Comment May 29, Advanced Placement United States History, or APUSH, will provide you with the most challenging and rewarding academic experience you have encountered in your educational career.
Younger Servitude had a long history in England, dating back to medieval serfdom. The Ordinance of Labourers, passed in Junedeclared that all men and women under the age of sixty who did not practice a craft must serve anyone requiring their labor.
Parliament updated the law in andwith the latter version, the Statute of Artificersstill being in effect when the English founded Jamestown. Between andEngland's population more than doubled, from 2.
In fact, the founding of Virginia itself was partially in response to this problem. In his Discourse on Western PlantingRichard Hakluyt the younger argued to Queen Elizabeth that new American colonies would energize England's "decayed trades" and provide work for the country's "multitudes of loyterers and idle vagabondes.
Contracts generally lasted a year, after which terms were renegotiated. As the merchant and adventurer Sir George Peckham noted inmany English men and women willingly became servants "in hope thereby to amend theyr estates," and young children were sometimes bound to service by parents who might not otherwise be able to afford their upbringing.
While there was not necessarily a strong stigma attached to indentured servitude, the institution—first in England and then in Virginia—temporarily transformed free men and women into chattel, or property to be bought and sold.
At first, the company attempted to entice investors by offering them shares in the company that were redeemable for land.
But when profits failed to materialize and the colony became infamous for its high mortality rate, the company began shipping servants to Virginia at its own expense and placing them on company-owned land.
An Englishman willing to risk his life in order to work someone else's acreage was not usually someone who could afford transatlantic passage. Once the servants arrived, the company could rent them out to planters for a year at a time, requiring the planters to take responsibility for the workers' food, shelter, and health.
With the introduction of marketable tobacco, however, demand for labor skyrocketed. Private investors who, alongside the company, had shipped servants at their own expense continued to do so while the company rid itself of its role as rental agent. Instead, it sold servants directly to planters at a price based on the cost of passage.
Planters, mariners, and merchants then fixed the servants' years of service based on the labor required to recoup their purchase price and subsequent care. Servants, who ranged from convicted criminals to skilled workers, in time came to occupy the lowest rung on the social ladder in Virginia.
While tenants kept half of what they earned, servants kept nothing and were almost entirely at the mercy of their masters for the terms of their indentures.
Movement up the ladder was limited, even once a term of service had been completed, although servants with marketable skills had a greater chance of success. Few servants were like Robert Townshend Tobacco Tamper In the summer ofthe Virginia Company of London announced that it would send to Virginia, at "publike charge," "eight hundred choise persons," half of whom were assigned to be tenants of company land.
One hundred "yong Maides" were sent to "make wives for these Tenants," and one hundred boys to serve as apprentices. Finally, "one hundred servants [were] to be disposed amongst the old Planters, which they greatly desire, and have offered to defray their charges with very great thankes.
Instead, it implemented a system by which it used the prospect of land to entice new colonists, and with them laborers. Headrights, first described in the so-called Great Charter ofawarded acres of land each to planters who had been in the colony since Mayand 50 acres each to anyone who covered the cost of transporting a new immigrant to Virginia.
These newcomers, more often than not, were indentured servants, allowing successful planters simultaneous access to land and labor, with no upfront cost to the company. Merchants and mariners reaped a benefit, too, for they recruited prospective servants, bargained their indenture terms with them, and then sold the contracts to planters in Virginia.
Merchants also accumulated headrights that could be used to acquire land. In time, these headrights, or land certificates, were bought and sold much like modern-day stock certificates.
Early Virginia Colonists Sometimes groups of investors collectively absorbed the cost of outfitting and transporting workers to the colony. Virginia Company of London stockholders were entitled to acres per share, and high-ranking officials were furnished with indentured servants as part of their stipend.
In some instances groups of investors promised to give land to their indentured servants after they fulfilled their contracts.
The Society of Berkeley Hundred 's investors offered their skilled servants parcels that ranged from 25 to 50 acres, to be claimed once they had fulfilled their contracts. Various factors fueled the need for new servants.
Approximately 50, servants—or three-quarters of all new arrivals—immigrated to the Chesapeake Bay colonies between and The ratio of men to women among servants in the s was six-to-one. Between andthe ratio dropped to four-to-one, but even then, many men could not find wives to marry and therefore could not establish families.
As a result of this and the high mortality rate among new servants, company officials and English merchants were forced to constantly replenish the Virginia colony's servant population.
View Slideshow Another factor creating a need for new servants was the rapidly expanding tobacco market.
It created substantial opportunities for would-be planters, but because tobacco was a demanding, labor-intensive crop, it also required a large number of laborers.The Growth of Slavery is best understood by examining the following topics: "Europeans Come to Western Africa," "New World Exploration and English Ambition," "From Indentured Servitude to Racial Slavery," "The African Slave Trade," "the Middle Passage," and "The Growth of Slavery .
Throughout its history, the United States has faced struggles, both within the country—between various ethnic, religious, political, and economic groups—and with other nations.
The efforts to deal with and resolve these struggles have shaped the United States of America into the late 20th century. Indentured Servants in Colonial Virginia.
Contributed by Brendan Wolfe and Martha McCartney. It is still in effect when Jamestown is founded in - Richard Hakluyt (the younger) presents a treatise on colonization, the Discourse on Western Planting, to Queen Elizabeth. He is awarded the next open appointment as prebendary of.
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