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Demand for Labor in the Middle Colonies

Due to the increasing rise in the demand for labor during the colonization era, the use of slavery increased exponentially to meet the specified demand in the Middle Colonies and the Colonies of the South. In contrast, the Chesapeake Colonies continued to focus on using indentured servants.

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The process of colonization was extraordinarily brutal and was mainly aimed at reducing the time for capturing the land, hence the need for an extra labor force, which was represented by slaves in the Middle Colonies. The Middle Colonies relied on the use of slaves as their primary labor force, which seemed to have been justified mostly by the violent tradition since, unlike the southern colonies, the Middle ones did not thrive on agriculture and, therefore, did not require the same extent of labor effort. However, the perspective that the Middle Colonies adopted toward the use of slave labor was slightly different from that one of the South, with the number of slaves being significantly lower, and the type of work is quite different. The absence of a system in the use of slave labor defined the propensity toward building opposition to the institution, which would gain traction in Northern states such as Pennsylvania (Chet, 2019).

Likewise, the Colonies of the South relied on the use of slave labor extensively, mostly due to the specifics of the South environment and the need to use agriculture as the main force for thriving in the area. However, in contrast to the Middle Colonies, the ones of the South were desperate in their need for cheap labor due to the necessity to use agriculture as the main vehicle for boosting the economy, hence the atrocious and inhumane exploitation of the Black population. Moreover, unlike the Chesapeake Colonies, the South ones did not have the additional resource of indentured immigrants willing to fill the positions in the target working spots, which defined the willingness of the South Colonies to exploit the African American population. Overall, the South Colonies were significantly different from the Chesapeake ones due to their perspective on the use of slave labor, yet their perspective was not fully aligned with that one f the Middle colonies, either (Chet, 2019).

However, unlike the Middle Colonies and Colonies of the South, the Chesapeake Colonies preferred mostly indentured servants as the main labor force, which can be explained by the characteristics of the environment and the fact that the colonies consisted mostly of people escaping England due to poverty. The existing accounts of the progress in the Chesapeake Colonies indicate that local colonists preferred to select their labor force from the population of immigrants rather than slaves. The conditions under which the specified servants were contracted implied that they were paid and provided with the bare minimum of resources, yet the colonists viewed the specified resource as more profitable in the long term (Chet, 2019). However, the servants contracted by the colonists also had specific goals in mind, including the pursuit of opportunities for settling in the new environment and even gaining their homesteads as a reward after the years of their servitude.

Despite the presence of similarities in the approaches used for colonizing the American land, the differences in the specifics of the environment and demographics defined the propensity toward slave labor in the Middle Colonies and Colonies of the South, whereas the Chesapeake Colonies used indentured servants.

Reference

Chet, G. (2019). The colonists’ American Revolution: Preserving English liberty, 1607-1783. John Wiley & Sons.

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