Indentured laborers were assigned contracts in which they were paid wages to work for a specified period of time. After the contracts expired they were given the option to return to their homelands or to receive a plot of land. Many chose to stay. Indentureship was supposed to differ from slavery, however, the servants were treated as harshly as the slaves
Chattel- African slaves were treated as commodities
System of slavery whereby an individual and their offspring are recognised by the law as being the property of another person for life. This system was established by Europeans and formed the basis of transatlantic slavery
With due respect to the I's good intentions, from all that I have read and studied it would be a mockery to compare Indian indentureship to African chattel slavery in the Caribbean.
Firstly, Indians were allowed to retain: their family (Africans had theirs split up); their language (Africans had the use of theirs forbidden); their religion (Africans had theirs banned); their music (Africans had the drum - representing the voice of their gods - banned by laws, some of which remain on the statute book in Barbados to this day). This highlights the all-important difference between indentureship and slavery: The heart of slavery was not the horrible labour conditions. If that were so, slavery and indentureship might be comparable. The heart of slavery was the stealing of the African's soul - his language (the eyes through which one sees the world), his gods, his family, his musical sounds. That is why some 169 years after Emancipation, many Africans in the Caribbean remain enslaved. Some say enslaved...