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INDENTURED SERVANTS. By Maddy Gillespie. What is an Indentured Servant?.

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indentured servants

INDENTURED SERVANTS

By Maddy Gillespie

what is an indentured servant
What is an Indentured Servant?
  • An Indentured Servant was a person who was placed under a specified time period to work. They generally worked for seven years. Unlike slaves, they mostly had a guaranteed freedom. If they fulfilled their term they earned “freedom dues.” This included clothes, tools, livestock, corn, and tobacco. If they were lucky they sometimes got land.
the significance of indentured servants to new england
The significance of Indentured Servants to New England
  • America seemed to offer more chances for advancement and enlightenment, something unavailable in England.
  • They were helpful when cash crops rolled around. There was a labor demand when the plantations system was introduced and when cash crops became more popular. The slaves and Indentured Servants were the first to turn to and their labor helped boost the economy.
  • Many people who came to the New World were Indentured Servants
what were the conditions of the indentured servants
What were the conditions of the Indentured Servants?
  • The Indentured Servants were living in slave conditions but weren’t considered slaves. They typically had six day work weeks, ten to fourteen hour days, in hot conditions. They were bought and sold and received similar punishments
  • When Indentured Servants first arrived to their owner, it would often be in a part of the world they were unfamiliar with. They had to be “seasoned.” To be seasoned meant that they had to build up their immune system to the new disease. They would have to try to survive the new exposure – most didn’t survive long enough to get the reward of freedom.
  • The owners (masters) of these servants were to supply with sufficient food, clothing, shelter, and there was no excessive abuse allowed.