The Introduction of Slavery in the American Colonies
When the history back to in 1607, English settlers established Jamestown as the first permanent English colony in the New World. Tobacco became the chief crop of the colony, due to the efforts of John Rolfe in 1611. Once it became clear that tobacco was going to drive the Jamestown colony, more labor was needed. The British settlers needed to find a labor force to work on its plantations in the Americas.
At first, the major possibilities were indentured servants from Britain, Native Americans and West Africans. Towards to Native Americans, the English entertained two lines of thought simultaneously. Because these people who had the knowledge about how to live in this new continent, they had the experience on grown corn and several basic sources for living. At the same time, because they were occupying the land desired by the colonial powers, they were from the beginning targets of a potential military campaign. On the other hand, indentured servants were also used as the needed labor. Indentured servitude was a form of debt bondage, which appeared in British long time ago, and also established in the early years of the American colonies. Farmers, planters, and shopkeepers in the colonies found it very difficult to hire free workers, primarily because it was so easy for potential workers to set up their own farms. Therefore, a common solution was showed up. Typically, the father of a teenager would sign the legal papers, and work out an arrangement with a ship captain, who would not charge the father any money. The captain would transport the indentured servants to the American colonies, and sell their legal papers to someone who needed workers. Most white immigrants arrived in Colonial America as indentured servants, usually as young men and women from Britain or Germany, under the age of 21, who would work for several years to pay off the
References: 1. Eddie Becker, Chronology on the History of Slavery, 1999. 2. Howard Zinn, A People’s History of The United States. 3. Linda Allen Bryant, Slavery and Miscegenation[inter-racial marriage] in America. 4. McElrath, Jessica, Timeline of Slavery in America-African American History, About.com. Retrieved 6 December 2006. 5. Population, Slavery and Economy in Barbados, BBC. 6. Wood, Origins of American Slavery (1997), p. 18.