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Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude case study essay
Option 2: Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude
Explain how and why slavery developed in the American colonies.
Describe in what ways the practice of slavery was different between each colonial region in British North America.
Analyze the differences between slaves and indentured servants
Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude case study essay
Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude
How and Why Slavery Developed in the American Colonies
The institution of slavery developed in the American colonies as soon as the European settlers arrived in Virginia and started growing cash crops. In 1619, White Lion brought about 20 enslaved Africans captured from a Portuguese ship to James Town, Virginia (History, 2023). Initially, the settlers enslaved the Native Indians and poor Europeans who served as indentured servants. However, when the Native Indian population reduced drastically, the Europeans started importing enslaved people from Africa via the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Slaves were supposed to serve in the plantations for the rest of their lives, and their legal status was hereditary.
How Slavery Was Different Between Each Colonial Region in British North America
Slavery was less common in the northern colonies than in the southern ones because the Southerners had large cash crop plantations. In the cotton, rice and tobacco plantations in the South, enslavers held tens to hundreds of slaves who lived in communities within the plantations. In the areas where the climatic conditions were not conducive to large-scale farming, enslaved people took on unpaid domestic work. For this reason, the Northern masters only had one or two slaves per home (National Geographic, 2023) Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude case study essay. The Northern slaves had the opportunity to learn specialized skills because the Northern economy was more diverse, with different industries, unlike the South, which depended mainly on agriculture.
Differences Between Slaves and Indentured Servants
Beyond race, the most critical differences between indentured servants and enslaved people were choice and compensation. Indentured servants were poor Europeans who had come to America for a better life and agreed to work on the plantations as indentured servants. They provided cheap labor and could end the arrangement at will because it was voluntary (PBS, 2014). On the other hand, slaves were kidnapped from their homes in Africa and forced to provide free labor in the plantations for the rest of their lives. They could not leave the farms because their masters, the government and the entire Caucasian society limited their options.
History. (2023). Slavery in America. History. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery
National Geographic. (2023). New England Colonies’ Use of Slavery. National Geographic. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/new-england-colonies-use-slaves/
PBS. (2014). Indentured Servants In The U.S. PBS. https://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/feature/indentured-servants-in-the-us/

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