Indentured Servitude Essay

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Throughout the 1600s and into the late 1700s the British North American colonies were involved in interactions with Europe, Africa, and South America; all continents which border the Atlantic ocean. This connection would pave the way for continuities and changes within labor systems in the New World. When studying transatlantic history one can see the continuous demand for labor in the early colonies. However, drastic changes occurred when it came to the labor force, a change that would leave a lasting impact on future generations. Early settlers found themselves immigrating to the Americas primarily in search of wealth through resources such as gold and silver. This ambition derived them from thinking about agriculture and maintaining a sustainable …show more content…

Indentured servitude was basically a system in which an individual, no matter race, would work for another person under a contract for around five to seven years. Although it was most often without pay, the worker would be granted free passage to the Americas once their contract ended. The problem with indentured servitude was that most often the conditions were just as bad as those found back in one’s place of origin. Conditions were so terrible that many servants would barely live to witness the end of their contract. As the years went by, however, the triangular trade became increasingly popular, and indentured servitude would become a thing of the past. The triangular trade allowed for the exchange of goods and ideas between the continents surrounding the Atlantic ocean. Among these commodities were vulnerable individuals captured from Africa and transported to the Americas and the Caribbean. Millions of Africans were forced into slavery and were forever ripped away from their families, their culture, and their homeland. Northern British Colonies would soon find themselves largely dependent on slave labor, this stands especially true for the Chesapeake Bay colonies. At the same time slavery became a racial system in which those of a darker complexion, including indigenous people were seen as inferior and less valuable than an European individual. The transition from indentured servitude to reliance on slave labor shows us one of the many changes inflicted upon the labor system in British North America as a result of the transatlantic

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