History 81 Section #8150
Question: Compare and contrast slavery, indentured servitude, and “free” labor. What were the complaints of workers living under these varied conditions? What options did they have to improve their conditions?
Thesis: There were many people that the Englishmen used to help them establish the country we know now as America, but those people were slaves. Some were forced to be slaves and others searched for new opportunities.
1. Indians were one of the few people that were enslaved in order to aid him on his search for gold, Columbus, unable to cooperate with them, started to use them for his own benefits.
2. Africans were also treated badly but even more badly than the Indians, they were not even considered to be people to the Spaniards but still force to do labor and even offered opportunities to become “free”
3. There were some people that came from Europe to Jamestown in order for a new way in search of some labor, the people who came over were mostly poor, and they were call indentured servants.
“Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships” (Howard Zinn, 4).
“When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as ecomiendas” (Howard Zinn, 5).
“While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants” (Howard Zinn,7).
“Some historians think those first blacks in Virginia were considered as servants, like the white indentured servants brought from Europe. But the strong probability is that, even if they were listed as ‘servants’ (a more familiar category to the English), they were viewed as being different from white servants, were treated differently, and in fact were slaves” (Howard Zinn, 23).
“African Slavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel form of slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, black was slave” (Howard Zinn, 28).
“When the Revolutionary army needed more forces, a number of slaves were entreated or forced into the military, often with the promise of freedom as a reward for their service. But these promises were routinely betrayed, and many masters claimed the right to re-enslave blacks who had fought in the Revolution” (Howard Zinn, Anthony…