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I have been seeing memes online about the Irish having been slaves in the Americas. There's a fair amount of material online detailing the difference between the treatment of the Irish as indentured servants and African chattel slavery.

As I recall, African slavery started out as indentured servitude and became chattel slavery, but the Irish seem to have become part early American society. For example, Andrew Jackson, who was of Irish heritage, was elected in 1829.

How did the switch happen?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Mark C. Wallace, KorvinStarmast, Brasidas, SMS von der Tann, NSNoob Sep 28 '16 at 14:06

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    For debunking some of the "Irish slavery" memes, see medium.com/@Limerick1914/… and the next five parts – Henry Sep 23 '16 at 0:55
  • Aye, I stumbled onto that pretty quickly. I'm more interested in what exactly drove the development to chattel slavery for blacks, when as I understand, it started as indentured servitude. – Mike Sep 23 '16 at 1:07
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    I can't reference this, as it's a long time ago, but I wrote an undergraduate paper on the beginnings of Afro-American slavery, and IIRC the first captives were sold as slaves, not indentured servants. There were developments, such as declaring such slavery to be durante vita and for the children of female slaves to be slaves also, but I do not recall anything like the indentured servitude of Europeans. If I can find my paper, I'll try to expand on this. – TheHonRose Sep 23 '16 at 1:23
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    It began as indentured servitude of native indians in the Spanish colonies (the Encomienda). Worried about the abuses, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas thought that importing African slaves (physically stronger) would be a "humane" solution because they were physically stronger. He only realized later that, the stronger the slave was, the greater the workload he was given by his master. From the Spanish Empire the practice passed to to English colonies. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolomé_de_las_Casas – SJuan76 Sep 23 '16 at 7:36
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