By: Jemima Hernandez
Thesis: During the period of 1450 to 1750, the introduction of slavery and improvements in agriculture in the Americas brought a strict form of rule over the indigenous people and black slaves. This form of ruling was known as coercive labor, however, the diversity of cultures in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the English colonies brought changes in the form in which it was used, which included the rights of slaves and indigenous people, commodities produced, and freedoms granted by their masters.


Coercive Labor: system that gave settlers right to compel indigenous peoples of the Americas to work in mines and fields.



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Coerced labor played an important role in the establishment of colonies in the Americas.
  • Caribbean
    • Encomienda
    • 1515-1620
    • Native Americans divided among Spanish settlers and forced to provide labor (e.g.food and commodoties)
      • In return Spanish took care of basic needs
  • Latin America

    • Mita: public mandatory service in Incan Empire; legal servitude.
    • mid 1600 to late 1800
    • groups of labourers forced to work on state projects
  • English Colonies in North America


Spread of slave trade through the Triangular Trade

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Triangular trade was the "middle man" in the spread of slave trade to the Americas. Due to the establishment of crop plantations, land owners and farmers were in need for additional labor to meet to the demands of the products. Slaves were sold to planation owners in exchange for other luxurious commodities.

Comparing coercive labor systems


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