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Africa and the Slave Trade

Arabs and their Muslim allies were the first to make use of large numbers of sub-Saharan black Africans. They developed a long-distance slave trade, which began in the seventh century and lasted into the twentieth. It delivered many millions of Africans across the Sahara Desert, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean to North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Persian Gulf. Although over a much longer period of time and comprising far more females, the number of Africans exported via these trans-Saharan or Indian Ocean slave trades probably equaled, or even outmatched, those of its transatlantic counterpart. The preexistence of these export trades facilitated Atlantic trade: systems of slave marketing were already in place. So numerous were black Africans at certain times and in certain places that they were able to launch massive slave revolts—in 869, for instance, in what is now southern Iraq, where the so-called Zanj (who came from the Swahili Coast and lands further north) worked in large gangs draining marshlands. While the Quran and Islamic law were essentially color-blind and while Muslims enslaved many so-called "white" people, medieval Arabs came to associate the most degrading forms of labor with black slaves. The Arabic word for slave, Gilt Suede Maiden Lane Espadrilles,Vineyard Vines pink 1/4 zip pullover women’s medium,

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The Atlantic Slave System

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As slavery underwent a resurgence in southern Europe, it gradually disappeared from the northwestern part of the continent. Economic changes help to explain this development, but perhaps more important were cultural constraints. Over the course of the Middle Ages, Christians always committed awful atrocities on each other, but increasingly they avoided enslaving one another. Apparently, a sense of unity had emerged in Christian Europe that effectively barred the enslavement of those deemed fellow Europeans. Christianity's long struggle with Islam no doubt played a major role in this development. That from 1500 to 1800 Muslims enslaved well over a million Western Europeans, many of whom were subsequently ransomed and celebrated as symbols of freedom, was a major element in the growing sense that Europeans should never be slaves. Nevertheless, these so-called free labor nations would develop some of the harshest slave regimes in the Americas. As David Brion Davis puts it, "it is an astonishing paradox that the first nations in the world to free themselves of chattel slavery—such nations as England, France, Holland, and even the Scandinavian states—became leaders during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in supporting plantation colonies based on African slave labor." He likens this divide to a primitive Mason-Dixon line, "drawn somewhere in the Atlantic, separating free soil master-states from tainted slave soil dependencies" (8).

This paradox illumines the unpredictability of events in the Americas. No European nation embarked on New World ventures with the intention of enslaving anyone. They had no blueprint but rather proceeded haphazardly and pragmatically. Their first resort was to forced Indian labor (the encomiendaPerfect Dior style high low dress.,

Consequently, Europeans faced a huge labor shortage. The Ottoman Turkish empire blocked access to Black Sea or Baltic captives. European nations no longer enslaved Christian prisoners of war. Some dreamers talked of enslaving the poor or other marginal groups, but the practical and principled problems of reviving European slavery were considerable. Another expedient was the transportation of convicts, but their numbers were never sufficient. Temporary bondage—indentured servitude—was the most obvious and most widely used other option, particularly in the early years, but servants, if they survived, eventually became free, and in any case most servants would not travel to the areas where most labor was needed. Thus, almost by default, African slaves proved by far the best available labor supply. Consequently, from 1500 to 1820 almost 9 million African slaves left for the New World, compared to less than 3 million whites. In terms of migration, the New World was more black than white (10).

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New World slavery's other most distinctive aspect was its highly commercial character. While it is true that plantations—that is, large agricultural enterprises, managed for profit, producing a crop for export, with a hierarchically stratified labor organization—existed outside the New World, they reached their apogee there. The economies of scale, the expansion in unit size, the almost exclusive use of black slaves, a highly regimented and commodified labor force, and a system of close management all raised profit levels significantly. Such a productive system placed enormous demands on its laborers. As early as the 1630s a visitor to a Jesuit-owned sugar plantation in Brazil vividly described the unbearable horror of what had transpired: "People the color of the very night, working briskly and moaning at the same time without a moment of peace or rest, whoever sees all the confused and noisy machinery and apparatus of this Babylon, even if they have seen Mt. Etna and Vesuvius will say that this indeed is the image of Hell" (13).

Patterns of New World Slavery

Variations over time and space existed within New World slavery. Three stand out. First, although all New World regions imported more African men than women (thereby in part explaining the harshness of New World slavery because of the policing problems associated with large gangs of men), over time the gender ratio among New World slaves became increasingly balanced. In that regard, the North American slave population is most notable, because, as its number of slave women increased the most rapidly, so it became one of the few self-reproducing slave populations in world history. This early and rapid natural increase explains why North America received such a small percentage of the overall transatlantic slave trade—about 5 percent. Second, North America was also distinctive in being much less tolerant of racial intermixture than Latin America or the Caribbean. Once again demography—particularly the ratio of white men to white women (more balanced in North America than in Latin America and the Caribbean) and the availability of black women—was a crucial part of the explanation, but also important were the role of the Church and cultural mores, based as much in Old World patterns of racial coexistence or segregation. The Spanish had mixed with Muslims for centuries; the English had created a Pale in their settlement of Ireland. Only in North America did the extremely arbitrary concept of "Negro"—denoting anyone with allegedly visible African ancestry—assume such a marked stigma. Third, the chances of gaining freedom varied from one society to the next. Except for the period surrounding the American Revolution, the North American colonies, and later the states, imposed the severest restrictions on the chances of a slave becoming free. Again, demography—the proportions of whites and blacks in the population—has some explanatory power as do economic and cultural forces (14).

North American slavery itself was hardly of a piece. The range encompasses New England's intimate "family slavery"; the Mid-Atlantic's mixed forms of slavery and servitude; the Chesapeake's patriarchal, small plantation, mixed farming and tobacco, heavily native-born form of slavery; and the low country's impersonal, large plantation, rice and indigo, more heavily African system of slavery. In addition, various borderland forms existed: from a fluid world of interracial alliances in the Lower Mississippi Valley to a flexible one of fugitives and ex-slaves in Spanish Florida to one in which Indian slaves were transformed from symbols of alliance into commodities of exchange in French Canada (15).

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  1. ISABEL MARANT / CLUSTER BOOTS / 37,The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-bellum South (New York: Knopf, 1956).

  2. IRO Variety Dress Ruffled Printed Crepe White V Neck Mini Dress Size 4 0 NEW,International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, ed. David L. Sills and Robert King Merton (New York: Macmillan, 1968), 14: 307-13; Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, reprint (Hammondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1983, 1980), 9, 96, 102, 111, 113-14; Keith Hopkins, EUC Maurices Ripped Jeans,Victoria’s Secret travel cosmetic,EILEEN FISHER orange sweater, 138 (1993): 3-27; Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at RomeBlack and White Leopard Print Jean Jacket,Vintage erika Taylor Intimates Bed Jacket White Ribbon Print Single Button Med,Lulu Dharma Vegan leather tote,The Problem of Slavery in Western CultureBornfly Jeans Sz 34 Black,Spiritual Gangster MAYA ROBE,White Mountain Shoes,

  3. Ralph A. Austen, "The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade: A Tentative Census," Burberry button up shirt EUC Medium,, ed. Henry A. Gemery and Jan S. Hogendorn (New York: Academic Press, 1979), 23-76; Austen, "The Mediterranean Islamic Slave Trade out of Africa: A Tentative Census," Beach Riot Chandler Black Fringe Bikini Top,PARKER | Women’s Asymmetrical Ruffle Hem Dress | Size: Medium | Burgundy / White,Encyclopedia of Africa South of the SaharaMichael Kors Large X Chain Shoulder Tote & Large Double Zip Wallet Pale Gold,International Journal of African Historical Studies 10 (1977): 443-61; Alexandre Popovic, The Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the IIIrd-IXth CenturyNWT Gorgeous White MK bag,Size 2 prom cocktail dress,Emma & Sam Black Long Sleeve with Red Stars,Cache’ Women’s Dress, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998); Shaun E. Marmon, ed., NEW Levi's | Dark Wash Mom Jeans size 27, (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1998); Minra Tora and John Edward Philips, eds., Slave Elites in the Middle East and Africa: A Comparative StudyIs pajama set velveteen polyester Rob Cammy and pa,The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of IslamMonnalisa chic white dress,Slavery on the Frontiers of IslamVTG 80s WOMENS JEAN JACKET,

  4. Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff, eds., Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological PerspectivesDress the Population Cher Ruched Plunge-neck Gown,HAH Forgiva-Kini Bottom only Size Small NWT, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); John Thornton, VINTAGE 80s/90s furry hot pink half zip collar house coat M,Vintage Silk Pajamas,Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in AfricaSilver Jeans Suki Mid Rise Bootcut Jeans 26,

  5. Vtg 90s Tommy Hilfiger Mens XL Plaid Green Orange,Archivum latinitatis medii aeviBlue and white striped bikini set - Tularosa,L'Esclavage dans l'Europe médiévale, vol. 1, Pénisule Ibérique—France (Bruges: De Tempel, 1955); vol. 2, Italie, Colonies Italiennes du Levant, Levant Latin, Empire Bysantin (Ghent: 1977); and Verlinden, The Beginnings of Modern Colonization: Eleven Essays with an IntroductionGrace in LA Women's Boot Low Rhinstone Pockets Medium Wash Jeans 27,Slavery and Society in Medieval ScandinaviaTerani Couture Lavender Formal Dress,SWAROVSKI PINUP BRACELET INDC DMUL/RUS MESH, (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press, 1995); Steven Epstein, Speaking of Slavery: Color, Ethnicity, and Human Bondage in Italy (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001); and Sally McKee, "Inherited Status and Slavery in Late Medieval Italy and Venetian Crete," Vigoss Venice 11 BootCut Boot jeans Womans denim Light P1290J Stretch Womans,VINTAGE SEARS BEST AT HOME WEAR PINK ROBE WITH FLORAL EMBROIDERY & TIE FRONT.,

  6. Chloe Teal Paddington Lock Bag,First Holy Communion dress size 8, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982); Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997), 21-24, 48-86.

  7. Felipe Fernández-Armesto, NIKE DRI-FIT - Cropped Sweater,Lucky Brand Riedel2 Wedge Sandal Multi Color Cork,HEARTLOOM Mabel Pullover Sweater Size S,️️Pink off the shoulder sweater Sz XXL!,Lululemon Crescent Long Sleeve *Cupro Rib Holistic White,Velvet Johnathan Kayne Gown - prom/pageant/evening,Aqua Blue Criss Cross Espadrille Wedge Sandals Women's NEW NIB, (San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press, 1992).

  8. Slightly used Infant dress: blue, Pink, Cream,,American Historical ReviewNike Detroit Lions #20 Barry Sanders Black With Camo Elite Jersey NFL XXL Sz 52,LL Bean Floral Denim Jacket Size M, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003), 14; Robert C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003). For more on the development of freedom and slavery, see David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), and Sue Peabody, There Are No Slaves in France: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien RégimeCoach Puffy Quilted Georgie Shoulder bag in Navy and Silver,

  9. vintage levi’s 501 jeans !!!,The Early Spanish MainTommy Bahama Plaid Button Shirt Mens XL,PINK Victoria's Secret blue sweatshirt hoodie, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992); William L. Sherman, Forced Native Labor in Sixteenth-Century Central AmericaRalph Lauren Sz Small Black Silver Acrylic Knit,Wilsons leather tan suede leather crop jacket L,Victoria Secret Black Rope,The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717PrANa gray soft French terry embroidered hoodie, size XS,Boden Baseball Tee,, ed. Elizabeth Mancke and Carole Shammas (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), 75-121. For a recent discussion of Indian population decline, see David S. Jones, "Virgin Soils Revisited," New Lewit 2 Tone Floral Asymmetrical Dress,, 3rd ser., 60 (October 2003): 703-42.

  10. David Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America: An Economic Analysis**BRAND NEW** DASIA SET,Grey Distressed Madewell Jeans,Yves Saint Laurent Mens Multicolor Classic 100% Silk Designer Neck Tie Set of 3,William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 58 (January 2001): 17-46. Two good microhistories of the transatlantic slave trade are Robert Harms, Lacoste Purple Alligator Print Mini Shoulder Bag,Burnt orange prom dress {Alfred Angelo},The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004).

  11. David Eltis and William G. Clarence-Smith, "White Servitude," BRAND NEW AUTHENTIC COACH BAG! (Negotiable),Ruff Hewn Denim Jacket,Size 7/8 Blue Interview Dress, (London: Longman, 1996); Stanley L. Engerman, ed., Terms of Labor: Slavery, Serfdom, and Free Labor (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Bush, Lay-Z, (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2000).

  12. Frank M. Snowden Jr., Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1970); Snowden, Big Star Maddie Mid Rise Bootcut Jeans 26x31 LNC,NWOT Levi's 501 Relaxed Fit Burgundy Maroon Jeans,The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004); Jean Devisse and Michel Mollat, eds., The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. 2, Christian Dior Monsieur Ocean Blue Button Down SzL,Nike Jordan 1984 Flight 8403 Script Jersey Men's 2XL +2,Images of the Medieval PeasantGoldenbleu large patent leather bag EUC,Opening Ceremony Black knit crewneck with navy logo on hem size S,7 for All Mankind 'A' Pocket Bootcut Mid Rise Distressed Jeans 34,White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812AF zip up hoodie,Race: The History of an Idea in the West (Washington, D.C.: The Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1996); the essays in "Constructing Race: Differentiating Peoples in the Early Modern World," William and Mary QuarterlyRock & Roll Cowboy,The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003). The best account is David Brion Davis, "The Origins of Anti-Black Racism in the New World," chap. 3 in Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of New World SlaveryNWT Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Eyeshadow & Cheek Palette - Candy Glow,

  13. Real leather tassel backpack purse,Giorgio Armani off white overcoat / parka NWOT, (New York: Norton, 1989); Schwartz, ed., Vintage Victoria’s Secret gold label pink robe M/L,, 3.

  14. Frank Tannenbaum, Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the AmericasMermaid tight fit formal dress.,Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1971).

  15. Unusual suede designer booties,Black Yankees: The Development of an Afro-American Subculture in Eighteenth-Century New England (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988); Graham Russell Hodges, Root and Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863Paige Light Wash Distressed Knee Cropped Jeans,Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and LowcountryLos Angeles Lakers Lebron James - size 50 Large (L),Jimmy Choo Holiday houndstooth Booties. Worn twice.,San Lorenzo Coral Brazilian Bikini Set,Vintage Lands End House Coat Floral Button Front Robe Lightweight Medium,Lower Merion Kobe Bryant - size Large (L),William and Mary Quarterly 3rd ser., 60 (October 2003): 777-808. To this list might be added other forms of aboriginal slavery: see Theda Perdue, Semi formal dress. Only worn once., (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1979); William A. Starna and Ralph Watkins, "Northern Iroquoian Slavery," Alyce Paris 60713 Halter Neck Mid-Open Back Shimmer High Navy Low Gown Size 4, 38 (Winter 1991): 34-57; and Leland Donald, Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest Coast of North America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).

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Sources

  • 2 piece pants PJ’s,The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800MICHAEL KORS new without tags boot cut denim jeans with studded MK pockets,
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  • LUCKY BRAND Jeans Men 181 Relaxed Straight Short Inseam Denim 7MG1001 Size 36,Children of God's Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in BrazilVintage Levi's Jeans W36 L30,
  • Davis, David Brion. Halston Heritage leather inset dress,. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003. The first short essay in the volume is a superb introduction to the origins of New World slavery, but it should be complemented by a number of other books by this great historian of New World slavery. I particularly recommend his Real mink cape. Hand made.,Goldsign Ankle Zip Black Jeans - 27 - Skinny - Crop - Stretch,
  • Davis, Robert C. Etienne Aigner Faux Patent leather wedge size 8,Helen's Heart Women's Bronze Slip-on Wedge Shoe Size 8,
  • Saloni Bea Pintuck Cotton Dress 0 NWT,A Historical Guide to World Slavery. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. A useful reference work that covers most regions where slavery was important, together with topical examinations of the subject.
  • 3 looney toons tied,The Rise of African Slavery in the AmericasDress Formal Perfect! Alyce beaded dress,
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  • Womens Levi’s denim jacket.,Macmillan Encyclopedia of World SlaveryZara Gray Feathery Fuzzy Cropped Sweater Shaggy,
  • Finley, M. I. TRUE RELIGION GINA FIVE POCKET BOOT CUT JEANS SIZE 27,. Reprint. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1983, 1980. An exploration of the emergence, functioning, and decline of the slave societies of classical Greece and classical Italy, with comparisons to New World slavery, by the greatest historian of ancient slavery.
  • Fredrickson, George M. Racism: A Short HistoryKensington Drench Leather Shoulder Bag KURT GEIGER LONDON,
  • Christening gown for girl,Burberrys of London paisley tie - Vtg., rare. Contains about 1,000 pictorial images of slavery in Africa and the Americas, arranged thematically.
  • Aritzia green military trooper jacket,Men's ls shirt,. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993. A good general account by a historian alert to comparative history.
  • Helen's Heart Women's Cream Shiny Slip-on Wedge Shoe Size 8,Race and Slavery in the Middle East: An Historical Enquiry. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. A good survey of slavery and the evolution of racial prejudice in the Islamic world.
  • Miers, Suzanne, and Igor Kopytoff, eds. Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977. The long introduction on slavery as an "institution of marginality" is a classic, and many of the individual essays on particular regions and groups are stimulating.
  • Miller, Joseph. C., ed. Slavery and Slaving in World History: A Bibliography, 1900-1996. 2 vols. Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1999. The most comprehensive work of its kind. Annual updates are available in the journal Vintage Victoria’s Secret Gold Tag Yellow Floral Robe Size Small,. The entire bibliography is being prepared for Internet access as a searchable database by the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia.
  • Morgan, Philip D. "African Americans." In A Companion to Colonial AmericaBlush pink Bella Slit dress from Wilfred,
  • Patterson, Orlando. PESARO Wedge Kambria Shoes Size 7,. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. The best general survey of slave systems in 66 societies, written by a sociologist.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Garnett - size Large (L),Burgundy Banana Republic "Utility" jacket,. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985. A useful account that focuses on slavery in medieval Europe, the world of Islam, and the rise of the Atlantic slave system.
  • Thornton, John. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800NWT American Bazi Denim Crop Jacket size Medium,

Philip D. Morgan is the Sydney and Ruth Lapidus Professor in the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University. He is the author of Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998) and coeditor (with Sean Hawkins) of Black Experience and the Empire: The Oxford History of the British Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). He would like to acknowledge in particular the assistance of David Brion Davis, who generously sent him two early chapters from his forthcoming manuscript, "Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of New World Slavery."

Authored by

  • Philip D. Morgan
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    Princeton, New Jersey