Slavery in the British Colonies
When the Americas were founded many European nations were trying to establish colonies. There were many failures but eventually they succeeded. Rich Europeans such as the British had no idea how to work the land, so they needed someone to do it for them. Although the British essentially were iffy about slavery, they slowly began getting rid of indentured servants, installing slavery, and then making slavery the major labor force system.
In 1606 British merchants formed the Virginia Company to build a colony in the New World. The rich colonists who came over, also brought other people with them. These people were indentured servants. The servants had a term of 4-7 years of service to the colonists who paid for their way over. At the end of their service the Master had to give the Indentured servant a plot of land. This was frustrating for the colonists, not only did they pay the indentured servants way, they had to give them land as well. Most indentured servants did not even care. They would slack on their work or not do it at all. They were going to get paid anyway so they did not listen. Indentured servants were slowly beginning to become a nuisance more than a help.
Slavery officially began in the British colonies in 1619. A Dutch merchant sold 20 Africans in Jamestown. Most colonists at this time still preferred indentured servants. The indentured servants were not only cheap, but experienced as well. The Africans were cheap but had no idea what to do or communicate effectively. The Africans were ripped away from their villages, homes, continent, families, and culture when they were sold into slavery. So they were not too obedient either. Many tried to escape with good reason too. They were beat, killed, underfed, under clothed and worked from dawn till dusk. These were extremely harsh conditions that most slaves were not used to. Indentured servants were not treated as badly because in the...
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