Britain, slavery and the trade in enslaved Africans Marika Sherwood British slaves British involvement in slavery is over 2, years old, but not in what is now the accepted perspective. Cicero noted in about 54 BC that the 'British' enslaved by Julius Caesar 'were too ignorant to fetch fancy prices in the market'.
Introduction Slavery in Africathe institution of slavery as it existed in Africa, and the effects of world slave-trade systems on African people and societies. As in most of the world, slavery, or involuntary human servitude, was practiced across Africa from prehistoric times to the modern era.
When people today think of slavery, many envision the form in which it existed in the United States before the American Civil War However, in other parts of the world, slavery has taken many different forms. In Africa, many societies recognized slaves merely as property, but others saw them as dependents who eventually might be integrated into the families of slave owners.
Still other societies allowed slaves to attain positions of military or administrative power. Most often, both slave owners and slaves were black Africans, although they were frequently of different ethnic groups. Traditionally, African slaves were bought to perform menial or domestic labor, to serve as wives or concubines, or to enhance the status of the slave owner.
Traditional African practices of slavery were altered to some extent beginning in the 7th century by two non-African groups of slave traders: Arab Muslims and Europeans. From the 7th to the 20th century, Arab Muslims raided and traded for black African slaves in West, Central, and East Africa, sending thousands of slaves each year to North Africa and parts of Asia.
These two overlapping waves of transcontinental slave trading made the slave trade central to the economies of many African states and threatened many more Africans with enslavement. More than 3, years ago, ancient Egyptians raided neighboring societies for slaves, and the buying and selling of slaves were regular activities in cities along the Nile River.
However, whereas the Egyptians left behind written records of their activities, most other early African states and societies did not.
Therefore, our understanding of most early African practices of slavery is based on much more recent observations of African traditions regarding slavery and kinship and on oral histories.
Origins In Africa, as in many places around the world, early slavery likely resulted from warring groups taking captives.
Such captives were of little use, and often some bother, when kept close to their homes because of the ease of escape. Therefore, they were often sold and transported to more distant places. Warfare was not the only reason for the practice of slavery in Africa, however.
In many African societies, slavery represented one of the few methods of producing wealth available to common people. Throughout the African continent there was little recognition of rights to private landholding until colonial officials began imposing European law in the 19th century.
Land was typically held communally by villages or large clans and was allotted to families according to their need. The amount of land a family needed was determined by the number of laborers that family could marshal to work the land.
To increase production, a family had to invest in more laborers and thus increase their share of land.
The simplest and quickest way to do this was to invest in slaves. To help service this demand, many early African societies conducted slave raids on distant villages.
In addition to agricultural work, female slaves carried out other economic functions, such as trading and cotton spinning and dyeing. They also performed domestic chores, such as preparing food, washing clothes, and cleaning. Powerful African men kept female slaves as wives or concubines, and in many societies these women stood as symbols of male wealth.
Male slaves typically farmed and herded animals. Those who belonged to wealthy families and especially of ruling lineages of states also worked as porters and rowers, and learned crafts such as weaving, construction, and metalwork.
New slaves were sometimes given menial tasks while experienced slaves did the more difficult and dangerous work, such as mining and quarrying. Some male, and fewer female, slaves held positions of high status and trust within their societies.
In precolonial states in the interior of West and Central Africa, slaves often served as soldiers and confidants of high officials. With their necessarily limited ambitions and dependence on their masters, slaves were considered the ideal persons to be close to men in power.
In a few cases, female slaves assumed power and influence as well. Slaves, taken in battle or in slave raids, were cut off from their kin. Many African societies decreed that children of slave owners by their slaves could not be sold or killed.Start studying History Quiz Slave Trade.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. slavery was the economic structure 80% society completely dependent on slaves.
Disease immunity. In what ways did Africans resist slavery what were the results of that resistance? forms of resistance slow downs (stop. THE profitability of slavery is an enduring question of economic history.
Thomas Gowan, writing way back in , noted wearily that “the debate [ ] has been going on, in one form or another. Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African slaves helped build the new nation into an economic powerhouse through the production of lucrative crops such as tobacco and cotton.
The history of slavery spans many cultures, nationalities, and religions from ancient times to the present day. However the social, economic, and legal positions of slaves were vastly different in different systems of slavery in different times and places. Years of Slavery From its discovery in , Brazil has been a hub for human trafficking in South America.
From about to , some million enslaved Africans were taken to Brazil; this is ten times as many as were trafficked to North America and far more than the total number of Africans who. Britain, slavery and the trade in enslaved Africans Marika Sherwood British slaves.
British involvement in slavery is over 2, years old, but not in what is now the accepted perspective.