Slavery In The Colonies

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Slavery in the colonies was almost nonexistent in the early decades of the 17th century; it was only until the last decades of that century that it grew exponentially, but why? To answer this question it is important to remember that most colonies were established for one reason: economic exploitation for the use of the establishing country. They went in with the intention of seizing gold. Locals were enslaved as a matter of course. But diseases wiped out huge numbers of them, and enslavement killed many more. As colonist soon realized there was no gold lying around like in South America, the colonists were not discouraged. They realized there were many crops that the natives grew that were worth money, and the two that proved best for the long voyage back were tobacco and cotton. So to keep up demand for these new industries colonist searched for a more…show more content…
In this system inspiring young people paid for their passage to the New World by working for an employer for a certain number of years. This was the method of choice implemented by many planters throughout the 1680s. One system implemented to encourage was the headright system, which stated that for each laborer brought across the Atlantic, the master was rewarded with 50 acres of land. This system was used by wealthy plantation aristocrats to increase their land holdings dramatically. In addition, of course, they received the services of the workers for the duration of the indenture. But even indentured servants became free, and their employers were legally obligated to give them their “freedom dues” which would usually include land, a gun, money, clothes and food. And eventually indentured servitude slowly faded, this probably due to increased wages in England limiting the number of immigrants, and plantation owners seeking a cheaper and more reliable source of labor to maximize profits. This is wear slavery in the colonies sky
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