Impressions of indentured servants

Women Prior to the Revolutionary War, thousands of indentured servants and convicts were transported often against their own will by Great Britain to either mainland America or to the British colonies in the West Indies.

Impressions of indentured servants

What conclusions can the class reach after discussing their charts? When discussing slavery remind students that unlike today, slavery didn't need to be justified back then.

Slavery was widespread, and taken for granted throughout most of recorded human history. Historian Barbara Fields has observed that "There was no need to justify slavery in a society in which everybody stands in the relationship of inherited subordination to someone else - servant to master, serf to nobleman, vassal to overlord, overlord to kings, and king to King of kings.

For this activity students will need to use the Virtual Jamestown site at http: Once at the site click on "Public Records" and go to "Laws. Students will only need to read the following excerpts from these documents. The document titles listed below are taken directly from the Virtual Jamestown site.

They follow the order of the documents listed at each site but omit many of the documents to make the activities listed below more manageable. Students can access these documents directly from the web. Teachers can exercise the option of copying these documents in Word, deleting the documents not being used in the lesson, and photocopying the rest for students to use.

In the activity on indentured servants, groups of students Impressions of indentured servants given different documents to look at, but all tried to answer the same set of questions. In this activity, all students study the same documents, but each group does so in order to answer a different focus question.

Divide the class into five groups such that each group is given only one of the focus questions below.

Impressions of indentured servants

Do the documents demonstrate that in early Jamestown there was significant social interaction among Indians, Europeans and Africans? What were the different types of social interactions that occurred e. What was its significance, and what was the reaction of judicial and legislative powers in response to them?

What did the European planter class have to gain by creating racial distinctions via the law? What did the European indentured class have to gain? Review the regulations on indentured servitude used earlier in this lesson before trying to answer the second question.

The laws and judicial decisions of 17th century Jamestown are based on a variety of rationalizations used to justify the temporary or permanent enslavement of numerous groups.

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How do these rationalizations change over time? Why do you think they change? Was racial categorization and the legal restrictions it was designed to enforce resisted by those who were oppressed by it?

What different forms of resistance can we find in the legal records? What strategies, if any, seem to have met with at least temporary success? Many of the laws and judicial cases regulate sexual behavior according to evolving categories of "race.

What is the purpose of these evolving definitions and why were they deemed necessary? Who gained status, privilege and wealth by the adoption of these regulations? Be sure to consider the role of women as well as men in your answer.

We usually look at the story of colonial America as a series of steps toward freedom. As you help students synthesize what they have learned about early Virginia, help them to see a different story: What do students feel were the most important steps towards creating a slave system in Virginia where all the slaves shared physical characteristics?

Indentured Servant | Definition of Indentured Servant by Merriam-Webster

Begin by reviewing the first years of the colony when it is evident that people from all three continents worked together, mated, ran away together, and so forth.

Set up a timeline in the room beginning in and ending in Ask students to put on it the 10 most important events that "led to race. Ask students to compare their understanding of the origins of race-based slavery as depicted by most textbooks, to that conveyed by the legal record of early Jamestown.

To help students better understand the "steps toward race" you may want to develop with them further the chess analogy begun in Activity 2. Ask students to suppose that all the lowly pawns are black, and all the other pieces are white, save for an occasional black knight.

Then laws are issued which limit the freedom of the black pawns - they are slaves. Because all slaves happen to be black, color becomes associated with supremacy or inferiority. White chess pieces, even those which might have once been pawns themselves, would thus feel they have more to gain by seeing themselves as white than they do in making common cause with their former black counterparts against the aristocracy.

The story the white pieces tell themselves to justify this situation is not that the white pieces are greedy and want to control the labor of the pawns, but that the black pieces are inherently inferior and unfit for freedom.

Color, rather than shape, has become the difference that makes the difference Ask students what would happen if you introduced gray pieces into this game.As "indentured servants," they had few freedoms while in service to their "masters"; but when their contracts were fulfilled after four to seven years, they were free.

No such "contract" existed for enslaved Africans, of course, whose numbers escalated in the s as British America craved more laborers. Indentured Servants in Colonial Virginia Contributed by Brendan Wolfe and Martha McCartney Indentured servants were men and women who signed a contract (also known as an indenture or a covenant) by which they agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for transportation to Virginia and, once they arrived, food, clothing, and .

-ruled by the former New York governor, who did not have to answer to an elected assembly, reinforcing impressions that James II as an enemy of freedom statements that describe why Chesapeake planters found African slaves more suitable as a source of labor compared to indentured servants.

An indentured servant was a worker in a contract with an employer for a certain length of time. Usually a laborer or craftsman would have to work three to seven years in exchange for the cost of transportation across the ocean, food, clothing, land, a place to live and other things they needed to live or work during their contract.

This kind of. In U.S. history, the relationship between George Washington and slavery was a complex one in that, while he held people as slaves for virtually all of his life, he expressed reservations about the institution during his career.

Start studying History Test Ch3.

Servitude - "Slaves for life, and servants for a time":
Indentured Servants in Colonial Virginia Due to restricted access to resources, land lossand changes to the environment caused by European settlement, many Native Americans, especially coastal groups, could no longer practice traditional subsistence activities and therefore became increasingly dependent on European trade goods—cloth, tools, guns, alcohol, and increasingly, food. Merchants trading these items to Native Americans often inflated the cost and, based on a predatory lending scheme, advanced them credit for these purchases, knowing full well most Native Americans would not be able to repay the debts.

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RACE - The Power of an Illusion . For Teachers | PBS