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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What does Confederate flag mean? [closed]

During the Capital Hill riot, an intruder holded a Confederate flag, caught on camera, and broadcasted all over the world. I don't quite understand that how a flag of a gone government in history ...
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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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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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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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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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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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When was the last 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Profit of slave labor in America

In his memoirs about his personal life as a slave and slavery in general, Moses Grandy on page 65 claims that: The proprietors, though they live in luxury, generally die in debt: their negroes are ...
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Why were gravediggers, actors and former gladiators (but not slaves) banned from the Colosseum?

According the website Colosseum, some people were banned from attending events at the Colosseum. The same information is given on the Wikipedia Colosseum page which cites the book Rome: An Oxford ...
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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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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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Did Sparta give citizenship to the helots who participated on its side in the Battle of Plataea?

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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Why did Helots fight alongside Spartans?

Unlike many slaves, the Helots were Greeks who outnumbered the Spartans who held mastery over them. They several times rebelled against the Spartan rulers, at last successfully. Yet it seems that ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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Were slaves allowed to use the Roman baths?

Or to quip: could slaves be patrons of baths?
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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 ...