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Development of the Labor Movement: Slavery and Indentured Servants

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Development of the Labor Movement: Slavery and Indentured Servants
Emma Hoffman
Development of the Labor Movement
Shawn Taylor
Paper 1 Enslaved in America People of America never got off on the right foot. The colonial elite began tormenting those in the lower classes the minute they arrived, as “…huge numbers of white servants didn’t live to see the day of freedom. In the early days, the majority of servants died still in bondage”(Jordan and Walsh 111). The indentures, enslaved, and non-elite were set in bondage and many did not live to see freedom. They were treated like animals, not humans. The elite kept power and control over the lower class and enslaved them. They did this by torturing them and making examples of them. Although we like to believe our country was founded on truth, liberty, and equality, the elite members of society used law enforcement, monetary authority, and physical dominance, such as whipping, years in bondage, loss of body parts, and torture, to keep control over the non-elites. Enslavement of these non-elite groups became a common norm amongst society, but the elite tormented everyone including those who were poor and free. The poor free whites were treated just as any other indenture or slave. They would use the same horrible strategies to keep control over them. The colonial leaders believed “…only pain and terror could motivate the poor” (Taylor 132). They would torment and brutally harm the poor white people in order to keep control amongst society’s classes. They believed that harming the poor would motivate the rest of their class because they did not want to be harmed.

African Slaves were treated with the same manor as the poor whites. The author proves this with a similar quote. “As Slaves became more numerous and more conspicuously African, masters became convinced that only pain and fear could motivate them” (Taylor 155). The masters of African slaves became aware that there was power in numbers. Colonial elite saw Africans as more of a threat, because they had the confidence

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