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Was murdering a slave illegal in American slavery, and if so, what punishments were given for it?

Yes, murder of a slave was illegal in the antebellum South, and it was a capital offence. An example is the case of John Hoover of North Carolina. He was arrested on 28 March 1839 for the murder of ...
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80 votes
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Is it true that there are more slaves in the world now than ever at one point in history?

Let's start with some basic facts. There are more people in the world today than ever before in human history. Because of 1) there are more poor people in the world than for most of human history, ...
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79 votes

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

Africa Slavery is an ancient universal institution, which appeared independently in all cultures and societies which reached a certain level of productivity per capita. Early hunter-gatherers did not ...
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65 votes

Did slaves have slaves?

This happened in Roman Times judging by two notes in Slaves doing business: the role of Roman law in the economy of a Roman household by Richard Gamauf (2009): A Roman slave could hold property which,...
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63 votes
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Did slaves have slaves?

Short Answer Yes. There are examples of slaves owning slaves from different historical periods and in different regions of the world, including: Ancient Near East Early Medieval Sunni Islam Late ...
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62 votes

Why were slave owners even offered compensation via the 1837 Act if they'd lost the power in parliament to stop abolition in 1833?

To safeguard legal system and rule of law While it may sound strange to us, slavery was considered as something usual and almost natural for a long time during human history. This is especially true ...
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58 votes
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In ancient Rome, could free-born Romans become slaves?

That is for sure an overgeneralisation, but so is Wikipedia's. There are some elements of truth in both: Ancient Rome held that freedom could not be sold, and in principle a freeborn person could not ...
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58 votes
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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?

Lord Wynford, though speaking in opposition, illustrated the reasons in the House of Lords, on Tuesday, June 25th 1833, why a payment was being considered and what arguments such a payment should be ...
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51 votes
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Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

No, slavery was not on its way out. Historians like Dunning and Phillip are writing half a century before the cliometric revolution in economic history, which has completely changed how we view this ...
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50 votes
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How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

Well, I suppose it's a matter of means plus motivation. If you're educated - read/speak Greek and Latin etc - then you'd be valuable, and only the psychopathic master would mistreat a valuable ...
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49 votes
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Was it possible for a young Japanese woman to end up enslaved in Great Britain in the mid-1600s?

No. At least, not to any practical intent or purpose. Japanese in Britain Significant numbers of Japanese were actually sold into slavery overseas during the 16th century, mostly through Portuguese ...
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46 votes
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Has chattel slavery ever been used as a criminal punishment in the USA since the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment?

Yes, but for fixed periods of (for example) six months or 1 or 2 years rather than for life. This section of the 13th Amendment, ratified on the 6th of December, 1865, was controversial from the ...
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45 votes
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Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

There is some very good evidence for captured Muslims who were sold as slaves, but continued to practice their faith. Perhaps the best known individuals were Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, who was enslaved ...
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42 votes

What did the Emancipation Proclamation exactly do?

Since it only applied to areas that didn't recognize Federal authority, the snarky take on the Emancipation Proclamation has always been that it didn't itself free a single slave. Like a lot of famous ...
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41 votes

Was Roosevelt the "biggest slave trader in recorded history"?

This relies in willfully mistaking figurative language for non-figurative speech. Roosevelt didn't "trade" those people in the sense that a slave trader traded his captives. He made a political pact ...
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37 votes

Was slavery really on the way out in the antebellum USA?

No, not even close. Alan T Nolan lists this as one of the components of the Lost Cause Myth in his essay "The Anatomy of the Myth", collected in the book The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil ...
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37 votes

Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

The more I read about the ancient world, the more I come to the conclusion that there was no unified notion of slavery at all. There were multiple things (which the people of the time could ...
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36 votes
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How is serfdom related to slavery?

It seems like you are trying to treat "slavery" and "serfdom" as trans-historical categories, and that is where the confusion lies. To make meaningful definitions and comparisons, ...
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35 votes
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Did galley captains put corks in the mouths of slave rowers to keep them quiet?

Yes, this does seem to have happened on some galleys but evidence for the widespread use of this practice is lacking. Concerning conditions in general on galleys (rations, clothing, treatment etc.), ...
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35 votes
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Did Catherine the Great really call for the abolition of serfdom?

This answer is based on the assumption that the OP is referring to the HBO miniseries Catherine the Great and, more specifically, the following segment of the script: [Catherine:] But in these more ...
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35 votes
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How did slavery become permissible in the French West Indies when it was forbidden in France?

Louis X's decree in 1315 did not abolish slavery. That's a historical myth. First, the ordonnance did not say anything about slaves, and explicitly mentioned that it was applicable to persons "...
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33 votes

Why was sugar cultivation more profitable in the Caribbean/Brazil than West Africa?

In short, Brazil and Caribbean Isles were easy to colonize and suited to the culture of the sugar cane. This related question will provide most of the explanation why Africa was harder to colonize, ...
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29 votes
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Were slave rowers ever chained to the ship?

Rodgers, William Ledyard, vice admiral, USN, ret. Greek and Roman Naval Warfare. A Study of Strategy, Tactics, and Ship Design from Salamis (480 BC) to Actium (31 BC) (1934, 1964) Gardiner, Robert, ...
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29 votes

Did anyone in ancient times want to abolish slavery?

Alcidamas of Asia Minor. He said that God had made no man a slave in the 4th century BC. He was talking about the Spartan enslavement of the Messenians, but it was a universal statement.
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29 votes

Jewish Slave Owners in the United States

There is some truth to the claims, but the numbers are extremely prima facie distorted. Especially since they are (apparently) given in terms of "households", with no immediately obvious method by ...
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28 votes
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Was the Somerset Decision in 1772 in England the real underlying cause of the American Revolutionary war?

He's not 100% wrong that the desire of slaveholders in the States to protect their "property" and the institution itself has been drastically underplayed by Americans in talking about their own ...
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27 votes
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When was slavery abolished in Russia?

The usual answer is that Russia abolished slavery in 1723. Technically speaking, there were no more slaves in Russia after this point. In reality, it meant they were merged into the class of serfs, ...
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27 votes

How did people distinguish slaves from free people in Ancient Rome?

Although, as you say, a rich slave might be able to engineer an escape, most slaves were not rich and not educated. Slaves could generally be immediately recognized by their dress. Although there ...
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27 votes
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What prevented slaves in Classical Greece from running off?

INTRO First, it is important to note that Greek (and other) slaves performed many kinds of jobs and this fact alone could influence the likelihood of a slave running away: The status of slaves, and ...
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