In early American history, indenture was a form of employment contract. Beginning in the colonial period, employers faced a labor shortage in the largely agricultural economy. They talked about it in two ways: by buying slaves and by stopping slaves. The first were Africans who, against their will, were brought to the colonies to serve for life; The latter were generally Europeans from England and Germany who had concluded multi-year employment contracts. From the late sixteenth century to the late eighteenth century, about half of the 350,000 European immigrants were in the colonies of Indentured Servants. During the seventeenth century, these servants were superior in number to slaves. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, nearly half of the Europeans landing in the defense colonies were indentured servants. They were still 5% of the population at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. An agent accepted a contract of four to seven years and in exchange obtained the passage of Europe as well as guarantees of work, food and housing. Colonial courts imposed civil servants` treaties, which were often harsh.
Employers were considered masters, and servants had to work not only for them, but also obey their orders in all matters. For some, servitude was not a voluntary act. Impoverished women and children were pushed into servitude, as were prisoners. Yet this servitude was not synonymous with slavery. Slaves remained slaves for life, while slaves were freed at the end of their contracts. In addition, agents, as contracting parties, had rights that were never valued by slaves. The practice of servitude lasted until the early nineteenth century. Many Indians, especially from Gujarat, arrived in southern Africa in the nineteenth century to work in the mines with this status of servant. Gandhi, from 1893 to 1914, in India, defended many of them against their bosses. Indenture is an English word that designates a certain type of synallagmatic contract, characterized by the impregnation of the document on which it is written. The intruder has been used to define the status of those who, in English, are called intruders. There is, however, an example of an intruder by Anthony Johnson, who was an African from today`s Angola.
He was transferred in 1619 to one of the British colonies in America to work on a tobacco farm. In 1622, he almost died when Powhatan Indians attacked his farm, 52 of the 57 people present died in the attack. .