How Slavery Changed Indentured Servitude?

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How Slavery Replaced Indentured Servitude

Colleen Lynch
Pluralism and Diversity PDA 101
May 6, 2014

There are many aspects contributing to the rise of slavery and decline of indentured servitude. The beginning of slavery started when Columbus invaded Hispaniola and enslaved the Arawaks . This was the first time people thought to enslave people against their will for labor. Hard labor and diseases nearly killed off their race, essentially concluding that they were no longer available candidates for labor. Indentured servitude was used as bait to trap people into enslavement and eventually began to fade due to multiple historical events, such as The Bacon Rebellion . African Americans became an easy target because they were less prone to diseases and their bodies were capable of such intense and difficult labor.
John Rolfe played a major role in history in 1614 when he found a way to harvest tobacco. The tobacco crop is what restored Jamestown, Virginia and it would not exist today without this cash crop. Restoring Jamestown is not the only significance the tobacco crop holds; it is also responsible for the early stages of slavery. Since tobacco became the cash crop of Virginia, it was more in demand. There was a shortage of laborers to plant and harvest the tobacco crop and as a result settlers were unable to meet the European quota for tobacco. Since it was increasing in demand more laborers were needed to maintain these large plantations; therefore more indentured servants were needed. The higher the demand for tobacco, the higher demand for laborers. Company agents advertised a few years of labor bondage and exchange would receive a new and better life in America. In 1619, the first Africans came to Jamesto...

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...e to come to the colonies for a better life.
Nathaniel Bacon was another significant person throughout history. He was the leader of the Bacon Rebellion. This was a major turning point for indentured servitude. “Their alliance became both easier and more essential at the turn of the century, when the great planters switched their labor force from white indentured servants to enslaved Africans.”
It was more economically efficient to own slaves as opposed to indentured servants. At the end of the contractual period indentured servants were entitled to land, food, clothing, and money, whereas slaves are “property” and they do not have a contract that ends. Slaves did not get paid and the only thing needed was clothing and food, of which they did not receive much of either. In conclusion, it was much cheaper to own a slave as opposed to having an indentured servant.

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