American History

Question 1: Indentured Servants and African Slaves as Sources of Labor in the Americas

This section compares and contrasts the lives of indentured servants and African slaves as sources of labor in the Americas. In addition, it also highlights the reasons behind the colonies’ move from the indentured servants to slaves. According to Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage (2009), indentured servants referred to individuals who worked under contract for a definite period of time, often without payment, in order to be allowed passage to a new country. On the other hand, slaves were persons who were under the legal property of another individual, and they were obligated to obey their master. Both groups are conspicuous in the American history. However, the two terms exhibit a certain level of similarities and differences in terms of the lives of servants and slaves.

Indentured servants differed from slaves because they could be granted freedom after serving for a specific period as specified in their contact (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009). There were agreed terms of labor which indicated that the servant would serve a US citizen in exchange for free passage to other lands or other similar terms. The commodities offered in return for the servant’s services included food, clothing, lodging, transportation and different amenities during the indentured services. In contrast, the slaves’ lives seemed more pitiful than that of the indentured servants. They were not granted freedom after several years of hard work and toil. Once a slave, one would possess such a status as long they lived.

Prior to the American Civil War, both groups were viewed as the property of the owner (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009). Nevertheless, post-civil war laws protected the rights of the servants by removing the stigma that they were the personal possession of their master.

Similar to other property forms, slaves could be sold, bargained for, exchanged, and even included in a will. On the contrary, it was only the contract of the indentured servant, and not the actual servant, which could be bought or bargained for (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009).

Question 2: The Impact of the Glorious Revolution

The Glorious Revolution is used to describe the overthrowing of King James II of England by English Parliamentarians. The policies of religious tolerance after 1685 collided with the increasing opposition by the members of the leading political circles who did not like King James’s Catholicism and his ties with France. For British Catholics, the impacts of the revolution were disastrous both politically and socially. According to Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage (2009), they were denied their right to vote and sit in the Parliament for more than a century. In addition, they were also refused commissions in the army.

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Moreover, under King James II’s reign, the colonists suffered. The King refused to acknowledge any colonial charters. As such, the colonists did not have any influence on the laws and taxes. James was a staunch Catholic, whereas the colonists were strong Protestants. In the mind of the latter, Catholicism was similar to absolutism.

The Dominion of New England fell because of the Glorious Revolution. Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, and Armitage (2009) cited that the voting rights became available to all qualified male holders of property. This provided the voters with an opportunity to strike back the royal authority, and, as a result, unrest grew.

Question 3: The Arguments for and against Imperialism

The term “imperialism” has its origins in Latin and means “to command”. The notion was first used in the 16th century to describe territorial, colonial, and military dominance (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009). Despite the many years of existence of imperialist practices, the term “Age of Imperialism” refers to Germany, America, Britain and Japan in the late 19th century. Both the 20th and 21st centuries have seen the freedom of many countries from colonization. Nevertheless, through imperialism, countries, such as the EU and US have gained economic, political, military and cultural position on the world map.

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There are various pros and cons of imperialism. Most superpowers have brought with them contemporary technology and introduced industrialization in smaller countries. This has enabled the latter to boost their economies using the technological innovations of the imperialists. Imperialism has also introduced the concept of democracy. Imperialism and democracy have a common denominator which is dominance. To be an imperialist, a country has to be dominant in terms of military and politics. Democracy, in its turn, has ensured political stability (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009).

On the contrary, imperialism has resulted in bone of contention between the developed nations, especially in relation to obtaining the natural resources. It has led to the political foul play. Imperialism has also wiped out most traditional languages and cultures, thus, the majority of countries struggle to cope with the imperialists’ way of doing things. Moreover, the majority of Africans and Asians were relocated to England and America against their will as plantation slave labor because of the extreme imperialism (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009).

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Question 4: The Role of Women in the Knights of Labor

The Order of the Knights of Labor was a North American labor union formed in 1869 by Uriah Steven and other six garment workers in Philadelphia (Faragher, Buhle, Czitrom, & Armitage, 2009). The Knights of Labor did not discriminate against gender, nationality and skills. Its membership grew rapidly when the economic depression hit in the 1870s.

Initially, the union was portrayed as a masculine organization, but as more women joined, they took up several leadership positions shifting its ideology. Consequently, the female Knights turned the union into the gender sensitive one. Women became an integral part of the union in the 1880s, and by 1886, the organization had over 50,000 female members.

Women Knights stood for the appropriate gender norms by condemning employers who violated them. They also advocated for women’s rights by founding a department that established practices meant to promote female leadership as well as agitate for the union’s principles.

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