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Indentured Servant Living In The Virginia Colony In 1650 (Essay Sample)


Analytical Essay

        Analytical Essay   Student’s name  Institution Professor Course         Question 1: You are an indentured servant living in the Virginia colony in 1650. Describe your background, current conditions, and prospects. 55 Indentured servants were enticed to move to Virginia by the promise of free passage and free land, and in return, they were required to offer free labor. For people who were in lower classes, the offer was irresistible. However, the living conditions for indentured servants were inadequate; there were no medications offered while the work schedule was brutal. Their future was bleak, in most cases, only one in twenty workers realized their desire to acquire land and work to freedom (Murrin et al. 2014).  For women, the best escape was marrying a man who received the land. Indentured servants were slaves, who were frequently beaten, denied food and were never given any clothing. Although they were promised land, in most cases the property offered was of poor quality.  Question 2: Why would a European man or woman sign an indenture? Was it a “choice” or were they compelled by “historical forces”?  According Murrin et al. (2014), there was no significant reason why a European man or woman would choose to sign an indenture. Moreover, Murrin et al. (2014), noted that the major compelling reason was historical forces, it was not by choice. The first ancient force was the commencement of capitalism in England. Murrin et al. (2014), further states that the desire to find employment drew people to move to the cities in search of work. Some indentures were forced to move out of their lands which their families had lived in for an extended period; this happened when landlords opted to enclose their lands; many people were left with no option but to sign for indentures (Murrin et al. 2014).  There was also the demand for labor since landowners had a lot of work. Hence they were forced to sign indentured servants.   Question 3: What was the greatest threat to the elite’s control over the colonists – fear that was realized in Bacon’s Rebellion? What tactics did the wealthy elite/rich rulers adopt to prevent another Bacon’s Rebellion? Many years before the American revolution, there was a rebellion in Virginia called the Bacon Rebellion. When the colonialist set fire on their capital, the governor opted to flee the city. England decided to ship thousands of soldiers with the aim of gaining control of the over 40,000 colonialists (Murrin et al. 2014).  Interestingly, the rebellion was not about the Americans against the British. The uprising was a show of anger by the poor colonialist against the groups they regarded as their enemies. The rebellion brought together groups from the low class who were mainly the Indians and the colonist. The whites began their uprising since they never supported the manner in which the colony was being governed; the white and black servants joined them (Murrin et al. 2014). The whites imposed high duties on imported slaves and developed tighter slave codes. While white farmers opted to adopt other means to get work done. Question 4: Explain the pragmatic as well as the psychological reasons that led white American colonists of the seventeenth century to transform the black servant from a human being to a piece of chattel property.61 The primary step in the dehumanization of the blacks was the establishment of hereditary lifetime service (Murrin et al. 2014).  The main reasons that led white American colonists of the seventeenth century to transform the black servant fro...
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