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Comparisons and contrasts wage labor with slavery during the colonial and early 19th century American experience - Essay Example

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Slavery and wage labor Introduction Slavery and wage labor were the main sources of labor offered in America during the colonial period and in early 19th Century. Slavery is the owning of one or more individuals and manipulating them for personal interests…
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Comparisons and contrasts wage labor with slavery during the colonial and early 19th century American experience
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Slavery and wage labor Introduction Slavery and wage labor were the main sources of labor offered in America during the colonial period and in early 19th Century. Slavery is the owning of one or more individuals and manipulating them for personal interests. Wage labor, on the other hand, is the provision of labor in exchange for pay, either under a formal or informal agreement between the employer and the laborer. This essay compares and contrasts wage labor with slavery during the colonial period in relation to formation and control of labor forces, gendered experiences, resistance movements, and attempts to create a just society. Slavery and wage labor had negative impacts on individuals well being in America during the colonial period and early 19th century. Formation and control of labor forces During the colonial period labor forces were formed and controlled in different ways. Slavery and wage labor were the major forms of labor that were offered during this period. Slavery was based mainly on social stratification (Dizzo95 2:35-5:15). Classes existed in the American society; there was a class of bourgeoisies and proletariats. Proletariats came for low social class therefore they were forced to work on the plantations of the rich. This chain of poverty was maintained where children of the poor were automatically subjected to slavery. Another form of acquiring slaves was through sentencing of debtors. Any individual who was not in position of settling debts was automatically made a slave. His freedom would only be granted upon settling of the debt. Unlike slave labor wage labor was voluntarily offered by the laborers. There need for sustaining themselves forced them to look for jobs that could offer them a living. Wage laborers had all the freedom of choosing where to work but did not have a choice to decide amount of payments to be offered (Servant2All 1:00-3:55). It can be noted that slave labor and wage labor was acquired from people of low social class. Due to lack of means to sustain there families wage laborers were forced to work for the bourgeoisies. Both labor forces were controlled by certain laws that were put in place by the masters. Any individual that went against these laws faced harsh punishment. Tor instance in slave labor, any laborer going against master’s laws was thoroughly beaten and also denied basic rights. On the other hand wage laborer going against laws lost his or her job. In both wage labor and slave labor workers were offered identity cards that were useful in identifying what master they worked for (Servant2All 4:00- 5:19). Gendered experiences During this period of slavery in America roles were assigned on gender lines in addition to that they were segregated. Women were mostly confined in the southern parts of America while men in the northern parts. Wage labor on the other hand, the laborers had the freedom of working together regardless of gender. The main aim was to provide for their families upkeep. The laborers in wage labor had all the freedom in choosing the master they were to work for. Slaves did not have this freedom of choice, they were not in position to choose what master they were to work for, therefore endured all the working conditions (JNoire 0:45-1: 45) In both slavery and wage labor roles were assigned on gender basis. Women performed domestic chores for their masters like cooking and washing, while men focused on tasking jobs like ploughing. The working conditions of both genders were bad for they were all subjected to hard tasks, and went for long hours without resting. As much as laborers in wage labor were offered wages, they could not be able to sustain their families (JNoire 2:13-5:00). Resistance movements The issue of slavery and wage labor was perceived differently by people all over the world. There are those that support slavery while others greatly oppose slavery. Among the individuals who opposed slavery were the missionaries, humanitarian and philanthropists. Missionaries hold on a view that every individual is equal before God, and therefore deserves to be treated well. These forces had an agenda of creating a just society, where everybody is free from prejudice. Humanitarians oppose the issue of people owning others and hold that people are not to be forced to work for others, but rather should work at their own will. There was emergence of civil wars that saw two groups of people, the wage labor opponents and abolitionists. Abolitionists argued that slavery was worse than wage labor; this was due to the fact that wage laborers had all the freedom to choose where to work while the slaves did not (Trophones 1:25-8:39) The main agenda of this civic war was to promote freedom for workers. They argued that people should be allowed to move freely and not be put into captivity due to there economic status. Laborers have a right to good salary, and therefore people should work in friendly environment. By this, no individual should be given less than he deserves. Labor organizations were also formed in America to view laborers grievances. These organizations mainly focused on the interests of the laborers, there working conditions and general wellbeing. Wage laborer according to humanitarians should be allowed to bargain on what payment is to be offered to them (Honesty 3:30-10:50) Conclusion In conclusion it can be noted that slavery and wage labor was more less the same due to the conditions of the workers. Where human rights were not put into consideration in both cases, making it an evil act to be avoided at all cost. Different forces in America saw a stop to this and encouraged a just society. Societies where the poor are not oppressed by the rich but rather practice fairness. Work cited Dizzo 95. “Colonial America 1497-1763”. You tube. 23 July 2008. Web. 12 October 2011. JNoire. “The mayflower, Pilgrims and Early colonial cooperation”. You tube. 23 November 2010. Web. 12 October 2011 Servant2All. “Africans in America: indentured servants.” You tube. 9 September 2010. Web. 12 October 12, 2011 Trophones. “Slavery and making of America”. You tube. 20 January 2010. Web. 12 October 2011. Honesty. “A true film about when groups of Jews had slavery in America”. You tube. 12 April 2011. Web. 12 October 2011 Read More
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