Indentured Servitude - An Apprentice Indentured...

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An Apprentice Indentured Contract (1718) Indentured Servitude Introduction Thesis: Indentured servitude is a common contract with specific obligations and rewards for completing said contract which is much different from slavery. What is the historical context for this source? A. Indentured servitude was common 1. Many people who migrated to the New World entered an indentured servitude contract to pay for their passage. B. William Mathews indentured servitude 1 Mathews traded labor for training and an education 2. Gained 1 quarter of education every winter while under contract What was the primary obligations and lifestyle expected of an indentured servant? A. Be faithful 1 Obey all lawful commands 3. Cannot do anything such as getting married, gambling or drinking without permission of their master B. Expected lifestyle 1 Much like the life of a slave 1
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An Apprentice Indentured Contract (1718) 4. Given food, clothes, shelter etc. What do you see as the positive and negative aspects of indentured work? A. Positive aspects of indentured work 1 Education and training 5. By the end of Mathews contract he will be give nice clothes and gain a solid foundation for cordwainer work B. Negative aspects of indentured work 1 Low life expectancy (Max Roser) at the time and 7 year contracts 6. Most servants would die before their contract was up In what ways does this contract clarify the distinction between an indentured servant and a slave? A. Free will 1. Both parties must agree to the contract and can willfully decline or accept 2. You cannot be forced or coerced into signing the contract B. Clear obligations and rewards 1. Unlike slavery, indentured servitude has clear rewards for had work 2. At the end of the contract, you get your freedom back 1 2
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An Apprentice Indentured Contract (1718) Conclusion A. Indentured servitude was common during this time and servants traded labor for benefit at the end B. Historical context, obligation & lifestyle, positive & negative aspects, difference between slavery and indentured servitude C. Indentured servitude offered a reward for your years of hard work where slavery guaranteed nothing for you labor and weren’t compensated for the work you did. Indentured servitude helped drive the economy forward (Galenson, 1984) 3
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An Apprentice Indentured Contract (1718) At this point in time in history, indentured servitude wasn’t an uncommon act. Many of those who migrated from Europe to the New World couldn’t pay for their passage and were sold to landowners to pay their dues for passage. They were fed, clothed and given shelter. Those who could afford passage to the New World had no money to survive once they arrived. They would then sign these indentured servant contracts in the hopes of having something of their own. Many contracts at the time would involve owning land once the contract was fulfilled.
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