The system in which some people (slaves) are a property of other people (masters) and are forced by them to perform work.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

65
votes
3answers
6k views

How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

I've tried to find some information about it, but failed. Somehow it doesn't seem to be important enough to write about it. Let's say there is an educated slave living in a relatively rich household ...
27
votes
4answers
3k views

When and how did people begin to consider slavery immoral?

Consider this: In the ancient world, murder and theft were prohibited. However, slavery was ubiquitous and considered normal. AFAIK, nobody thought of it as immoral, though probably some called for ...
19
votes
2answers
551 views

Was slavery in the United States legally limited to blacks?

Was slavery legally exclusive to race? That is, could blacks and only blacks in the United States be considered slaves under the law? As an example, if an owner were to import into the United States ...
17
votes
2answers
930 views

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

Gail Jarvis, in an encomium to the Dunning School writes: William A. Dunning fervently opposed slavery but his reading of the trends of the times led him to the conclusion that the institution ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

In ancient Rome, did a lot of people feel guilty about owning slaves?

Do we have historical evidence which shows whether significant number of people felt guilty about owning (without necessarily abusing) slaves in the ancient Roman era, e.g. 1-2 century AD?
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What kind of labor was used to build the Egyptian pyramids?

Most people believe the pyramids were built with slave labor (or at least it seems that way). This notion is perpetuated by movies; the building of the pyramids often evokes images of ancient ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

When was the last documented occasion that Arab or Ottoman slave traders abducted people from Europe?

According to Wikipedia, slave raids continued on a small scale until the 19th century. When was the last time slaves were taken from Europe? Edit: to be clear, I'm talking about slavery in the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

When was slavery abolished in Russia?

It is usually agreed that the Russian serfdom which was abolished in the mid-19th century originated in the 16th century as a form of martial law needed for armed campaigns and was especially ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

Did anyone in ancient times (let's say, up to 500 AD) want to abolish slavery, or even acknowledge the possibility that society could somehow work without it? I remember hearing once that Aristotle ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

How compare the rights and conditions of the American slaves to those of Russian serfs?

How compare the rights and conditions of the 19-th century American slaves to those of the 19-th century Russian serfs?
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Early attempts to abolish slavery in USA

Were there any early attempts or debates to abolish slavery in the USA, before Lincoln?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

How widespread was the practice of chaining slave rowers to the ships?

In many historical paintings one can see slave rowers chained to the ships. I wonder whether this practice was indeed widespread? Were the chains permanent or allowed quick disconnection? Were the ...
11
votes
3answers
553 views

Is it true that slavery was banned from discussion on the Senate and/or House floor before the American Civil War?

In one of the latter years of my undergraduate program I read/heard from one of my classes that discussing the slave trade/slavery on either the Senate and/or House floor (I forget which) was banned. ...
11
votes
2answers
265 views

What can be said about conditions of slaves owned by George Washington?

I remember hearing a PBS documentary make a claim that the babies of slaves on George Washington's Mount Vernon went naked in winter. I have been trying to verify, or even get a good citation, for ...
11
votes
1answer
458 views

Why was the area now known as Liberia chosen as the location for repatriation of African slaves in the US?

The American Colonization Society thought that colonizing Africa for the purpose of returning US slaves to Africa was the solution to slavery problems. Why, and how, did they come to decide that the ...
10
votes
1answer
197 views

What status and rights did a Roman freedwoman have?

When a slave was freed by a Roman citizen, he became a Roman citizen himself, although with certain legal disabilities: eg, he could not stand for public office, he could not join the army, and was ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

David Duke has a video on YouTube about Jewish participation in various slave trades in Western history. At the 7:40 mark he states: In the pre-Civil War United States 2% of white gentile ...
9
votes
2answers
453 views

What was the impetus for some African nations to participate in the slave trade?

I know that some African nations participated in the slave trade by providing captured enemies as slaves to Europeans, but what are some of the reasons they did? Was it simply a new economic ...
9
votes
3answers
471 views

Was there a movement for “humane” slavery?

Many of us are familiar with the movements for "free-range" or "humane" animal products. I have heard that in the antebellum US there were similar movements for "humane" slave products. Is this true? ...
8
votes
3answers
20k views

What other countries besides the US participated in keeping African slaves?

The question is pretty much in the title, but I am really seeking countries which kept slaves around the same time the US did, and where it was just as prominent in said country as it was in the US.
8
votes
1answer
330 views

Slave owners mobbed and murdered?

In Jefferson Davis' first message to the Congress of the Confederate States, he stated that: owners of slaves were mobbed and even murdered in open day solely for applying to a magistrate for the ...
8
votes
1answer
346 views

Which Roman emperor destroyed a weaving machine?

A slave created a revolutionary weaving machine which needed many less slaves to produce fabrics. The machine was so amazing that it was presented to the Emperor of Rome himself. That emperor was very ...
7
votes
3answers
844 views

Why weren't Australian Aborigines enslaved?

While there are many articles discussing the Australian Aborigines' de facto legalized slavery, or essentially free labor, the fact seems to be that they were never de jure slaves, as Africans were. ...
6
votes
3answers
812 views

Who were the traders involved in the triangular slave trade? [closed]

There is currently a big polemic in French news media about antisemitism. A French comedian is accused to propagate antisemitic ideas in France. I have no intention to propagate this polemic on this ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

Roman aristocrat with slave assassins named after him?

I remember reading a few years back that there was a particular Roman strongman who had a very intense way of dealing with enemies. He had dozens of either slaves or former slaves (freedmen), but I ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there any truth to the claim that freed slaves who moved to Liberia enslaved the local population?

This claim was made in a documentary I saw on youtube called 'The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia' at about 1:22, as well as on the blog BloggingWithoutMaps I can't find strong sources to back this ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

Was it widespread practice to grant freedom to slaves in early Roman Empire?

If a citizen owned a slave, he or she could free him / her. The Wikipedia article gives some reasons for doing this: Slaves were freed for a variety of reasons; for a particularly good deed toward ...
6
votes
1answer
397 views

Evolution of the names of slaves

I'm curious to know how the names of African slaves in the US changed from that of traditional names used by their tribes eventually to their modern, (mostly Christian) names. In other words, how did ...
5
votes
3answers
839 views

Why did the US not move to crush the Haitian Revolt after the 1804 massacre?

Understandably, the European nations were embroiled in the Napoleonic wars. But the American Revolutionary War had been over for almost 20 years by then. A large part of their population too, were ...
5
votes
3answers
514 views

Did people near antebellum Asheville N.C. own slaves?

In 'The Hills Beyond' T. Wolfe, a native of Asheville, suggest that in many mountain counties of the Appalachia people had not owned slaves and that blacks were unknown before the civil war. Is the ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What degree of choice did slaves have over their sexual autonomy?

What degree of choice did chattel slaves in the United States of America1have over their sexual autonomy? Was this codified in any law? 1. Assuming scope is the USA, given the source of the Roots TV ...
5
votes
3answers
240 views

Did the increase of slavery in the US bring an end to indentured servitude?

In the development of the New World, indentured servitude was quite common for passage across the Atlantic. Did the increase in slavery in America, especially in Virginia and other similar ...
5
votes
2answers
566 views

Why did serfdom disappear gradually in England?

Why did serfdom gradually die out in England? Why was its abolition not the locus of explosive and acute social conflict, like in Russia or France?
5
votes
3answers
943 views

Did the Greeks win the battle of Salamis because their rowers were “free”?

While I was at university in the late 1970s, I was told by a faculty advisor that the Greek rowers at the Battle of Salamis were given cushions that greatly increased their comfort and efficiency (and ...
5
votes
2answers
700 views

What portion of Northerners were against slavery for humanitarian reasons in 1860 America?

In a Civil war History class, I heard that the percentage of people who favored the abolition of slavery was quite low in the North. Furthermore I understand that, at the time, some of the main ...
4
votes
8answers
18k views

What were the long-term effects of Reconstruction in the South?

After the American Civil War, the South was in ruins and there was doubt about how the Southern states would treat newly freed slaves. So the US government instituted a 15-year policy known as ...
4
votes
2answers
158 views

post slavery segregation outside of the US

Other than the USA did any other countries practice a codified form of segregation after abolishing slavery?
4
votes
1answer
383 views

Why was California admitted as one big state rather than split up?

In this answer, Mark points out that when California was admitted to the Union as a free state, that changed the balance between free and slave states, leading to the Compromise of 1850. Why indeed, ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Travel time for African Slave trade

What was the average travel time for African slaves being moved from the interior of Africa to the coast for export? Also, how long did they tend to wait on the coast until they were exported? I ...
4
votes
1answer
385 views

The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables on slavery

I have just been reading the Roman Twelve Tables, and am deeply confused. In Table VI, it states: Law VII. Where anyone demands freedom for another against the claim of servitude, the Prætor shall ...
4
votes
2answers
288 views

What nullified the Missouri Compromise?

I always thought it was the Dred Scott decision in 1857, when Chief Justice Roger Taney declared the compromise unconstitutional. But I've also heard it was nullified by the Kansas Nebraska act in ...
4
votes
2answers
277 views

What involvement did Jonathan Edwards have with the Conspiracy of 1741?

According to this article: Rev. Jonathan Edwards delivered the hellfire and brimstone "spider" sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741. This topical ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Did Portuguese and Spanish have slaves on European soil working for them?

I know Portuguese and Spanish had slaves working for them on the colonies but what about on their own soil in Europe?
4
votes
2answers
127 views

Were there any abolitionists imprisoned for being critical of the Congress or the President during the American Civil War?

It's been said that some 14K civilians were imprisoned without trial and that some 300 newspapers were temporarily shut down by the executive branch over the course of the Civil War. I'm wondering if ...
4
votes
2answers
714 views

Was the Missouri Compromise too arbitrary to stop spreading of slavery to the west and the north?

The Missouri Compromise determined that in states south of the 36°30' parallel slavery was allowed (and also in the new state of Missouri, which lay north of it). This seems rather arbitrary to me, ...
3
votes
2answers
828 views

Why weren't North American Indians considered to be property yet to be acquired (slaves)?

When White men came to mainland North America, there were an indigenous population already here. I will refer to that population as North American Indians. Africans were brought to the Americas ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the etymology of Haiti's name? [closed]

A long time ago someone told me a story which is very unclear. They said that Haiti got the name from the American Civil War after the slave trade when the slaves occupied the country it was or ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

What if a slave entered a state without slavery?

I was told that a slave entering a sovereign state that has abolished slavery is automatically freed. However, I was only able to trace legal statements on this for ships travelling under the flag of ...
3
votes
0answers
117 views

Did some Roman/Pompeiian houses have atria for slaves?

According to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Vettii) the House of the Vettii brothers had two atria, one specifically for slaves. Servants' quarters are to one side off ...
2
votes
3answers
430 views

Free states and slave states - how did that work?

Accounts of the build-up to the American Civil War put a lot of weight on the concept of balance between the number of free states and slave states in the union, and various complicated wrangling that ...