People were brought on ships that were crowded with about ninety-nine others. The ship rocked and waved for weeks or even months. Food would spoil, water would go foul, and people would become sick and die. Things would become ruined by saltwater. Storms often threatened each life the ship carried. When the ship finally arrived, the survivors of the journey would set off to start a life of their own. The people who came hoped to find a new life and things such as gold. They always carried the risk of failure.
Journey to the "New World"
Journey to the "New World"

In the beginning of the new life, people were either an indentured servant or the owner of a servant or servants. The servants with skills to offer would be more likely to make a good bargain. Periods of service lasted from two to three or even seven years. They looked at this time as a period of endurance and looked forward to a better life after they had served their contract. Indentured servitude was a gamble because they had no clue who was going to buy the contracts. The servants were subject to some kind of abuse and punishments for running away were typically harsh. However, some relationships between the owners and the servants were rather warm. Some became adopted formally, or informally to the family.

There had been different classes of that time. The high class was not obligated to work and was well educated. The middle class had to word but was literate, if not literary. The poor did not make up a sizable portion of the population and were often difficult to track. Therefore, historians did not take them seriously.


Kelly, Kevin P.. "Was There an American Common Man?." . The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2012. Web. 10 Feb 2012.

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Sage, Henry J.. "Introduction to American Colonial History." . Copyright, n.d. Web. 10 Feb 2012.