Bringing Slaves and Indentured Servents to the United States Essay

Bringing Slaves and Indentured Servents to the United States Essay

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As production of goods such as rice and tobacco increased in the New World and native Indians decreased in population, it became evident there was need for an alternative labor source. Following the example of the British and via a treacherous sea voyage, two kinds of labor came to the colonies from Europe and Africa: indentured servants and slaves respectively. Once on land, slaves were the bottom of the food chain and indentured servants slightly higher. “As a Pennsylvania judge explained in 1793, indentured servants occupied a middle rank between slaves and free men” (Tindall, Shi 116). In terms of the work and their way of life in the colonies however, slaves and indentured servants while still under contract had a few similarities. At first due to the fact that they were cheaper, colonists chose to use indentured servants. After Bacon’s rebellion when slaves and servants up rose against their masters and failed, racism increased in the colonies, and servitude of slaves was made permanent. Slaves became the preferred form of labor. Before taking on their different roles however, slaves and indentured servants had to survive the voyage to the colonies.
Due to adverse and unsanitary conditions on the ships across the ocean, the voyage to the New World was hard for both the slaves and indentured servants Although indentured had little room to maneuver on the ships, it was even worse for the slaves, shackled in chains and packed like sardines in a can there was barely any wiggle room. Living is such close proximities with no amenities such as clean water, food and toilets resulted in the accumulation of filth and the proliferation of diseases. In addition to the uncomfortable living condition on the ship and unpredictable weat...


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... could for instance own property, an unheard of thing for slaves. Different as they were indentured servants and slaves became an integral part of the colonies.
As a result of depopulation of the locals and increased productivity, the colonies adopted the use of indentured servants from Europe and slaves from Africa as labor. Journeys from these places were plagued with disease and miserable conditions that were difficult for the slaves and indentured servants. Indentured servants were considered a higher class and given rights while slaves were treated as property. While the indentured servants voluntarily entered contracts to work off their fare to the colonies and eventually earned their freedom, slaves were in servitude permanently. Due to the permanency of their service and racism, colonists eventually shifted to using slaves for their economic prosperity.



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