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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2
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1answer
139 views

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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12answers
17k views

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

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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6answers
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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 was ...
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1answer
434 views

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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5answers
671 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
394 views

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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0answers
179 views

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 ...
13
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1answer
7k views

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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2answers
3k views

Was Plato sold into slavery?

It is a commonly cited fact that Plato was held prisoner and sold as a slave. Later in the tale, a friend recognised him and paid for his freedom. My question is, did Plato ever work as a slave for ...
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1answer
885 views

Was the European slave market in the East during the colonial era similar to the transatlantic slave market? If not (less brutal, etc), why?

As far as I understand it, European colonialist powers did have a slave market in the East, in the Indian Ocean. That is, there was this market as well as the Transatlantic slave market[1-3]. What I ...
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2answers
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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 the ...
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1answer
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Could freedmen join the army in ancient Rome?

In Cyril Edward Robinson's book "A History of Rome" he describes how freedmen could join the army in ancient Rome. Has this been corroborated anywhere? Are there specific examples?
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1answer
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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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1answer
435 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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9answers
54k 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 ...
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1answer
170 views

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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1answer
178 views

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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7answers
22k views

Were slave rowers ever chained to the ship?

UPDATE I want to know whether there is any evidence that rowers were ever chained to the ships or oars in Ancient Greece and Rome. In my view it could be too expensive to chain people at that time, ...
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4answers
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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.
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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, formerly of the Classics Department at the University of Maryland, states quite categorically that Romans could not be slaves: Although a class system ...
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0answers
112 views

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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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
445 views

Was Saint Patrick an abolitionist?

Wikipedia's article titled Catholic Church and slavery says Saint Patrick advocated abolition of slavery in the fifth century, and cites Life in Medieval Times by Marjorie Rowling. I've read that same ...
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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. I did some fact-...
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3answers
333 views

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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1answer
286 views

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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2answers
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Was mortality higher on French slave ships and if so, why?

I was recently at the African American museum; part of the large history exhibit included a wall of slave-bearing ships with the name, dates, and flag under which the ship sailed. I noticed a pattern: ...
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2answers
883 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
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Why do Afro-Caribbeans have English names whereas Indo-Caribbeans still have Indian(ish) names?

Why don't Afro-Caribbeans have African names or Indo-Caribbeans have English names? Did colonizers find it difficult to pronounce African names but not Indian names? Further to this question, if this ...
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1answer
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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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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
898 views

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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0answers
142 views

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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2answers
630 views

What are the 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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5answers
5k 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?
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1answer
425 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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1answer
179 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
252 views

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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1answer
106 views

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 ...
23
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1answer
2k views

What prevented slaves in Classical Greece from running off?

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 often ...
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5answers
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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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1answer
248 views

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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0answers
100 views

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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10answers
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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 ...
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1answer
148 views

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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5answers
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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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4answers
862 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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3answers
12k views

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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5answers
6k views

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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