There were a couple of different motives between ‘indentured servitude  and ‘chattel slavery’.. A person who was in debt could be thrown into prison for not paying it off. In order to avoid this very unpleasant possibility, people would hire themselves out to richer people for a period of 7 years. Alternately, it was a good way to finance the very expensive fare for emigrating from Britain to America.

“The indentured servant was a human being, unlike a slave, and had all the rights common to other men of the same culture.”

The indentured servant was a human being, unlike a slave, and had all the rights common to other men of the same culture. Indentured servants had the right to be fed, clothed and sheltered. If they were taken to court, they were protected by the same laws as their masters were – they were entitled to a jury trial, trials weighed evidence,and so on. Slavery was much harsher and was for life. Likewise,  it was based on race, slaves were not human and had no rights, and the stigma of being born to a slave mother carried on for several generations.