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S L AV E S P a g e | 1 Indentured Servants and Slaves By: Kenneth Patterson In the early colonial times there were indentured servants and slaves who worked for their masters. Indentured servants where people who had agrees to work off a debt for someone within their colony, they were also European. Slaves were people from Africa who were enslaved and had to work for the people within the colonies for the rest of their live. Both indentured servants and slaves came from different places, both worked for a period, and both lived with a family. “The growth of tobacco, rice, and indigo and the plantation economy created a tremendous need for labor in Southern English America” (US History, 2008-2019). Indentured servitude and slavery were the primary means of help for the wealthy colonial Americans. Either as an indentured servant or as a slave each person was required to work in the fields, maintain the crops, take care of the grounds and house, or they did whatever their owner or owner of their debt choose for them to do. The treatment of both the indentured servants or the slaves were very similar, but the method and the means of which they came to America were uniquely different. Indentured servants where the ones who could not afford passage to the new world so they signed a contract to work for a term of service most of the time ranging from five to seven years. They needed were needed in the new world for agricultural labor. Once there five to seven year term was over they were free and sometimes they were given small compensation for the work that they did. This was not enough for them to start a new life, they may have been free but they had no land not enough money for anything and all together they had nothing. They were treated badly and often worked to death before their five to seven year term was even over. The reason
S L AV E S P a g e | 2 that they were preferred over slaves was that they both had high mortality rates which meant that they could last about the same time amount. They were cheaper in the form of labor then slaves were. The factors in the decline of indentured servants was that people no longer want to become indentured servant because of the treatment in which they received and the fact that they would end up with nothing by the end of their term. Slaves had started living a lot longer life then they did. The price for slaves had dropped dramatically. Bacon’s Rebellion had discouraged the indentured servants because they could potentially cause problems once they became free. Indentured servants were a great aid to colonial America’s economy, they helped to provide much of the labor which was needed to produce more goods which could be exported. Slavery in colonial America was also a great help to the economy. The slaves did most of the same work as the indentured servants, but the slaves were not set free and they were usually given less respect.

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