Indentured Servants vs Slavery

742 Words3 Pages
Indentured Servant-(noun) - a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified amount of time especially in return for payment for travel expenses and maintenance. (Merriam-Webster.com) When the migration of immigrants first descended into the new land in 1607 they realized that there was far too much work and too much land to manage by themselves. The idea of indentured servitude was born out of necessity. They could entice people from the homeland to share in the experience of land owning by offering them indentured servitude to pay off the debt. Farmers relied on the attractiveness of the deal to attract a number of labors because this was a chance that they might never otherwise had been able to achieve. The indentured servants would work off their debt in a given number of years, during that time they would be given room and board. After the debt was paid in full they would receive no less than 25 acres, seeds to plant, livestock, new clothing and arms. As the years passed supply and demand for labor increased and farmers were looking for a multitude of cheap labor. The new generation of servants found themselves in a position of bargaining power and they could ask more in return of their payment of debt. While the pendulum was definitely swinging in favor of those looking for something better, the year 1619 was about to change their luck. Black Africans were now making their journey to the newly settled land and encroaching in on those of indentured servants. As the first generation began to arrive they as well for a period of time were offered a chance to own land in exchange for labor. However that was all about to change as the onset of slavery was about to take place. Human nature and greed soon overcame landowners and they began to question the current situation. If landowners continued to afford others an opportunity to
Open Document