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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14
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1answer
710 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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1answer
430 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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798 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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2answers
617 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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3answers
245 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
677 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 ...
7
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2answers
629 views

Was there a time when it was easier for slaves than citizens to access state-sponsored medical facilities in Ancient Rome?

The Wikipedia article Medicine in Ancient Rome has this to say on the first hospitals in Rome: The Roman medical system saw the establishment of the first hospitals; these were reserved for ...
7
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1answer
2k 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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4answers
2k 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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1answer
278 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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4answers
6k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
776 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
17k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
207 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
669 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 ...
9
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1answer
1k 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
243 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 ...
9
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1answer
2k views

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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1answer
506 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 ...
9
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2answers
705 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
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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
442 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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103 views

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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1answer
182 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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1answer
187 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Was the Somerset Decision in 1772 in England the real underlying cause of the American Revolutionary war?

I had a discussion with a Brit the other day and naturally the topic drifted to our historic break from the UK in 1776 and I boasted of our noble fight for liberation and freedom. The Brit was amused ...
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2answers
623 views

Advanced sub-saharan civilizations prior to cross-atlantic slave trade?

I came across the following passage in Desmond Morris' 1969 book The Human Zoo. In it the author is arguing that sub-saharan Africa contained advanced civilizations prior to the commencement of the ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
10
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1answer
960 views

Why was Kentucky not admitted to the Union in 1789?

At the beginning of July 1788, the unicameral Congress of the Confederation began deliberations on whether to admit the proposed new state of Kentucky to the Union. Under the Articles of Confederation,...
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2answers
747 views

Was African slave trade ever directed towards Europe? If not, why?

The capture, shipping and sale of African slaves was most famously directed towards the colonies of European empires in the Americas, where they were put to work on plantations and other harsh, labor-...
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3answers
2k views

Which was the first civilization to ban slavery?

Which was the first civilization to ban existing slavery with a law? For example, if Civilization X never had slavery and it makes a law banning it, it won't count for this purposes. I've looked ...
8
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1answer
290 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 ...
12
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1answer
583 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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1answer
706 views

Why didn't the Romans set up breeding mechanisms as a main source to supplement their population of slaves instead of relying on defeated enemies? [closed]

By the time of the Flavians there were large reductions in the supply of slaves, both those peacefully imported from outside the Empire and those captured in military campaigns. It was a time of ...
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1answer
974 views

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
832 views

Was sexual abuse/assault a unique feature of American Slavery or was there similar abuse in previous slave systems?

In reading about Thomas Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemings I learned how he basically took her on as a concubine when they lived in Paris. It seems that this sort of thing was commonplace in ...
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1answer
704 views

For how long were freed slaves in Ancient Rome supposed to wear a Pileus hat?

The Pileus hat article on Wikipedia says that in Ancient Rome, when a slave was freed, there was a ceremony in which his head was shaved and a pileus "was placed upon it". In the SE question: How did ...
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1answer
159 views

Was Crassus's fire brigade composed of slaves?

Crassus created the first Roman fire brigade, and many years later, Augustus took the idea and formed the Vigiles, a group of slaves serving as firefighters. However, I can't find any source ...
2
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1answer
182 views

Did any plantation/hacienda/fazenda owner free all his slaves?

The North and South American masters that kept slaves are today criticized for it. Their income of course depended on slave labor. Anywhere in the Americas, did any of them free their slaves -- not at ...
5
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1answer
579 views

Why didn't former slaves become low-wage workers after emancipation?

The Southern economy is often said to have been in shambles after slaves were emancipated since slavery was largely an economic enterprise. I've also read that former slaves had difficulty finding ...
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1answer
2k views

What was the median price for a slave child in the Augustan Rome?

Just for example, 8 years old boy or 9 years old girl. So, not a newborn baby or toddler (no need for extended expenses for dedicated child-rearing nannies, wet nurses, etc.), but still too small to ...
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2answers
363 views

Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I have just been reading this which is admittedly very old, and there is a statement which has me totally confused. ... the master might disregard the regular form and give the freedman any name ...
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0answers
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Is there information about statistics of the quality of treatment of slaves in pre-abolition USA?

In the USA before the abolition of slavery, it's easy to conceptualize that different slave-owners treated their slaves differently. There might have been sadists who tortured their slaves, and there ...
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3answers
7k views

Was Roosevelt the “biggest slave trader in recorded history”?

In the introduction to The Liberation of the Serfs, Jürgen Georg Backhaus writes: The largest transaction in unfree labour ever recorded occurred in Yalta; more than 6.5 million prisoners of war ...
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1answer
239 views

Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment

A footnote on page 30 of this document says that the date of Virginia's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished slavery) was on the 9th of February, 1865. (If I recall correctly, ...
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2answers
120 views

Resources containing public debates concerning slavery (post 17th century)

I am interested in understanding the psychology of how humans could have convinced themselves that slavery is alright. To this end, I am looking for any recorded public debates on the subject from any ...
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0answers
117 views

What is the difference between a Russian serf and an American slave? [duplicate]

What were the legal and practical differences between say a Russian or Hungarian serf in the 18th century and an American Slave at the same time?
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3answers
4k views

Why did the American South agree to the compromise of 1850?

One of the issues that caused the civil war was the fear that the north ("free states") would ban slavery. How could they? Traditionally, the north had more men, so they dominated the house, but ...