Lesson 5: Indentured Servitude: Why Sell Yourself into Bondage?

Many workers in colonial North America were indentured servants -- people who signed contracts stating they would work for up to seven years in exchange for passage to North America, plus room and board in their new workplaces. In this lesson the students analyze case studies of indentured servitude and identify its costs and benefits for people of limited means.


Benefits, Choice, Costs, Incentives
National Content Standards in Economics:
  • Standard #2: Decision Making
  • Standard #4: Incentives
  • Standard #5: Trade