Questions tagged [slavery]

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

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25
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1answer
3k views

Did Catherine the Great really call for the abolition of serfdom?

... like Catherine the Great S01E01 (2019) shows? This would be almost a century before serfdom was actually abolished, and makes one wonder why the Czars didn't just do it, if they were in favor of ...
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287 views

Before the Civil War, did the USA ever offer something like a “5-year plan” for the South to abolish slavery?

Before the U.S. Civil War broke out, did the North ever offer any sort of gradual slavery abolishment deal to the South, instead of demanding that the South stop slavery immediately? I imagine the ...
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141 views

After the end of slavery at the closure of the US civil war, what percentage of former slaves stayed at their previous workplaces?

Upon the abolition of slavery in the USA, there were suddenly millions of former slaves set free. But they were left without an obvious workplace. On the other side, millions of jobs done previously ...
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Who kept Roman peculium records?

This is effectively a Roman banking question but specifically with respect to the custody and record keeping of slaves wages. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities indicates a need for a lot of ...
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3answers
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Did slaves have slaves?

Was there anywhere in history where the enslaved were able to enslave others? Was there a slave hierarchy? I read the slavery wikipedia entry, it mentions that in various cultures people retained ...
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1answer
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Was there social pressure among whites for slave owners to trade their slaves north in the 1850s? [closed]

I was told that slave owners were supposed to sell their slaves to a more northern plantation. There was no law to do this, and I am not sure when this custom began (or even if it was really a custom)...
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1answer
242 views

How did Southern slaveholders in the United States relate to the Caribbean and Latin America?

The assertion in bold from Eric Hobsbawm's The Age of Capital piqued my interest. I am quoting most of the paragraph in case the context may help. A large part of the south-west – California, ...
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When was someone condemned to slavery for the last time in the United States?

These question and answer have established than even after the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, felons have been sentenced to be "sold as slave" for a given ...
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Has chattel slavery ever been used as a criminal punishment in the USA since the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment?

The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution provides (my emphasis): Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly ...
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1answer
58 views

Entry-level articles on USA slavery?

I am a first period history student in Brazil, and have been studying the formation of American colonial societies during the 16th and 17th centuries. We have only now started studying the formation ...
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1answer
223 views

Why have “classical” given names (seemingly) had greater persistence in American black culture?

This is not quite a duplicate of Did American slave holders typically give their slaves the names of Roman nobility?. Over there, two sheds' answer gives a compelling argument that it wasn't so much ...
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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Was there any punishment for killing slaves, and what punishment was given for it, and was it enforced?
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Did galley captains put corks in the mouths of slave rowers to keep them quiet?

I’m reading Sword and Scimitar by Simon Scarrow and there’s this bit about rowers in galleys of the Knights of St. John (Malta). In the story, it is important the Knights' galley keeps silence so that ...
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2answers
424 views

Why didn't slaves just leave? [closed]

How did ancient cultures keep their slaves from just walking away? Record-keeping in these societies was quite poor. Even if paperwork did exist stating that someone was a slave, the next town over ...
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2answers
318 views

Why was agriculture more conducive to slavery in U.S. South than the North?

The most common explanation I hear for why there was more slavery in the South than the North in is that farming was more profitable in the South due to climate, soil quality etc. and the North had ...
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1answer
259 views

What was the historical prevalance of inherited chattel slavery?

Slavery was widespread throughout the ancient world. However, some of the most common examples seem to differ qualitatively from slavery as it's commonly conceived today. For instance, Greek slavery ...
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3answers
295 views

Economic status of whites in the US South at the height of slavery?

In Tony Horwitz' book Midnight Rising about John Brown's raid, on page 23 discusses Calhoun's stance on slavery: he asserted that slavery freed Whites from drudgery and class conflict. I wonder if at ...
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2answers
285 views

Are there any histories of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe?

I have read brief accounts of indigenous Americans who were brought to Europe in the wake of Columbus's arrival, including a family of Inuit who were brought to meet Elizabeth I but died shortly after ...
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394 views

What was the South actually afraid Lincoln or Congress would do that precipitated the Civil War?

While the US Civil War was fought over slavery, it doesn't appear that an interpretation of law from the 19th century supports the notion that Congress or the President could have eliminated slavery ...
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4answers
911 views

How accurate/realistic is the conception of 'the kindly slave owner'?

I'm reading an historical fiction novel New York by Edward Rutherfurd at the moment. One of the early chapters, set in New Amsterdam (New York City) in the mid 17th century, is told from the ...
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78 views

Which countries/empires other than European/US saw an active movement to abolish slavery?

Note: There is a similar question about ancient times, prior to 500 AD. So I'll fix the timeline for this question from 500 AD to the time of abolition of slavery in USA. I've learned (despite best ...
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Were the first African Americans in Jamestown slaves or indentured servants?

Recently, Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia referred to the first African Americans to arrive in Jamestown as indentured servants. This quickly created a twitter storm of corrections, first by ...
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Why there are more people of red hair among Arabs than Mongols when both populations are naturally born with dark hair?

Question Title is edited by J Asia, see OP's comments in my answer, below. Have left rest of OP's question as is (the body of question). This question, in my limited understanding of genetics, is ...
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Were slave plantations economically superior or inferior to plantations with paid labor?

According to certain Marxist authors (Mostly Georgi Plekhanov (and some others), but I'm afraid I cannot quote because the text is not in electronic form and not in English.), slavery in US and latter ...
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1answer
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Were the 35,000 helots freed after Plataea and were they then Spartan citizens?

What happened to the 35,000 helots that fought at Plataea? Were they made Spartan citizens? I just felt this might have been disruptive to Spartan society. I've checked Wikipedia, Google.. ...
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Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

Islam has historically been prevalent in many regions of Africa, such as in the Songhai Empire, which was based around Sharia law. It seems plausible to me that some Africans were practitioners of ...
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What % of slave owners in the antebellum south committed rape?

In David Blight’s biography of Frederick Douglas, he explains the young Frederick witnesses several violent beatings and or rapes by the age of 7 or 8. It’s also unclear weather or not the head of ...
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203 views

Are there historic examples of slave emancipation leading to mass starvation?

I was reading this article about "1 Million New Afrikan / Blacks Died From Starvation & Disease When Slavery Ended & Reconstruction Period ( Largest Biological Crisis of 19th Century)" and I ...
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364 views

Earliest Traces of Slavery

The earliest example I know is from Sumer. That would be the earliest example of institutionalized slavery, because that's (one of) the earliest forms of urbanized civilization. However, what's the ...
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323 views

What was the 'indemnity' paid out by Haiti actually for?

The Haitian Revolution was a successful anti-slavery and anti-colonial insurrection between 1791 and 1804 and led by Toussaint L'Ouvrture. Haiti paid reparations to French slave-holders set in 1825 ...
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1answer
302 views

Did freed slaves keep a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the wall?

I read somewhere that post-civil war, many freed slaves kept a portrait/drawing of Abraham Lincoln in their house, and that this "tradition" went on for some time. Is this true, and can anyone share a ...
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Where can I find a personal account of freedom of a slave in America after 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 declared free all slaves in the Confederacy. In 1865 the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the whole country. I am familiar with the context. What I am ...
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What developments in Jefferson's life caused him to withdraw from the topic of slavery in political discourse?

Where Jefferson once saw slavery as the central flaw in Virginia, a sentiment he forcibly expressed in his Notes on the State of Virginia, he later “began to adjust his thinking to concentrate instead ...
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961 views

What prompted Lincoln to change his mind about ending slavery?

Prior to the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln asserted that he would not end slavery in the South and that he was not in favor of racial equality. Yet, by 1863 he signed the “Emancipation Proclamation” ...
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734 views

What is the position of modern scholarship as regarding the claims of professor Samuel Rafinesque in his book about the indigenous Americans [closed]

Here is an excerpt of a 19th century book by Professor Rafinesque: PROFESSOR CONSTANTINE SAMUEL RAFINESQUE (THE PRIMITIVE BLACK NATIONS OF AMERICA 1832) "The Native American Negroes or black ...
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How did the Russian-American Company hire serfs?

In the Russian Empire until 1861 the estate of serfdom kept most of the country's population the property of others. This cheap labor was attractive to capitalist enterprises like the Russian-American ...
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5answers
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What did the Emancipation Proclamation exactly do?

I'm a bit confused about what Lincoln's proclamation did exactly. It's thought by some the Emancipation Proclamation gave all slaves the status of free. However from reading the introduction of the ...
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Were myopic slaves more valuable in ancient Greece?

When reading on nearsightedness I came across the following passage: We only have to remember how valuable a myopic slave was in ancient Greece, as a rare person who preserved his ability to read ...
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What was John Hippisley's worldview when he advocated for the slave trade?

I'm reading about William Wilberforce's opposition to the slave trade. One of the quotes is from John Hippisley, who was a proponent of the slave trade. In one of his essays he says "The impossibility ...
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What obligations did a freed slave have to his/her former master in Anglo-Saxon England?

As in Ancient Rome, slaves in Anglo-Saxon England could gain their freedom: The manumission (freeing) of slaves was solemnized by ceremony, the presence of witnesses, and legal documentation... ...
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Did Western “New Imperialism” actually free slaves in Muslim lands?

Slavery is fair game in mainstream/traditional Islam. I have heard various commentaries that abolishing of slavery in various Muslim-dominated countries actually coincided with the 2nd wave of Western ...
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French Revolutionary figure who thought apes could oversee black slaves?

I'm operating off of fuzzy memory for this question but I know I have encountered this bizarre (and offensive: fair warning) historical figure who I am inquiring about here before in my previous ...
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What (primary) sources are there on the life of female slaves in Classical Greece, more specifically Athens?

Since there was often a difference in what jobs male and female slaves were respectively made to work in (and there even being one exclusive to women, being a wet nurse), I was wondering whether, for ...
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What evidence is there for inventions by slaves or former slaves in Ancient Rome?

The article Slavery in the Roman Empire claims that Slaves are...reported to have made several important inventions. A number of slaves and freedmen did achieve some measure of fame and fortune: ...
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1answer
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In ancient Rome, could free-born Romans become slaves?

In the article Roman Slavery, Kenneth Tuite of the Classics Department at the University of Maryland states quite categorically that Romans could not be slaves: Although a class system existed, ...
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1answer
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Was slavery abolished in the Kingdom of Hungary, and if so, when?

I can find only very little information on the abolition of slavery in the Kingdom of Hungary. The Wikipedia Timeline of abolition of slavery and serfdom only mentions that in 1958 Hungary ratified ...
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1answer
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Why did Confederate General Forrest leave the KKK?

I've watched a video with a simplified version of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's history. It was in the context of contemporary pressure to remove statues of Confederate leaders. At the request of ...
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Preventing slaves from running off in Classical Greece

I was once again reading the Old Oligach’s rant on slaves and how good they supposedly had it. if it were customary for a slave (or metic or freedman) to be struck by one who is free, you would ...
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Which European country sent the most slaves to the Americas?

I'm asking for a history project; I have searched online, but have been unable to find an answer.
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Why was it necessary to maintain a balance of power between the Slave and Free states?

As said in the title, why was there a need to maintain the balance of power between the Slave states and Free States by keeping them equal in number, before the American Civil War? Both the Clay ...