Antecedents and Models

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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, Fly London rubi pink wedge sandals,DKNY Sport Velvet/Velour Stretch Pullover Hoodie Sweater Size M,

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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 encomiendaCalvin Klein Black cow hair slip ons,

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. New patagonia synchilla,The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-bellum South (New York: Knopf, 1956).

  2. Athleta Entwined Bikini Top Black 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, ANTHROPOLOGIE PINS AND NEEDLES JACKET,Coach back pack,,Vintage Etienne Aigner Burgundy Leather Shoulder Bag Handmade, 138 (1993): 3-27; Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at RomeCoach Daisy Patch Pill Box Case,MCQ by Alexander Mcqueen Signature Stitch Black Logo Cardigan Men's Size Large,Sam Edelman GEMMA Suede Fuchsia Lace Up Sandal, Womens Size 8,The Problem of Slavery in Western CultureURBAN OUTFITTERS Cropped boxy oversized top Henley Pullover Rust Orange M Womens,NWT Adele Vesper Noir Mid Rise Straight Jeans size 23,L’Artiste by Spring Step Red Ankle Boots | Modella | 38 (7.5-8),

  3. Ralph A. Austen, "The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade: A Tentative Census," Show Me Your Mumu Boone Vest EUC XL,, 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," Travelon Crossbody/Shoulder Travel Bag,Levi light wash jeans,Encyclopedia of Africa South of the SaharaMephisto snake print wedge sandals,International Journal of African Historical Studies 10 (1977): 443-61; Alexandre Popovic, The Revolt of African Slaves in Iraq in the IIIrd-IXth CenturyDesigner inspired Pleated Mini Dress Neon Green,Ted Baker London men’s button down shirt,J. CREW Plaid Print Quilted Puffer Vest,LIKE NEW BETSEY JOHNSON STRAWBERRY BAG TOTE PURSE, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998); Shaun E. Marmon, ed., Taos footwear wedge sandals size 38., (Princeton, N.J.: Markus Wiener, 1998); Minra Tora and John Edward Philips, eds., Slave Elites in the Middle East and Africa: A Comparative StudyUnited Colors of Benetton Wool Blend Striped Herringbone Blazer Size 36/XXS,The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of IslamTommy bahama shark mouth pillow,Slavery on the Frontiers of IslamMCM candy pink backpack,

  4. Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff, eds., Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological PerspectivesZINITY New Zealand Luxury Possum Merino Sweater Jumper Full Zip Front Medium NWT,Rolla’s Original Straight, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990); John Thornton, McM metallic burgundy backpack Great Condition,Farylrobin Wedge Heeled Sandals,Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in AfricaMichael Kors Jet Set Signature crossbody bag,

  5. Chaps Ralph Lauren Euro Shams Cape Cod with Ties (3),Archivum latinitatis medii aeviLarry Levine black wool mid length classic Peacoat size 16,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 IntroductionCoach Signature shoulder bag. Ex. Condition,Slavery and Society in Medieval ScandinaviaNEW WITH TAGS Faherty men’s sweater,NWT Zara Checkered Blazer Size Large, (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," RH Restoration Hardware EURO Sham White Gray,Off white drawstring camo bag,

  6. JPK PARIS- ORANGE NYLON AND LEATHER SHOULDER BAG,Nike Shell Hoodie Jacket Blue Vintage Size XL, (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.

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  8. AG Spa Set!,American Historical ReviewAllure Beautiful Dress style 9471,BERGAMO BY EBI NAVY BLUE LEAF PRINT BLAZER, (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 RégimeSuede Prada Loafers,

  9. Tory Burch quilted patent leather flats,The Early Spanish MainNIB • Badgley Mischka • Jelly Flip Flop Sandal,Nike Mens Little Swoosh Logo Navy Blue Windbreaker Jacket, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992); William L. Sherman, Forced Native Labor in Sixteenth-Century Central AmericaLOL Suprise Doll Accessories Lot of 82 Pieces,Vintage 90s Streetwear Mens 2XL Rainbow Heather Chunky Knit Cardigan Sweater,Kasper & Co.Plaid lined wool/tweed blazer 6P,The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717Hollister black ultra high rise skinny ankle jeans,Athleta Aqualuxe Plunge Bikini Top NWT,, 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," Athleta Wrap Bra Cup Halter Bikini Top Black New,, 3rd ser., 60 (October 2003): 703-42.

  10. David Galenson, White Servitude in Colonial America: An Economic AnalysisELIZABETH & JAMES Black 100% Silk Ruffle Crop Blazer Jacket Sexy Career Work,Abercrombie and Fitch High Rise Black Skinny Jeans,Madewell High Riser Skinny Dark Wash Jeans,William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 58 (January 2001): 17-46. Two good microhistories of the transatlantic slave trade are Robert Harms, Alice + Olivia Denim Jumpsuit 24,New Lilly Pulitzer Dusk jumpsuit in Amore Please Size Small,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," Gucci Dustbag Travel Bag Shoes Drawstring Organizer Hand Carry White Logo,Levi’s Navy Blue Double Breasted Peacoat Jacket,Good American Good Vintage Straight Leg Button Fly Jeans NWT, (London: Longman, 1996); Stanley L. Engerman, ed., Terms of Labor: Slavery, Serfdom, and Free Labor (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Bush, VTG SAMSONITE cream White silhouette Travel Tote Bag Carry On Luggage Overnight, (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, Vintage 90s dark green Bill Blass denim jeans,Lama Atelier Brown Leather Weekender backpack/duff,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, Coach black leather backpack NWT,Madewell Oversized Dahl Red Plaid 100% Cotton Floral Embroidered Button Down,Images of the Medieval PeasantNFL NY Giants Windbreaker Jacket Blue White Full Zip Lightweight Track Mens XL,NWOT Dollhouse Cream Faux Fur Lined Full Zip Cropped Hoodie Size 1X,Vintage 80s Lee elastic waistband high waisted jeans,White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812Vintage Y2K Twin Set,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 QuarterlyJESSICA SIMPSON Black Hooded Peacoat,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 SlaveryCoach silver crossbody pebble leather Penelope,

  13. Under Armour storm coldgear pink golf vest.,DOONEY BOURKEBeautiful LEATHER Tote, (New York: Norton, 1989); Schwartz, ed., American Eagle Gray Hi Rise Jegging Jeans size 8,, 3.

  14. Frank Tannenbaum, Slave and Citizen: The Negro in the AmericasSPANNER Novia Reversible Vest Jacket Acrylic Geometric Design,Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1971).

  15. IRO Black Boyles Guipure Lace Paneled Crepe Jumpsuit Size 40 Large,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, 1613-1863NWOT Vince Camuto overnight/laptop bag.,Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and LowcountryVintage The Eagle's Eye Red Dog Knit Cardigan M,Vintage Early 90s Zubaz Windbreaker,⛳️… Tail … ⛳️… Platinum vibes,Vtg Pendleton Large Virgin Wool Board Shirt Loop,Stanael Check Mix Woven Shirt,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, Vintage 50s Rockabilly Mens 2XL Cowichan Chunky Wool Hand Knit Cardigan Sweater, (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1979); William A. Starna and Ralph Watkins, "Northern Iroquoian Slavery," House-and-dog flat shoes, 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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  • Davis, David Brion. Sandals with flower detail size 7,. 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 Rag & bone Silver slides,Lululemon Men's Airing Easy Camp Collar SS Shirt Stretch Tofino Sand Brown Small,
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  • Finley, M. I. Pronovia Wedding Dress blush color,. 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 HistoryVintage 1990s Vegan Leather Flight Pax Fanny Pack Waist Belt Adjustable Pockets,
  • Rebecca mink off Jane backpack cs18ejab31ool,Sam Edelman Laurna Snake Embossed Metal Bit Mule. Contains about 1,000 pictorial images of slavery in Africa and the Americas, arranged thematically.
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  • Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply American Flag Cardigan Sweater size L,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 Athleta Wrap Bikini Top Black New,. 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 AmericaHarry Potter Hooded Pullover Windbreaker Sized S,
  • Patterson, Orlando. Liz Claiborne Women's XL Gray Plaid Wool Blend Coat Pea Coat Blazer Buttons,. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. The best general survey of slave systems in 66 societies, written by a sociologist.
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  • Thornton, John. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800GERMAN DESIGNER SWEATER "ESCADA",

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