Effects of Indentured Servitude

Topics: Slavery, Indentured servant, Human migration Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: March 15, 2009

During the 19th and 20th centuries indentured servitude was a very popular form of labor. Indentured labor was when someone borrows money or gets a favor such as a ride to the Americas; they will agree to work for the lender for X amount of time, for low pay and housing. A few causes for the system of indentured servitude were the massive need for labor in the sugar fields as stated in document 2. Also documents 3 and 4 show the high rate of immigrants that were indentured. The effects of indentured servitude were shown in document 6, 7, 8, 9; where the difference between servitude and slavery is shown. There are also poor work conditions, and disgruntled servants. It also leads to an increase in diversity in population in the Americas.

In document 2, the editorial explained the need for “importation of foreign labor” mainly in the sugar industry. The massive demand and supply of the sugar industry required a massive work force to maintain and farm the sugar. On one small island there is 60,000 acres of sugar cultivation, alone. The high need was accommodated by document 3, which showed a large migration of indentured servants to small islands and many other places where manual labor was needed. Document 4 showed the data of document 3 in a table. Mauritius’ need for a massive amount labor was met by the high amount (455,000) of immigrant indentured labor to the island. In document 1, a British secretary attempts to explain the amount of servants by comparing them to slaves. He states that they are not working under the “lash” or working due to force; they are being paid and are being raised. Many are being trained in a way he compared to the military.

Due to the dependency on indentured labor, there were many long term affects. Document 6 shows that due to the high demand of manual labor, there was a high demand for Male servants. This lead to a big gap in the male to female ratio in Mauritius, with the males being on top at about 5:1....
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