Effects Of Indentured Servants

Improved Essays
Upon discovering new lands west of Europe, many quickly went over in search of new opportunities and riches. Many of these travelers though were middle class and therefore could not afford to pay their way across upfront. This then led to the practice of indentured servitude, a common practice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where middle class men and woman signed binding contracts agreeing to work for a preselected amount of years after receiving free travel across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. On paper this practice seems fair, but in reality the servants were severely mistreated by their masters. The highest concentration of these indentured servants where in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. The servants were often under fed, …show more content…
Many servants complain of hardly being fed once united with their new masters in the colonies. If they do happen to be fed, the food they get is lacking any of the substantial nutrients needed to nourish a body to be able to perform under the extreme working conditions that faced many of the servants at the time. One servant who wrote home to their family wrote that four servants had to share one small bread loaf while only receiving a small amount of meat as well. Being fed so little, some servants wished to hunt the small game in the area to satisfy their cravings but most masters forbade such actions. On top of being poorly fed, many servants where poorly clothed. Many hardly had proper shoes fit for the working in the field for long periods of time, which was required of them. Like many slaves, some chose to go barefoot because it was easier than wearing shoes that did not fit properly. Clothing was also in short supply, which led to stealing amongst fellow indentured servants. Many indentured servants only had the clothes on their back and a very few lucky ones were able to have at second set of clothes. Some servants, like Elizabeth Sprigs, wrote home desperate for any food or clothing their family or hometowns could manage to send across the ocean to them. Between the indentured servants lacking key nutrients and proper attire to work long days in the crop fields, many of the servants had a very low quality of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The Dust Bowl was bad, because their drought lasted for longer than the Depression did for the city dwellers, but personally I think it was worse for the city dwellers. The farmers could eat their animals, eat animal products like eggs, and can things from their orchards which lasted a little longer than the crops, whereas the city dwellers only source of food was shipped in, or through the soup kitchens. During the Depression most of the workers could not afford anything from the store to feed a family 3 meals a day. Most of the farmers moved out to attempt to find work after a few years of the drought, so they did not starve as long as the city dwellers even though theirs lasted longer. The farm dwellers also did not have to pay as much for heating their homes.…

    • 1027 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They did not get to eat much and were very poor. Those who worked a job made little money and could only afford some amounts of food to just get by. Many would become so hungry they began to come weak and restless. Once their father had left them their mother tried to take him to court to get him to pay for the kids some food and support them. In court they did not get a thing the father gets the judge to believe his story and he did not have to pay for his kids.…

    • 2196 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is just as important to know as food deserts, in my opinion. Food insecurities are an important thing to know because so many people, families in fact, in the United States do go without significant quantities of food because they are too poor to provide. Learning about these problems makes me think that more people should donate to food pantries and do more food drives to help the less fortunate because no one deserves to go hungry. Food deserts and food insecurities can go together in many ways because not only can people not afford to buy enough food for their families, but people in food deserts, do not even have a place to buy it. This is a huge problem that needs to be fixed in…

    • 1128 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Indentured servants were typically very poor, and usually couldn 't afford a trip across the atlantic. However, they were able to sign an indenture, in return for a passage to the New World. After working for a few years, they were free to work for themselves. Virginia became the first established colony in 1607. Even though indentured servants were able to escape religious persecution, life in the colonies was grueling, laborious, and often times exhausting.…

    • 1366 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They were living with their families on farms in small towns. Because of their living conditions they were missing out on the Market Revolution Most of the yeoman farmers were forced on less desirable plots of land, and they made the most out of it by planting cotton, and the rest of the crop they used for what they needed for the household. Some of the money that they earned was used to make purchases on items that they could not grow like coffee. Yeoman farmer was isolated mainly from the markets. Some of them, not many bought large plots, and slaves and became very wealthy, but it was a rare occurrence and didn 't happen very often.…

    • 1077 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is what Ehrenreich observed during her experiment. Another thing Ehrenreich saw was that some of her coworkers could not afford to buy themselves lunch and were skipping meals simply because they just could not afford it. For many low-wage workers this happens everyday. Food Pantries are scrounging for food because so many people need their services and they are low on their food supplies. This just goes to show how many people who work low-wage jobs cannot even provide themselves with enough food.…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Upon arriving at the colonies, these colonists were treated terribly. Knowing how much giving each servant their own piece of land would cost them, the plantation owners made life almost unbearable to the indentured servants so that they would eventually die off before their seven years of work was completed. If this happened the plantation owners wouldn’t even have to pay out anything to the servants’ families either. The meals the workers received were poor with the servants often only receiving peas, gruel, and a tiny amount of beef and bread. Clothes were also a precious commodity to the servants with many people having only set of clothes and many others had to also go without shoes.…

    • 529 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He had to go to the soup kitchen each moth also because he could not afford to go grocery shopping whenever he needed to. Rural poverty is a big issue because of distance. There are not that many opportunities because of this distance. There are lack of jobs, educational opportunities and lack of support. In these areas there is entrenched poverty which is why so many people living in these situations are hopeless.…

    • 621 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This is significant because without trade, selling clothes and crops will be harder. With trade routes that stopped, all individuals could relied on was to plant crops so they could earn money by selling it. However, “How many times did one see a laborer […] guide his plow being pulled by oxen suddenly fall down dead, still holding in his hands his plow, while the oxen stood at their place without a conductor” (Al-Maqrizi 85-86). With no one farming, food resources will be low. Even if some people are able to harvest, they are just not able to get enough people to because most of individuals living within their borders are infected with the plague.…

    • 717 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It seems that plenty of land is used to farm, but due to difficult conditions, poor transportation, and even competition with “free food,” the farmers cannot keep up. This is exhasturbated by the lack of fertilizer, heat-tolerant seeds, irrigation, and climate change. Many of the governments use these conditions to control their people because…

    • 595 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays