HIS321 M3 Respones

Follow ALL directions. There are 3 posts of 250 words each. Must use references and NO plagiarism. Must be complete by today in 6 hours or ASAP. The posts are as follows:


Decisions, Decisions!

During the seventeenth century, England began to experience religious, economical, and political difficulties that affected many people. To escape England’s chaotic situation many men and women looked at the new world in search of new opportunities to improve their way of life. If I was a single woman living in England during the mid-late seventeenth century and I planned to go to the New World as an indentured servant to find better opportunities, I would consider moving to the Maryland colony for several reasons.  From the religious point of view, Maryland was the first English colony to offer religious freedom to all Christians. For a Catholic indentured servant, Maryland was a place of refuge from England persecutions. In 1649, Cecil Calvert, the first Proprietor and Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland, promoted religious toleration to all Christians living in the colony by passing the Maryland Toleration Act. Catholics were allowed to worship freely and if “whatsoever person or persons within this Province…shall from henceforth blaspheme God, that is Curse him, or deny our Savior Jesus Christ…shall be punished with death” (Maryland Toleration Act, 1649). As England became overpopulated, many people lost their jobs creating a sparse population hungry for new economic opportunities. The New World was advancing, and as new colonies were established, men, women, and families decided to cross the Atlantic to escape poverty. The colonies of Virginia and Maryland began growing economically due to the introduction of tobacco. The settlers began acquiring large properties to cultivate the cash crop into large quantities. Consequently, tobacco production increased in the Chesapeake colonies and planters began exporting a significant amount of tobacco to Europe; therefore, entering the international market (Vaughan, 2014). The increase of tobacco production demanded a labor force and this need was met by indentured servants. Therefore, from an economic point of view, I would move to Maryland to work as an indentured servant for a wealthy planter for a few years. Indentured servants, signed a contract voluntarily that assured them the passage to America and all necessities during their period of service. Men agreed to work on plantations and women worked in the planter’s household taking care of domestic tasks for 4 or 5 years. In exchange, they were promised freedom, land, wealth, corn, and tools to make a living for themselves in the colony. Moreover, since the Chesapeake colonies were short in labor and people were needed to occupy the colonies, the practice of indentured servitude proved successful for improving the weak economy and social development of Colonial America (Snyder, 2007).

     The last reason why I would move to Maryland as a female indentured servant is to find a husband. Many young female immigrants turned to indentured servitude as their incentive to find a husband and start a family in the New world. As Maryland’s economy improved, the colony offered excellent opportunities for young men to settle and purchase land. Young women became indentured servants to serve in wealthy families and “once a woman became free marriage was clearly the usual option.” Additionally, immigrant women saw this opportunity to have economic stability, become a planter’s wife to enjoy liberties and have a better social status (Carr & Walsh, 1977).


Maryland Toleration Act. (1649). Retrieved from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook_print.cfm?smtid=3&psid=3996

Vaughan, A. T. (2014). Chesapeake colonies. In E. Foner, & J. A. Garraty (Eds.), The Reader’s companion to American history. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/rcah/chesapeake_colonies/0

Snyder, M. R. (2007). The education of indentured servants in colonial america. Journal of Technology Studies, 33(2), 65-72. Retrieved from http://vlib.excelsior.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/217792105?accountid=134966

Carr, L. G., & Walsh, L. S. (1977). The Planter’s Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-Century Maryland, William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 34. 542-565.




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            If I was a young person living in England in the mid-late 17th century and planned to come to America, as an indentured servant I would have a tough choice deciding between Virginia & Maryland. Virginia is essentially the first established colony. It was somewhat grounded; rules were in place. Religious freedom was supposed to be there, but the church of England, Catholics and Protestants were spread out. The relations with the Native Americans were rocky and battles were constant throughout the years. Maryland was largely settled by Protestants. In the text, (Reich) states that during the settlement of Maryland, the Native American people began to withdrawal and leave the area. The founders took this as a “sign that god was with the colony”. Women experienced more freedoms in the new world, than they did in Europe. They often came alone without family, and had no one to listen to. Women were greatly outnumbered by men, this contributed to their gaining of rights. In Europe women, could not be named the property owner, if the original owner was to pass away. In the New world, they could inherit property.  Most of the criminals who were forced into indentured servants lived in Maryland. As an indentured servant, I would have been expected to be fed, clothed and provided shelter. They would sign a contract for work for 5-7 years, in exchange for their passage to the new world. If they lived through the years as an indentured servant, they received land and goods. The weather was much different than Europe, it got very cold.

Reich, J. (2011) Colonial America. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.




Total views: 16 (Your views: 1)

While the majority of indentured servants often worked the tobacco fields in Maryland and Virginia there were other locations that offered the ability to gain a trade.  I would sign up to go to the Pennsylvania Colony at which I would be able to earn a trade as a carpenter or glass maker (Salinger 1981).  There always remained the possibility of being put to work in a farm however the chances to be involved in a trade were greater in Pennsylvania.  There was a high concentration of servants in the urban area rather than in the rural farm areas.  The cost of the servants may have been the factor that most farmers couldn’t afford the prices, and therefore the servants played their role within the urban environment.  I would have more freedom than a slave I would rely solely on my master to provide for me as I accomplished his task.  My freedom gave me a chance to flee the area and blend into the population of another town.  I would have the ability to take my master to court for unfair treatment if I needed to.  Pennsylvania offers religious tolerance and welcomed settlers from all faiths.  While Pennsylvania was the most diverse colony I would follow my masters orders and practice what religion he saw fit, after all it was part of my contract.


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