the most prized commodity among land owning settlers, making the ability to buy one’s way out of slavery impossible. Even some indentured servants were demoralized, underpaid, stripped of any rights, and treated like slaves. More often than not, masters of indentured slaves failed to provide decent food and clothing, failing to uphold thei...

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...colonial laws did not limit the amount of force masters could use against their slaves. Servants alike were brutally beaten for insubordination of any one law or order administered by the colonial government i.e. white men. This made the reality of living in the New World for indentured servants, women, and slaves a nightmarish pipe dream. Single women were degraded and exploited by white men. It did not matter what kind of labor a woman did, she was not compensated nearly as much as men were. Women that were fortunate enough to become a wife were in their early teens fresh out of childhood and ordered to submit to their husbands on every level of submission. Likewise, husbands were to treat their wives not as a servant but as his own flesh, governing their wives out of compassion and love. However, married or not, women did not possess equal rights compared to men.

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