Serfdom vs slavery essay

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Serfdom vs slavery essay

Colonial Plantations When we think of the Middle Ages, images of knights and lords and ladies who did not wear pointy hats! Theirs was a feudal social system, meaning that a sort of contractual arrangement existed between the lords and the peasants.

The peasants toiled and farmed the land and did all the artisanal crafts. In return for a percentage of their product or, later, cash paymentsthe lords promised protection to the peasants in times of strife. In addition, the peasants owed a fixed amount of days per month and per year to the lord to plant, tend, and harvest his crops, repair his fences, and generally keep his estate in order.

This system endured for a millennium, from the fall of the Roman Empire into the early modern period. So what happened when the colonists arrived in America?

Even in places like the Middle Atlantic colonies of Maryland and Virginia, which were set up as giant feudal estates, the living was at first so marginal and the landowners typically absentee, enforcing feudal-style rents was largely either impossible or moot. But more importantly, many of the early colonial ventures, like the Jamestown settlement and the Plymouth Bay colony, were not extensions of lordly control, but rather joint stock companies or "adventurers" already outside feudal control.

In addition, although the colonists brought their religion with them as a cornerstone of their voyage whether Puritans escaping religious prosecution or devout Anglicans merely settling the landthey did not bring with them the whole Church hierarchy of bishops, archbishops, or, in the case of Catholics in New France, the Pope.

Consequently, in the Americas where colonists spoke English, French, German, or Dutch, the institutions of the feudal system never took root. And yet the medieval manor and colonial plantation shared a great deal in common.

Some of America's most beloved sites, such as Monticello and Mount Vernon, functioned essentially as had their medieval manorial antecedents for hundred of years. In fact, the American plantations were actually more medieval than their contemporary farms back in Europe because of their isolation.

One of the reasons for the rise of the manorial system in medieval Europe was wealthy landowners and merchants leaving the decaying cities of post-Roman Europe for the relative safety of their latifundia the Latin term for "spacious estate".

Thus, one of the key features of medieval manors was their relative self-sufficiency. By the seventeenth century in Europe, however, most manors were tightly interwoven in a web of commerce and trade.

But, the colonial plantation did not have this network and in a sense reverted to its medieval predecessor's style of self-sufficiency although there was certainly plenty of trade and commerce going on.

Coercive Labor Systems – slavery vs. other coercive labor system | CourseNotes

What, then, became of the lords of the manor? They did not go away — the landowners and industrialists became the lords. Many agricultural landowners had hundreds if not thousands of acres and worked them with a combination of hired hands, indentured servants, and slaves.

Even industrial iron plantations smelting iron replicated the medieval manor. Seigel himself lived like a baron in a sumptuously furnished mansion in Manheim, PA.

The only real difference is that by this time everything was operating on a cash economy, rather than the labor or in-kind payments typical of feudalism.

Jefferson and Washington, too, were in fact very much like medieval lords. They owned the land. They owned the laborers medieval serfdom, a sort of virtual slavery, was of course replaced by outright slavery in the New World.

They were the men in control of most commerce and primary production. They were the men in charge of government. And they were the ones who wrote the laws.Only took 3 pages to reveal the first wiener, its still not gay though. Speaking of wieners, I also drew this: Working on page 4 amongst other stuff, also JL.

The reason for then comparing serfdom in the Russian Empire with slavery in the USA lies in the fact that in 18th- and first half of 19th century Russia the nobility, the Dvoryanstvo, possessed the power to practically do everything they wanted with their serfs.

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Slavery in Africa - Atlantic History - Oxford Bibliographies

Mar 10,  · Best Answer: Slavery was the most extreme, but not the only form of unfree labor in British North America. Many Europeans and some Africans were held as indentured servants.

Neither slaves nor indentured servants were free, but there were important Resolved.

Serfdom vs slavery essay

Jun 26,  · Essay Unused for Exam 1: Question: On the basis of the analysis of Peter Kolchin, please compare and contrast the differences and similarities between two institutions of human bondage in the 18th and 19th century: Slavery in the American South and serfdom in imperial Russia.

Slavery was an existing part of the social contract under the Romans, then it didn't make sense anymore, until technology made it possible to bring it under the yoke of individuals.

As a nation, we're slowly coming to terms with the need for new social contracts to provide for the common welfare.

Serfdom vs slavery essay
Classical Slavery and Medieval Serfdom| Lectures in Medieval History