Myths of American History – 2

When Europeans began to arrive, not to explore but to settle, the first problems began. What would become the United States of America was not empty land, but land occupied by others who had been there for thousands of years.

Once the various treaties or wars were completed, and certain land was available for the emigrants the major hurdle was labour. Labour for the farms, the building of towns.

The Spanish used slaves, whether enslaving the native population or importing slaves from Africa.

The English used ‘indentured labourers’. These were often people who imprisoned for debts or other such crimes or those who were captured in a rebellion.

These people were transported to the colonies. They would work for the period of their indenture, (usually seven years) then, having worked off their passage, were given a piece of land and supplies.

Many were worked to death, some ran away.  Those who survived were to be granted land and supplies. Had America been empty land, or had the Native population moved hundreds of miles away, there would not be the obvious quandary; what will happen when all the land ceded to the colonists by the Native groups was fully occupied?

What would happen when there is no land to give the freed labourers?


What do you think?

Written by jaylar

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