Essay about American History

Essay about American History

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During the 18th century, America was beginning to come into its own as a profitable colony and trade hub. The slave trade was booming which caused for an influx of people from various countries who brought their culture and self-betterment ideas with them. This caused bonded labor and the concept of self-betterment to become two major themes that shaped America during this time.
In eighteenth-century America, bonded labor was seen all over the newly founded colonies. There were different types of labor such as slavery or indentured servants. Slavery however, was more suitable for 18th century Americans. The slave trade was thriving throughout the world and America played a major role in the trade. In total, 7.7 million slaves arrived in America, but over half arrived in 1700-1800. The colonies thrived off this labor market because they were able to gain mass amounts of land and a large amount of slave labor for very cheap. Slaves were in many ways, better than indentured servants. Slaves could not claim American law as their own, they were not paid, and like most Americans, they were resistance to many diseases from Europe. Colonists often looked down on slaves and viewed them as a separate species. Slaves were labeled as animals and non-human, and this made them easier to enslave because they were not people at all. Slavery was more prominent in the southern colonies because they were agriculturally based. Many of the more well-known plantations were in the tobacco regions of the Chesapeake, and the rice growing farms in Georgia and South Carolina. There was a high demand for slaves in the south because land owners had large pieces of land and wanted to make the most money possible. Chesapeake plantations mainly consisted of t...


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...easure and he goes against seeking salvation from god. This framework is what caused Franklin to explore the unknown and better the lives of people in America.
While Ben’s experience with bonded labor is very similar to most indentured servants, his take on religion is one that not many people followed during the time. Franklin became a powerful figure because of his rational thought and persistence to better him. Franklin’s experience in 18th century America shows that bonded labor and the concept of self-betterment were two major points of interest for many colonists and it gave a window into the world at the time.



Works Cited

Benjamin Franklin and Louis P. Masur. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
(Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1993), 37, 97.
Eric Foner. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. (New York: W.W. Norton & Co.,
2014), 111,127.

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