Obligated Serfdom Essay

800 Words 4 Pages
Obligated Serfdom Before African slavery existed in the New World, Englishman enslaved their own people to complete the work needed on its farms. Early wealth in the American colonies was due almost entirely to its crops, so it needed cheap labor to maximize profits for its landholders. Native Americans weren’t a great option for labor because they were very resilient to diseases and were more difficult to enslave due to their tribal security. Africans weren’t used from the start because they were considered too expensive considering the short lifespan of those who came over to the New World in the early 17th century. The only people that left were the poor English who could be persuaded into leaving their homeland because they had little …show more content…
Even though the servants were technically freemen, they didn’t own land, so therefore didn’t get the chance to vote. When servants would challenge their masters in courts of law, judges often sided with their fellow landowners, so little was done because they couldn’t vote. This becomes a greater issue in 1670 when freed servants lost their right to vote after Virginia tightened its restrictions on voter regulations. These restrictions were then compounded further when they received the brunt of taxation in the late 1600s. Many of these servants also unfairly had additional years tacked onto their commitments due allegations placed on them by their masters and their lack of defense in trials due to there perceived lower status in the New …show more content…
Rebellions started popping up all over America in order to pressure England into transporting African Slaves to the New World instead of indentured servants. The switch to African slaves allowed masters to enslave people longer while never having to commit to giving land after a set period of time. This swap of workforce greatly changed the American landscape and later leads the United States into war. It would take an additional 100 years to abolish slavery all together and leave America scarred from racist repercussions every since. Indentured servitude leads to the even bigger problem of slavery, which is the greatest reason why serfdom is considered a black eye in American

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