labor system

labor system

Writing Workshop

Paper 1 – rough draft due 20 FeB 2019

Essay Prompt

The beginning of European settlement of the Americas from 1492 was marked by an extensive demand for labor. As we have discussed, the earliest forms of labor involved both coerced labor and forms of indentured servitude that utilized the work of Europeans, Native Americans and African peoples. By the late 1600s, this fluid labor arrangement became more restrictive and formalized, with a form of racially (African) based slavery imposed in North America. What factors contributed to this development? How and why did this transformation occur?

Basic instructions

5 pages


Times New Roman, 12-point font

A title that reflects the topic or your argument

Upload to Canvas as a .doc or .docx file

Bring two hard copies to class on 20th for peer review

Evidence and outlining

What factors led to the change in the dominant labor system (from a society with slaves to slave societies)?

Amount of indentured servants went down

Labor that indentured servants did changed…less agricultural labor

Bacon’s Rebellion

Native Americans resisting forced labor

Land speculation diminished

Fear that people would start demanding rights; people did start demanding rights

Africans had less leverage

Fear of collaboration among different groups of workers

Great Awakening

Opportunity for “seasoned” enslaved workers (Africans had experience of slavery)

Development of racial caste system

English common law providing opportunities for white workers

Power and superiority

Increased life expectancy of indentured servants

Disease and death for Native peoples

European wars that limited migration to the Americas

Fear of collaboration among groups of workers

Profits from staple crops

Evidence and outlining

How did workers (separately and collectively) respond to labor conditions? How did elite landowners/colonial leaders respond?

Native peoples: refused to work; resistance; assimilation; death; moved away; converted religion; merged tribes; maintained economic relationships; diplomacy thru marriage; trade

Indentured servants: English common law; Bacon’s Rebellion; ran away; fight for their rights; joined forces with allies; wrote letters home; broke tools; disrupt work; feigned illness

Enslaved Africans: runaway; pretended language barriers; broke tools; collaborated with servants; made own culture; Bacon’s Rebellion; converted religions; mass rebellion; escaped societies (maroon societies); murder; feigned illness; infanticide; poison; sabotage; stealing

Elite responses: implemented oppressive laws; tried to remove themselves from direct contact with workers; kill rebels; banned interracial couples; provided opportunities for poor and middling white people to gain economic security; threatened extending labor contracts; violence; access to land; social divisions between workers; more voting rights to free white men; pushed small farmers and white wage workers further west; stacked local political offices with friends and family

Historical analysis

Change over time

Human agency

What did labor demand/conditions look like in earlier period

Factors that caused change (with emphasis on human agency from workers’ perspective)

What it looked like by late-18th century (1760s)

What is YOUR best evidence and YOUR perspective

Essays are your thoughts and opinions supported by reasoning and evidence – not a summary of readings or class discussion

More than “what happened,” but your understanding of why it happened and the implications of that understanding…how do we use it?

Thesis statements

Your answer to the essay prompt

Your original argument summed up in one sentence

Body of essay is your proof that your argument is correct

When the reader finishes your paper, they should be able to say, “the writer proved their point,” or “the writer is wrong.”

What question are you answering?

Why did racially-based slavery become the dominant labor system?



Sets the context

Presents the information to be detailed below

Provides an argument

Gives a reader the “so what” answer – why it matters, why read your paper


Present your argument with evidence – factors that changed labor system


Restates your argument –”see, I told you”

Summarizes argument

Example thesis

The colonial labor system changed to racially-based chattel slavery because colonial elites feared losing power as the growing workforce demanded greater democracy and freedom

What evidence?


Avoid plagiarisms

No outside sources

Use in-text, parenthetical citations:

(Clark & Hewitt, 55)

(James, 53)

(Class notes, 12 Sept)

Georgia was last to become a slave society in the Lower South (Clark & Hewitt, 86-87). **Notice citation goes inside the sentence punctuation

Primary sources from textbook – just use textbook authors but can add detail in sentence

For example Richard Frethorne, an indentured servant, wrote to his parents of the harsh working conditions and his dire state in 1623 (Clark & Hewitt, 71).

Page setup

Do not use a cover sheet or title page

Title should be at one-inch mark

Put name inside page header

Page numbers should be at the bottom of the page

Do not include a reference list or works cited page


Writing resources in Canvas – in Week 2 section

How to avoid all forms of plagiarism

How to write an outline

How to construct an analytical thesis statement

How to construct a strong paragraph

Why you should avoid first-person when writing historical analysis papers

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