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Indentured Servitude - Essay Example

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Planters, farmers, and shopkeepers in the colonies saw difficulties in hiring free workers, mainly because it easy for potential workers to have their own farms set up. As a result,…
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Download file to see previous pages The indenture document detailed the specific number of years a servant was required to work, after which they would earn freedom1. Not all servants were willingly sent. There were several cases of kidnapping, especially with the white slaves. In the 17th century, about two thirds of the New World settlers from the Isles of British came as indentured servants. Due to the high rates if death, several servants never lived to see freedom in the end of their terms. In early 19th century and late 18th century, many Europeans did travel to the colonies as the redemptioners, which is a form of indenture (Galenson 1984).
Indentures had various restrictions. For example, indentures were not allowed to marry or get married without permission from their owner. They were subjected to physical punishment, and their labor obligations were enforced by courts. The law even lengthened the term of women indentures in case they became pregnant. However, contrary to the slaves, servants were given a guarantee that they would be set free from bondage after their terms elapse. At the end of their term, servants received freedom dues payment and joined the free members of the society. In fact, one could sell or buy indentures contract of servants as well as their right to labor, but not the person per se as a property. Both female and male servants could be at any given point be subjected to violence, sometimes resulting to their death. Generally, indentured servitude was a mechanism of having the number of colonists increased, particularly in the British and English colonies2. Convict labor and voluntary migration provided many people, and other means of offering settlement was inevitable because the journey across the Atlantic was somehow dangerous. In the end, contract laborers became a significant group of people and very many that saw the United States Constitution count them in the appointment of representatives (Rosenbloom 2008).
Indentured servitude, from 1620s, was a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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