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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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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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299 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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1answer
184 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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439 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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474 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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1answer
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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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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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0answers
94 views

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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298 views

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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246 views

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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1answer
629 views

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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256 views

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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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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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
484 views

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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1answer
693 views

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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3k views

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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365 views

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 ...
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2answers
175 views

How could a black woman be transported directly from Africa to Britain in 1760s?

I am a screenwriter. Currently started developing a screenplay for a feature film with the story happening in Western Africa and Britain in 1770 (+/-). I know that in Atlantic slave trade scheme ...
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2answers
4k views

What would a Roman slave be legally required to do if his master vanished?

Say that I were a Roman slave around the time of the Empire, perhaps as someone who maintains his villa. I serve my master faithfully and then one day, without warning, he doesn't come home. The day ...
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1answer
280 views

Why do some slave narratives from the WPA seem so positive?

Why do some slave narratives from the WPA seem so positive? For example: Freedom is all right, but de niggers was better off befo’ surrender, kaze den dey was looked after an’ dey didn’ get in no ...
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1answer
446 views

Did ancient Rome have slave hunters?

The Roman economy was heavily reliant on slaves, which means they had a LOT of them, which would lead one to conclude that at least some of them would run away. So who hunted escaped slaves? Did Rome ...
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369 views

How did a 12 year old Sardinian slave girl factor into America's First Barbary War?

Late 1798 a pirate raid near Sardinia, captured roughly 1000 people, mostly women and children. What role did one of these newly acquired slaves a 12 year old girl, play in America's first Foreign ...
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548 views

In historical slave societies, what jobs were left over for poor free laborers?

And what laws or institutions sprang up to deal with them? Slaves have the effect of depressing wages for poor workers. If this has been a universal, I'm curious whether slave-owning cultures have ...
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446 views

Why did American Abolitionists believe slavery to be immoral? [closed]

Someone already asked when and how people began to consider slavery immoral on stack exchange, but no one has asked why. Why did American abolitionists believe slavery was immoral before 1860? I know ...
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205 views

Are there historical instances of property rights not being respected/acknowledged between U.S. states, territories, and the federal government?

Some of the controversies leading up to the American Civil War were whether the U.S. States had to recognize the slave property of other States (e.g., maintaining them in a state of slavery, or ...
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2answers
409 views

Why was the North willing to go to war over Slavery?

[edited] According to Washington Post, "There is a consensus among historians that the root cause of the Civil War was slavery". Assuming that slavery was indeed the root cause, I can understand why ...
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What were the ethnic backgrounds of the slaves in Ancient Greece?

When studying Ancient Greek History, one can often come across the historical fact that slavery did exist in the Greek world 2000 plus years ago. There were the Helots in Ancient Sparta and of course ...
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1k views

Did the Bill of Rights apply to slaves?

In the pre-Antebellum particularly during the 1850's did slaves and free blacks have rights? Or even citizenship perhaps?
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175 views

Pre civil-war, did the north ever make any attempts to stop the underground railroad? [closed]

Did Northern authorities before the Civil War make any attempts to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and/or stop the Underground Railroad?
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Why was sugar cultivation more profitable in the Caribbean/Brazil than West Africa?

The Atlantic slave trade involved the large-scale deportation of West African slaves to sugar plantations on the other side of the Atlantic. Why was it more profitable to do that, rather than to ...
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1answer
397 views

How common among Abolitionists was the goal of complete civil equality for Blacks?

I was told by someone who knows political history that few abolitionists believed in complete equality for Blacks. Few would have believed in intermarriage and perhaps not all would have accepted that ...
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3answers
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Is it true that there are more slaves in the world now than ever at one point in history?

I recently heard this suggested. My understanding of slavery today is: children slave labor the sex slavery world epidemic the promised citizenry in the Middle East to workers who come to build ...
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189 views

How did former slaves typically acquire a surname?

Especially male slaves, as female slaves logically would have taken the husband's name if they found one. Did male slaves that had been freed just randomly pick a surname? I'm referring to the ...
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2answers
451 views

Did the people who initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade think they were doing something new?

I'm trying to get at an insider's perspective on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and on the institution of slavery in the New World more generally. Partly I'm puzzled by why it took until the 18th ...
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1answer
834 views

Did any prominent Romans openly question the crucifixion of 6,000 slaves along the Appian Way following the defeat of Spartacus?

While the Wikipedia article on the Third Servile War has a few details on the effects of the slave revolt (e.g. less harsh treatment, reduction of the number of slaves on the latifundia), it says ...
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1answer
219 views

Was John S. Mosby the model/motivation/template for John Carter?

I've always suspected this but have never seen any concrete proof. Was the fictitious Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter based on the civil war hero/villain John S. Mosby? Mosby was arguable ...
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1answer
374 views

What was the relationship between slaves and poor Romans needing jobs in Rome's labour market?

In ancient Rome's labour market, what was the relationship between slaves and Romans who needed jobs to survive (wage slaves)? What market forces determined the jobs done by slaves versus those done ...
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501 views

How did the US abolition of slavery affect the cotton exports?

Plantations in Southern US produced cash crops, including cotton. How was the price and output of cotton in the Southern US affected shortly after the abolition of slavery at the end of the American ...
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11answers
14k views

Is it true that slavery was endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa previous to the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

Stefan Molyneux claims in The Truth About The Crusades that: Islam dominated slave trade between the 7th and the 15th century, while the Christians entered the market of human flesh much later - ...
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8answers
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Emancipation Proclamation in a tweet

Today is the 155th anniversary of the signing (but not the release) of the Emancipation Proclamation. Critics remarked even at the time that it didn't free a single slave, since it only applied to ...
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3answers
368 views

Was American slavery economically advantageous primarily due to being able to also sell offspring?

It seems to me that the cost of a slave, which might have been 800 dollars, was something like 2 or 3 years salary for a Chinese laborer on the transcontinental railroad project -- they made literally ...
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2answers
2k views

Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
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Was Rickets commented on as an impediment to Slavery in the North?

The body is able to manufacture vitamin D from exposure to UV light. Dark skinned people will receive less sunlight than a light skinned person because much UV is blocked. I once visited Baltimore, ...
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159 views

Besides armed insurrection what other resistance was offered by American slaves? [closed]

Watching Birth of a Nation about Nat Turner's revolt which as far as I can tell was doomed to failure but would, for example, Blacks running for the frontier when most of the USA was unsettled been ...
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150 views

Do we have examples of Roman freedmen becoming wealthy? [closed]

I was curious to know more about this, found on Wikipedia: "Other freedmen became wealthy. The brothers who owned House of the Vettii, one of the biggest and most magnificent houses in Pompeii, are ...