How was slavery different from and similar to indentured servitude in 19th century?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Slaves were generally the citizens of african countries and were brought to the colonies against their will. Indentured servants were people who agreed to be transported to a colony and work for a specific number of years in exchange for transportation to the colonies. The indentured servants, once free, were accorded the same rights as everybody else. Slavery was for life, whereas the indentured servitude was for a set number of years. A slave was considered property of the master and could be bought and sold. In comparison, the indentured servant will only work for a number of years (previously agreed upon in the contract or agreement) and was not a property of the master, although he/she was contractually bound to work for him. Furthermore, an indentured servant could not be bought or sold, only the contract or agreement could be bought or sold by an interested third party. The slaves never got any payment for their work, while indentured servants were provided lodging, boarding and transport to the location. Also, indentured servants were sometimes provided remuneration as "freedom dues" upon completion of the agreement. In general, indentured servants had a somewhat better life than the slaves. However, they did similar type of work, the hours were long and masters were generally cruel.

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