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DBQ: Indentured Servitude

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How did indentured servitude affect the world? Furthermore, how did the world affect indentured servitude? Causes of indentured servitude include a need for cheap labor, economic survival, and needs of the servants. Consequences include bad working/living conditions for the servants, a huge number of immigrants arriving at countries with plantations/factories, and many Asian Indians leaving their countries. Documents 2, 1, and 7 can support those causes while documents 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 show the consequences.

A helpful document would be an example of the requirements needed to qualify for a certificate of exemption from a servant’s master. Document 7 shows how cheap labor was necessary and led to indentured servitude. In the document, there is a section titled “Monthly or Daily Wages or Task Work Rates.” The sections states that working adult men should be paid one shilling per day. In today’s US currency, that’s about 24 cents. The document also states that workers are expected to work 6 days a week, for 7 to 10 hours each day. This shows that the need for cheap labor persisted long after slavery was in decline.

As shown by Document 2, some countries employed indentured servants merely to stay afloat. In the document, an excerpt from a newspaper in South Africa, it is explained that the workforce needed to support the 60,000 acres of sugar plantations well exceed.

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