Indentured Servant In The Columbian Exchange

854 Words4 Pages
After John Rolfe found out that tobacco brought a nice income he had planters start growing it. The only problem with growing tobacco is that it is a high maintenance crop so it had to be watched year round. Planters loved the income it brought it but they had trouble farming many acres by themselves. Planters simply needed help and having indentures was the perfect way to get the help from poor immigrants. In the seventeenth century, John Rolfe planted West Indian tobacco seeds and learned that they flourished in Virginia. By 1617 colonist had grown enough tobacco to sell and ship it to England. Tobacco was a luxury item so it not only sold for a high price but it brought in a nice amount of money. A determined colony decided that they would…show more content…
Through many hours of girdling and hoeing the stumps they finally could plant seeds. They did this by making a small hole in the ground and inserting the seed into the hole and coving it back up. Even while doing this many immigrants could not make enough money to provide for themselves. Thus the idea of indentured servants came up. An indentured servant is a poor immigrant who signed a contract known as an indenture. This means they are committed to work for four to seven years, with this work they also receive transportation, food, and shelter. The region was mainly made up of white servants and ex-servants so a slavery system didn’t serve any use. Men and women of the African decent were usually forced to be indentured servants, although it was rare they could serve their set amount of years and be free. Slaves could pay their way out of slavery but it was also extremely rare. Almost all of the African race were enslaved and remained enslaved until they died. To buy a passage aboard a ship to America an immigrant had to pay about a year’s worth of wages or they could trade their servitude for the trip. Many people wanted to come to the New World because they made more…show more content…
They helped them plant and farm tobacco seeds. Tobacco was a high priced item so it brought in a lot of money, meaning that the planters gained from their help. Not only did the planters gain but the servants did too. Indentured servants were important because many people in the Chesapeake colony refused to work and they did it for an exchange. Indentures was a trade for something. It was an “eye for an eye”. The planters needed help farming and the servants needed food, shelter, and clothes so it was a fair exchange. This exchange was very important to the colony because they need income and the only way they were getting that at the time was through the tobacco farms. The only contradiction was indentured servants had to work four to seven years before they could be free again. Realizing that they were treating with respect, seven years is a long time to work in a field. The servant had to be exhausted and working that hard everyday would have been hard on their bodies. Farming is a lot of work and it seems as If it wasn’t worth it. Another issue is that almost all African people had to become slaves. White people had a choice rather they wanted to or not, but African people had no choice. Most of the time they would not free after their term was up. It wasn’t fair to them because white immigrants got to be free after their contract was over and they were on their feet again. A final issue with indentured servitude was
Open Document