Indentured Servants

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Indentured Servants – People that worked for free for a period in exchange for someone paying the cost of moving to the colonies

Problems: Colonists pay good money but people are dying on the trip (the Europeans died more often than Africans, who had very good immune systems)

    • The first group settlers tried to enslave was the Native Americans - who believed farming was women’s work and Native Americans were dying because they hadn’t been exposed to the diseases Europeans had been exposed to

    • After 7 years the indentured servant was given land, but it wasn’t good land, so they became angry

    • If the indentured servant didn’t live 7 years they had to bring over others

    • The people freed from service were complaining and angry

(By using slaves they didn’t have to pay them, give them land or deal with angry indentured servants.)
Colonists started passing laws:

    • Blacks & whites cannot marry

    • You can beat your black indentured servant but cannot beat your white indentured servant

    • A freed white indentured servant can own a black servant but a freed black indentured servant cannot own a white servant

Slaves would be auctioned off like animals and might be branded with hot metal irons

    • The South would go bankrupt is they couldn’t produce crops for free, but the North says that slavery is morally wrong

    • Some slave refused to eat and might be force fed and bound

    • Families were divided – unthinkable horrors

    • Abe Lincoln did not set out to get rid of slavery, but he was against it. Having him elected was enough for the South to be against him

    • Colonial merchants make a fortune trading slaves.

    • Slaves worked for free to harvest indigo, tobacco, rice, cotton & sugar

The relationship between the British and the Colonists was at first a parent – child relationship. As the children (colonies) were growing up they wanted more independence. Britain acted like an absentee parent who would change the rules (create taxes).

Mercantilism – A policy in which the colonies sell cheap raw materials to England, the British would then refine the materials an sell them to the colonies and other countries.
New England Colonies: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island Small farms to supply food but the main industries are lumber fishing and ship building, very religious, mainly Puritan
Middle Colonies : New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware Occupations are varied jobs ranging from farming and livestock to the fishing, lumbering, and other industries Less schooling than NE Colonies because of the variety of religions. More one room school houses.
Southern Colonies: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia Large farms were called plantations, they needed slaves to work these farms as cheap labor – sugar, tobacco, & cotton- produced in large quantities
Road to Independence

  • The road to independence starts with the French & Indian War. The colonists & British were fighting against the French & Indians (Native Americans) Some other names for this war: The Seven Years War and the First World War ( It was a global war, the French & English are fighting in Europe.)

  • British: Had larger issues with the French, and didn’t want them affecting their interests in North America. Felt they had a claim to the Ohio territory. (They want the French out.)

  • Colonists: Wanted to expand west into the Ohio territory.

  • French: Wanted to keep their claim to the Ohio territory.

  • Native Americans: Wanted to keep their land. Most tribes sided with the fur trading French.

  • The British win the war by promising that they will keep the colonists from moving west into the Ohio valley, but the Colonists are furious because the British had promised they could go west if they helped the British. To make matters worse the British begin to tax the colonists to pay for the war, since the British were protecting the colonists.

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