Benefits Of Indentured Servitude

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The New World had abundant land, however, no one to field it. This led to the need for labor, preferably cheap labor. One of the options the settlers turned to was indentured servitude, or servant contracts. These contracts were used in England already to trade some of a person’s freedom for room, board, and various manual labor. In the beginning of the settlements, this option proved to be mostly beneficial to both the settlers instigating the contracts, and the people from England who entered into the contracts. However, the short-term option of indentured servitude was becoming more expensive in the long term; this with less people willing to participate in the arrangement and the “freedom dues” associated with it (Tindal & Shi, 2014).…show more content…
Watson notes this in a letter from an Anglican missionary “Here’s no living without servants, there are none to be hir’d… and none of the black kind to be... [bought for] under £50 or 60...” (2014). While African slaves were a more expensive venture than indentured servants, their “contract” did not expire like the indentured. These slaves were classified as chattel, or property, and did not share in the limited freedom that indentured servants did. Although the African slaves costed more initially, they were typically owned for life, and even their children were born in the station of a slave (Tindal & Shi, 2013). Because these slaves were owned for life, the owners typically did not have to pay “freedom dues” which added to their cost benefits. Discussion The Colonies in the New World was a place with a lot of land, but not enough people to cultivate it properly. To rectify this lack of labor, the practice of indentured servitude became a primary means to gain labor for the settler’s land on the newly settled continent. While initially, this form of employment proved beneficial to the settlers and to some extent to the servants themselves, the labor pool of willing servants began to shrink and the cost associated with them began to increase. Slaves became common and a more cost efficient option for labor
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