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93

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 one of his slaves named Mira. He was brought to trial on 12 September 1839 before a jury of his peers (i.e. 12 male slaveholders). At his trial, it was ...


80

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, even though the percentage is falling. Some percentage of desperately poor people work under inhuman conditions that many "civilized" people would characterized ...


75

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 have it because each tribe member could barely sustain himself, so there was no incentive for slavery, but agriculture provided ample opportunities to exploit ...


65

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, despite the fact that it belonged to his master, he was allowed to use as if it were his own. All acquisitions based on such a peculium were automatically ...


63

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 Medieval Mallorca 19th century Brazil and the West Indies Pre-colonial and colonial East and West Africa Details Ancient Near East In the Neo-Babylonian period (...


62

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 considering Blacks, who were deemed to be less intelligent, primitive and savage, and had to be "under care" of White Christians. As we could see from this ...


57

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 based on. I've quoted from that below, but the arguments he makes are: the crime of slavery has been a crime committed by everyone so everyone should pay for it;...


52

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 become a slave. [F]reedom was, like servitude, conceptusliased as a natural state. Thus, it was in principle, if not quite in practice, impossible to surrender ...


49

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 peice of property. And you'd need money to get away - some slaves were relatively wealthy, but stealing from your master would be dangerous, the penalties could ...


48

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 merchants. Aside from chattel slavery, Portuguese sailors also bought young Japanese women as concubines, and it would not have been unthinkable if one ...


46

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 question. Fogel and Engerman's 1974 "Time on the Cross" was quite influential in showing how profitable slavery was for those who practiced it. In particular, ...


46

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 outset. Slavery Under the Thirteenth Amendment: Race and the Law of Crime and Punishment in the PostCivil War South by Peter Wallenstein in the Louisiana Law Review (...


45

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 in the eighteenth century and Omar ibn Said who was transported to the US in 1807. Like many Muslims who were enslaved and transported to America as slaves, ...


40

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 which included handing prisoners of war to a foreign power. There was no selling of human individuals in that; it is a "trade" only rhetorically, in that a ...


40

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 snark, this isn't entirely true. The US Army had already been given the authority to free any slaves it came across in Confederate territory as Contraband of ...


36

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 enlightened times, I believe we need laws that everyone respects and obeys. The rich and the powerful, as well as the poor and dispossessed. And so ...


36

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, we have to be more specific. There are many different forms of so-called "unfree labor" and each must be understood in its own context. Unfree Labor is the title of a classic book ...


35

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 "en lien de servitude", which were serfs. Second, the king did not just give freedom out of magnanimity, reminding that enfranchisement could only happen at &...


33

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.), it's important to note that different navies had different practices at different times. This practice is mentioned in Robert C. Davis' (Professor of History at ...


32

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 War History (ed by Gary Gallagher and Nolan). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 than it had been in 1820. By 1860 the "...


32

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, and less welcoming to Europeans. Moreover, it is far easier to control slaves outside of Africa. They can't hide in the local population. Also, sugar became ...


30

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 distinguish) which we call with the same word, slavery. This is similar to how we call nearly any head of state (and sometimes even not head of state) in ancient world a ...


29

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 which such figures were fitted to a preconception "estimated" calculated[Note 1]. Even if his numbers are accurate however, they do not necessarily reflect the ...


28

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.


27

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 were no laws mandating dress for a slave, they tended to wear clothing which set them apart. For example, no slave could wear the toga, so if a man is wearing a ...


26

Yes, there are quite a few. The very first was in 1688, when Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania wrote a two-page condemnation of the practice and sent it to the governing bodies of their Quaker church. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society; it was formed in 1775, primarily by ...


26

It is incorrect to perceive that there was a single concept of slavery in ancient world. The Latin word for slave, "servus" at the same time meant a servant. The concept of slavery differed very much between ancient societies and also differed in time. Sometimes a slave would be considered a member of the family to the extent that a formal kinly ...


26

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, whose lives were barely distinguishable from the formally enslaved anyway. State measures to increase the numbers of people liable to direct taxation in the ...


26

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 history (and really, can you blame them?) For a good historical perspective on this, I highly recommend Slavery and the Founders, by Paul Finkelman. However, as the ...


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