What Were the Types of Servitude   Read the textbook information for each column; the columns show the Chapter (C) # and the heading in the chapter.

Trait (These are not all the issues, but a sample.)

Servitude with Feudalism (Serfdom)

(One kind of servitude in Europe)

Servitude in Africa   C1: “The Atlantic Slave Trade Begins”


(Servitude by and of Africans in Africa)

Servitude in Spanish Colonies

C1: “Forced Labor Systems”

(Servitude of Native Americans and Africans by the Spanish)

Servitude in Eng. Colonies in South–Early 1600s

C2: “Africans in Early Virginia”

Indenture–Pre-1676 in South

C2: “Tobacco Boom” and “The Colony Expands” (See English servants.); C3: “War in the Chesapeake” (Read only before 1660.)

Slavery in Eng. Colonies in South–Late 1600s

C3: “Systems of Slavery in North America”

Indenture–Post-1676 in South  

C3: “War in the Chesapeake” (Read only after 1660.)

How do the masters justify your being a slave or servant?

Born to that status; you are bound to the land.

Africans enslaved by Africans:

- Lost war (POW)

- “outsiders”

Enslaved Native Americans, but decrees by the king:

- 1500 Only if  “just war”

- 1542 Cannot enslave

West Indies – Africans enslaved










After the unsuccessful rebellion by the landless men (Bacon’s Rebellion) in 1676:

How long does it last?

For life--and your kid’s life

Life (but could marry, “achieve status as members of a household”)


Kids –“ frequently emancipated” & “could not be sold”

Mainland, serfdom for life and your kid’s life

1. encomienda

2. repartimiento –varied service (weeks to year)

West Indies – for life












- The Virginia assembly grants votes only to those who own land.

- Planters stop bringing in indentured servants into Virginia.[1]

How does someone know you are not a free person who is able to go about the world by yourself?

People know you as a person and they know your status and your family’s for generations.

If your “kinfolk” had “banished them” and they were in West Africa, they were known. (See “members of a household.”)

Mainland – Reasons similar to serfs


West Indies – Africans on islands so no escape











- Planters start bringing enslaved Africans (no land and no vote).


What kind of work do you do? Is it different from the work of a free person who is working?

Same as free person of worker status.

Seems to be same work in Africa

Different work for Africans sold to the Portuguese.




Varied  – mining and refinery work deadly for Native Americans

Severe/deadly for Africans on islands and on the coast – “high death rates”














Notice: In 1660, blacks in the Chesapeake will be under 4% of the population (900 to 24,000 Europeans).

Notice: By 1720, blacks in the Chesapeake will be 20% of the population.


The Portuguese bought African slaves and used them differently than the Africans used African slaves. The Portuguese develop:

·         Plantation system that “becomes dominant in America” (in the South)

·         Slave trade system – Note: Slave traders did not necessarily use slave labor themselves. In the 1500s, the Portuguese were the dominant slave traders; in the 1600s, the Dutch; and by the 1700s, the English. In the first half of the 1700s, English merchants included those in English colonies that become the United States.


Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2013


WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

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[1] Although the South begins to turn away from bringing in white indentured servants, the Northern area of the Middle Colonies continues to use indentured servants. Those immigrants who could not afford to pay for their own passage were “’redemptioners,’ the equivalent of indentured servants whose labor would be sold for a number of years upon arrival.” (C4, “German and Scots-Irish Immigrants.”)