Labor and Unions
Throughout history labor has changed over time. In early America labor was unfair for those who worked. They had inhuman hours and working conditions, in order to address these horrible conditions Unions rose and provided the working force with solutions to which leads to better working conditions, wages and hours.
Angel J. Caro
Labor unions go all the way back to the founding of Jamestown in 1607 when the colony lacked laborers. The idea of indentured servitude was born when the colony need a source of cheap labor. Indentured servants were typically assured freedom after seven years of labor. In 1618, the Virginia Company introduced the headright system which gave anyone who brought indentured slaves into American 50 acres of land. The concept of the headright system was to attract settlers to the region to address the labor shortage within the colony by the development of tobacco farming. Indentured servitude was unable to provide for the amount of man power that was need for efficient farming. The colony needed another idea for labor. The failed attempt to enslave Native American led to the import of slaves from West-Africa. The first African American slaves arrived in 1619 from Caribbean trade routes. Slavery thrived throughout the colonies. Later, Nathaniel Bacon, who in 1676 led an unsatisfied, armed rebellion against the indentured servitude system known as Bacon’s Rebellion. The rebellion was mainly due to the great quantity of young white males who did not own land and were unable to vote.
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