Indentured Servitude DBQ

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Indentured servitude
Indentured servitude became increasingly popular during colonial times, especially in the Americas. Unprivileged peoples in places such as China, Japan and India sought after a better life in the Americas and Africa. However, since they did not have a sufficient amount of money for commodities like food, clothing and housing, a contractor in their destination would provide all of those things for them in exchange for their labor. During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, people migrated to the Americas and worked on plantations, but unlike slaves, they only had to work there for as long as their contract stated. They worked to cultivate many cash crops, such as tobacco, and this brought great wealth to the employers. However even though indentured servitude was not as dramatic as slavery, it still had an overall negative impact on the world by altering its demographics and forcing the indentured servants to face terrible conditions.
Although indentured servitude, like slavery, was very unfair and morally wrong, the employers did not think so. Indentured servitude called for servants to work long hours, often under hazardous conditions and unjust policies, and although it may have seemed as if it were a negative time for all, the employer benefited greatly from the profit being made. As Herman Merivale states in document 1, “. . . they are not slaves, seized by violence, brought over in fetters, and working under the lash. They have been raised, not without effort, like recruits for the military service.” Merivale, a British Undersecretary of the Colonies, is a government official who obviously benefits from the servants' work. As someone of high status, he profits from indentured servitude and therefore feels that they are treated fine, at least far better than slaves. His position as Undersecretary greatly influences his opinion, making his point of view biased. Although he personally does not find anything wrong with indentured

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