Indentured Servants

Topics: Slavery, Indentured servant, Human migration Pages: 2 (723 words) Published: April 4, 2013
In the early 19th century, the British were the first to abolish slavery. Other countries in the world soon followed. With the abolition of slavery in societies in the Western Hemisphere, societies in the west experienced a huge shortage of labor. With a shortage of labor, factory and plantation owners turned to indentured servants for labor, which led to mass migration and a distortion in the sex ratio demographics of societies just like when there was slavery.

Document 2 shows a shortage of labor as a British colonial governor complains about the quantitiy of labor required to make profit in sugar cultivation. He also talks about a meeting of plannign to bring in a new “importation of foreign labor.” This new “important of foreign labor” are indentured servants. Desparate for labor, owners fo factories and plantations started to provide false advertisements in order to recruit workers. In document 7, a recruiter for British Guiana lays out terms of agreement for workers in a factory and plantation. The conditions do not sound that bad. Workers only have to work 7 hours in the fields or 10 hours in the factory. However, in document 8, an indentured laborer complains about working from 5:30 am - 8:30 pm, which is 15 hours. Based on document 7, workers are not suppose to work on Sundays. However, in document 8 the indentured laborer complains about working on Sundays to 2 o’clock. Document 1 is from a British Undersecretary who claims that indentured servants come here to better their conditions and come at their own free will. They are not seized by violence like slaves. It would be nice to get a document from an actual indentured servant to see why he came over and to confirm if what this British Undersecretary says is true. He also tries to justify the use of indentrued labor and promote it by spreading propaganda. He claims that they are treated better than slaves and do not work under a lash. However in Document 5, a picture of a...
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