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Slavery Change And Continuity Over Time

1385 words - 6 pages

During the era of 1450-1750 CE, the characteristics of human slavery throughout the world started as a system of assistance gained from the capturing of enemy soldiers and adopting them into the victors society, but changed to a large trafficking business reaching overseas, and then to inherited positions gained from being born into slavery. However, throughout this time period, slavery continued to center in Africa and the Middle East, and remained a prime source of human labor in every society, due to their ability to be easily obtained and cheaply managed.
Before the Atlantic Slave Trade, most slaves were acquired through capturing soldiers and citizens following a military skirmage, and were not viewed as the lowest class of citizens. This was present throughout the world, and was common in every society. Following their capture, the enslaved would then be assimilated into the society, and eventually obtain freedom. Slaves at the time were viewed as members of the community, only in a slightly lower class. In the Islamic culture, the capturing of slaves from warfare was only permissible due to the chances of rebellion following their release immediately after the battle ensued. Therefore, the captured would be treated as guests in the house until their release at the appropriate time. In the Islamic World, prior and following their release, slaves could establish their own families and businesses, and even had the chances of gaining high political and military positions. In 15th century Russia, slaves were treated as property rather than guests, but were obtained through unpaid debts and warfare, and given a brief period of the year in which they were able to act freely as if they were true freemen. Beginning in a time where nations focused on expanding by any means possible, including warfare, the characteristics of slavery began as such due to the vast number of captured innocents and guilties following a battle. Therefore, these enslaved individuals could either be released, forced to work, jailed, or killed. The easiest choice to the citizens of empires in the 15th century was to make the enslaved productive and to keep them for personal needs until further action was required.
Following the capturing of humans as the primary source of acquiring slaves, nations slowly transitioned to acquiring slaves in large quantities from oversea traders. After the discovery of sugarcane from the Arabs, European nations began establishing plantation communities throughout the Americas which were rich with sugarcane. With the creation of these plantations, which focused on mass production of various products, a large amount of cheap human labor was necessary in keeping up with production quotas. Therefore, the Europeans found the best option was to import boatloads of African slaves, who were skilled, non Christian, and immune to many of the diseases that the Native Americans had previously perished from. Mexico, under the rule of the Spanish at the...

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