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Dbq - Indentured Slavery

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Indentured Slavery

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Americas and Africa saw a shift from slavery and other forms of work to indentured servitude. In many instances, this influx of imported men and women more than doubled the native population. An increasing agricultural necessity and potential, as well as the falling out of slavery caused a drastic increase in the practice of indentured servitude which disrupted native lands and harmed imported workers.

The first justification and need for indentured servitude came in the 1850's when British colonies throughout the world began to experience a labor shortage. From this necessity for workers came Merivale's justification that "[the indentured servants] have been raised" instead of "seized." This idea that using the imported men and women for work as well as the "geometrical" labor requirement described by Itongati in the South African colonies both led to the drafting of contracts such as the British Guiana Indenture Agreement. This contract was created to set forth the regulations of indentured servitude and undoubtedly persuaded many potential workers to sign, as the contract is extremely positive save the "Return Passage" clause. The final major cause for the rise of indentured servitude came with the fall of slavery. In the British Government's release of Asian-Indian immigration to its colony of Mauritius, it is shown that as the numbers of slaves dropped, the number of indentured servants rose to fill the void left behind.

With the rise of indentured servitude came its ensuing consequences on native lands and the workers involved. As shown by the Indentured Migration Routes, the vast majority of labor came from the Asian countries of India, China and Japan. Northrup's statistics further prove this idea revealing that more than one million Indians became workers in the Americas and Africa. These incredible numbers of imported workers greatly skewed local population numbers as shown by government population records. In four of the areas six represented, indentured workers made up more than 40% of the total population. These new inhabitants likely destroyed much of the native culture in their

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