Factors Contributing to Economic Opportunity in Colonial America

Topics: Slavery, Indentured servant, Colonial history of the United States Pages: 3 (496 words) Published: October 15, 2014
DBQ: How much economic opportunity truly did exist in colonial America, and what factors affected the colonists’ opportunities to succeed? America, the “land of opportunity”. Most people came to colonial America for this reason. They wanted the opportunities America had to offer. The biggest attraction was that people coming over as laborers could gain three times the wages as they were making in England. However, there were distinguishing factors that were considered pertaining to how much success a person could achieve. Due to social class and the need for workers the economy and its opportunities flourished but remained prejudice to the lower classes. The common laborer and farmers had difficulties getting their input across and concerns to be heard. Their thoughts on governmental issues were treated as irrelevant. Bacon’s Rebellion was the first incident in the colonies. The under classed individuals rose up against the royal governor and the privileged. This act contributes to the notion that opportunities were not always equal in colonial times. Bacon’s Rebellion occurred due to many reasons; some being: higher taxes, restrictions on certain individuals’ right to vote, and the lack of protection from Native American attacks. Indentured servitude was the biggest form of labor for those who needed it. However, indentured servants had very little rights, and colonial America couldn’t possibly be considered a “land of opportunity” considering life wasn’t so easy for them. Indentured servants were bound to contracts stating a period of time they had to work, but at least there was light at the end of their tunnel. Slaves were more cost effective for the economy of colonial America. Extremely little to no wages and they were bound to what they thought to be indefinitely. They were treated more harshly than the indentured servants, and had very little to no respect of others, and beaten among other things. They arrived here forcefully and...
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