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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Did Abraham Lincoln send a letter to Jefferson Davis about allowing slavery if he rejoined the Union?

I don't know where I heard this originally (somewhere in grade school I think) but I have a very vivid memory of hearing this story: Apparently at the beginning of the Civil War, Lincoln sent a letter ...
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Were conquered professionals used as forced professional labor under Nazi rule?

Was it common for professional classes from conquered lands to be used as forced labor for "professional" work under Nazi rule? For example, would it be unusual for a Lithuanian doctor who ...
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Why did slave dealers and buyers in the Antebellum South especially value enslaved persons with "good teeth" and "good front teeth"?

Open Yale Courses: HIST 119: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877. Lecture 3 – A Southern World View: The Old South and Proslavery Ideology says, " Ads in newspapers, like this one in ...
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Why were slave armies used?

I’m aware of several instances where civilizations, mainly Muslim used slave armies. And so far as I’m aware this invariably resulted in the slaves becoming the de facto rulers of whatever people ...
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Is there mutual significance in the year 1807, so far as abolition of the slave trade in Britain and the United States is concerned?

I have just read an article in the autumn edition of The Historian (British publication of the Historical Association) by Professor John Coffey of the University of Leicester on The secret diaries of ...
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Were freedmen part of the "familia"?

In LINGVA LATINA A Companion to Familia Romana Second Edition by Jeanne Marie Neumann, an unofficial companion to the Lingva Latina course, she states that: When a master manumitted … a slave, that ...
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Were there "Taxes Paid" slave tattoos in the Roman Empire?

In this video, YouTube: Did Ancient Romans Use Tattoos? @ 4:35, the presenter mentions a "Taxes Paid" tattoo. I understand it's just YouTube but I believe this creator doesn't typically ...
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Would an Athenian citizen, reduced elsewhere into slavery, remain a slave if brought back to Athens?

I understand that it was common at one time for debt defaulters in Athens to be driven into a form of slavery, or bonded servitude, and that Solon abolished this practice and freed all such bondsmen. ...
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Which was the official position of the Catholic Church on the Atlantic Slave Trade?

The position of the Catholic Church (officially through the pope) regarding slavery of native Americans in the American continent is very clear. At the beginning of the European colonization of such ...
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What was the wealth distribution in US antebellum North / South

My question relates to the following quote from chapter XI of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: I had very strangely supposed, while in slavery, that few of the comforts, and ...
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Did classical Romans have preferences for slaves based on ethnicity or racial characteristics?

I have read of Greeks who were valued as tutors, secretaries, etc, presumably because they were literate and other races (barbarii) tended not to be. Are there any historical records of general Roman ...
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Was Alexander Coffroth for or against slavery? And in what instances?

I am watching the 2012 film "Lincoln" and there was a character Alexander Coffroth. Doing some research on him, it is quite vague whether or not he supported or didn't support slavery. If he ...
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How often were slaves raised by their parents in 19th century USA?

American slave owners wanted their slaves to have children, but they didn't always allow their slaves to marry, and often sold families piecemeal. About what percentage of slaves were raised by both ...
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What proportion of US government revenue came from taxes on slaves, between 1790 and 1846?

What proportion of US government revenue (federal,state,local) came from taxes on slaves between 1790 and 1846? I chose 1846 as the breakpoint because of the Walker Tariff; feel free to critique that ...
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What determines whether slavery is economically efficient in industrialized/modern era economies?

Various forms of slavery were nearly universal before the industrial revolution. After industrialization, it would naively seem forced labor would continue to be widespread, as there is no way to ...
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How were false US flags identified on slave ships in the transatlantic slave trade?

Background In the transatlantic slave trade, it is known that captains of the slave ships used to fly false US flags. This was due to the USA not allowing the Royal Navy to search their ships. "...
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How did slavery become permissible in the French West Indies when it was forbidden in France?

In 1315, France abolished slavery in continental France. Unless I am mistaken, the first French territories outside of "continental France" were established in 1534 with the North American ...
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What's the difference between Country Born and Mulatto people in the 18th century New England?

I have a history assignment and it's asking me to provide context of the table already provided that contains "background characteristics of New England Runaways." To be specific, it states ...
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Were there historical efforts to train apes to do the work of enslaved humans?

I remember once reading something that suggested that in the Victorian era, there were failed efforts to raise apes to perform menial field labor and replace enslaved humans. Supposedly the hand grip/...
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Were there actually slaves in Georgia while slavery was banned there?

Wikipedia reports that "The Georgia Experiment [from 1735 to 1751] was the colonial-era policy prohibiting the ownership of slaves in the Georgia Colony," and that this was done in order to &...
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Did Northern troops attempt to re-enslave African Americans in Southern plantations during the Civil War?

In Black Reconstruction in America, W.E.B. Du Bois argues that during the war, Northern troops - in this case under the command of Nathaniel P. Banks - sometimes tried to get enslaved people back to ...
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What was the fate of the planters and their plantations following the American Civil War?

I had a question about the fate of the Southern planter class following the American civil war. The question was sparked by W.E.B. Du Bois's Black Reconstruction in America. Du Bois argues that they ...
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What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation?

What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation? The last convict transportation arrived in 1868, what happened to convicts during this latter period? Were they ...
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Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

The British government paid out £20 million to slave owners in 1837 as compensation for the loss of the slaves as business assets to the registered owners of the freed slaves. There seems to be plenty ...
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How was it possible for people to remain enslaved until 1869? [closed]

In this article, we read that Wood's enslaver marched his slaves to Texas after the Civil War where she remained enslaved to him until 1869. This is the first I have heard of this. How is this ...
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Did the slave trade from Africa to the Middle East decline during the 20th century?

From reading Wikipedia, it's not clear how much the slave trade to the middle east from Africa declined, or when. If it declined, did that coincide with 1) the turn of the century, when almost all of ...
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How is serfdom related to slavery?

As far as I understand serfdom is very closely related to slavery. For example, Wikipedia mentions serfs could be traded, bought and sold and were more or less at the mercy of their owner/lord and ...
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Was it possible for a young Japanese woman to end up enslaved in Great Britain in the mid-1600s?

I'm inspired to ask this by the horror visual novel The Letter, which chiefly regards a haunted building called the Ermengarde mansion, in the fictional English town of Anslem, near the equally-...
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How were slave girls usually dressed in Arabia in early Islamic societies?

After slave girls were purchased by their owners and brought to the owners' Islamic hometowns, was it acceptable for these girls to be topless in public? Abdullah Sameer quotes Sheikh Hamza Yusuf's ...
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Why did Spartacus turn South at Mutina instead of continuing North towards Thrace?

During the Roman Republic's Third Servile War (73–71 BC), a gladiator named Spartacus lead an army of escaped slaves in revolt against Rome. Spartacus was a Thracian from an area in Eastern and ...
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Did the Jesuit missions in New Spain coerce native labor?

Several Catholic orders operated missions in colonial Mexico; Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits (before their expulsion) all had their own strategies. Alejandro Murguía in The Medicine of Memory ...
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Are there any Ancient Greek texts showing concern for the fate of their slaves?

Augustus famously punished Vedius Pollio for being cruel to a slave. Do we know such stories showing concern for the slave in ancient Greece? (I read, and listen to, several books/conference about ...
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How many slaves did the British Empire free between 1700 and 1900?

Parliament's 1833 Slavery Abolition Act bought, over a six-year time period, the freedom of all slaves in the British Empire the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company, or to the ...
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What percentage of slaves originally brought from Africa were purchased from slave traders as opposed to having been captured by Europeans?

I was engaged in a debate over slavery in America yesterday and the following proposition I put forward was being contested: a majority of slaves brought to America from Africa were sold to Europeans ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 the last time someone was condemned to slavery as a punishment 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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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