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Producing Tabaco in the Chesapeake Colonies turned out to require a significant amount of labor. This included clearing the land, maintaining the plants, to packaging for transport. To meet the high labor needs the colonists turned to an indentured servant system, contracting young poor Englishman and sometimes Englishwoman. These Indentured Servants would work for five to seven years in return for their passage to America as well as room and board. Once they completed their contract they would receive a small amount of Supplies (Freedom Dues) and in some cases some land. Another Labor System used in the Chesapeake Colonies was the Headright system, this is where migrants that paid their own way to the Colonies could get fifty acres as well as extra land for each family member or servant that accompanied them to the colonies. By the end of the 17th century the Chesapeake Colonies turned to chattel slavery to fulfill their labor needs, enslaving Africans as well as natives.


Menard, R. R. (2013). Making a "Popular Slave Society" in Colonial British America. 

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