Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery by Seymour Drescher

Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery by Seymour Drescher

By Seymour Drescher

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In one shape or one other, slavery has existed through the global for millennia. It helped to alter the realm, and the area remodeled the establishment. within the 1450s, while Europeans from the small nook of the globe least enmeshed within the establishment first interacted with peoples of alternative continents, they created, within the Americas, the main dynamic, efficient, and exploitative process of coerced hard work in human heritage. 3 centuries later those similar intercontinental activities produced a flow that effectively challenged the establishment on the top of its dynamism. inside one other century a brand new surge of ecu enlargement built outdated international empires lower than the banner of antislavery. even though, twentieth-century Europe itself was once inundated through a brand new approach of slavery, higher and extra lethal than its prior approach of recent international slavery. This e-book examines those dramatic expansions and contractions of the establishment of slavery and the effect of violence, economics, and civil society within the ebb and stream of slavery and antislavery over the last 5 centuries.

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38 Benton, however, perceptively calls attention to institutional similarities of slavery in Africa and Mediterranean Europe. As indicated earlier, enslaving captives was an ordinary feature of Mediterranean cross-raiding for centuries before and after 1500. Whatever the differences in proportions of human and non-human sources of wealth and revenue, African and Iberian mechanisms of judicial enslavement co-existed through centuries of 35 36 37 38 Compare Lauren Benton, Law and Colonial Cultures: Legal Regimes in World History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 49–52; and Thornton, Africa, 72–88.

In the Mediterranean, after the mid-seventeenth century, captive western Europeans were far more likely than Africans to be redeemed by their fellow countrymen. In the transatlantic trade, western Europeans were less likely to be involved than their more eastern counterparts in the initial recruitment of the enslaved. They generally purchased people already enslaved or captured by Africans. European victims had some hope that they might return to their families. Their cargoes of African men, women, and children had virtually no hope of returning to their communities of origin.

90, 108. 39 The magnitude and pervasiveness of slavery as an institution that extended from Aragon to Angola, and from Madeira to Malacca was only enhanced in the European imagination by European global exploration. Boundaries and Opportunities c. 1500 Generations of scholars have identified slavery as a loss of status and identity, not a loss of humanity. 40 Understanding the boundaries and limitations of enslavement, as David Eltis and others have shown, is crucial in analyzing the comparative evolution of early modern slavery.

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