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Contemporary slavery

Modern Africa · Debt bondage · Penal labour · Sexual slavery · Unfree labour · Human trafficking

Opposition and resistance

Timeline · Abolitionism · Compensated emancipation · Opponents of slavery‎ · Slave rebellion · Slave narrative

Slavery (also called thralldom) is a form of forced labour in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. In some societies it was legal for an owner to kill a slave; in others it was a crime.[1]

The organization Anti-Slavery International defines slavery as "forced labour." By this definition there are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in history and more than twice as many as all African slaves brought to the Americas combined.[2][3][4]

The International Labour Organisation, however, does not equate forced labour with slavery. According to ILO, there are estimated 12 million people around the world still working under coercion in forced labour, slavery and slavery-like practices.[5]

Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, some for generations.[6] Human trafficking is mostly for prostituting women and children into the sex trade.[7] It is described as "the largest slave trade in history" and is the fastest growing criminal industry, set to outgrow drug trafficking.[7][8]



The English word slave derives through Old French and Medieval Latin from the medieval word for the Slavic people of Central and Eastern Europe.[9][10]


Slave market in early medieval Eastern Europe. Painting by Sergei Ivanov.

Evidence of slavery predates written records, and has existed in many cultures.[11] Slavery is rare among Hunter gatherer populations, as slavery depends on a system of social stratification. Slavery also requires economic surpluses and a high population density to be viable. Due to these factors, the practice of slavery would have only proliferated after the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic revolution about 11,000 years ago.[12] The earliest records of slavery can be traced to the Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1760 BC), and the Bible refers to it as an established institution.[13] Slavery was known to occur in civilizations as old as Sumer, as well as almost every other ancient civilization, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkadian Empire, Assyria, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas.[11] Such institutions were a mixture of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment, and the birth of slave children to slaves.[14] Records of slavery in Ancient Greece go as far back as Mycenaean Greece. Two-fifths (some authorities say four-fifths) of the population of Classical Athens were slaves.[15] Greek philosophers such as Aristotle accepted the theory of natural slavery, that is, that some men are slaves by nature.[16][17]

As the Roman Republic expanded outward, entire populations were enslaved, thus creating an ample supply from all over Europe and the Mediterranean. Greeks, Illyrians, Berbers, Germans, Britons, Thracians, Gauls, Jews, Arabs, and many more were slaves used not only for labour, but also for amusement (e.g. gladiators and sex slaves). This oppression by an elite minority eventually led to slave revolts (see Roman Servile Wars); the Third Servile War led by Spartacus being the most famous and severe. By the late Republican era, slavery had become a vital economic pillar in the wealth of Rome, as well as a very significant part of Roman society.[18] It is estimated that over 25% of the population of Ancient Rome was enslaved.[19] According to some scholars, slaves represented 35% or more of Italy's population.[20] In the city of Rome alone, under the Roman Empire, there were about 400,000 slaves.[21] During the millennium from the emergence of the Roman Empire to its eventual decline, at least 100 million people were captured or sold as slaves throughout the Mediterranean and its hinterlands.[22]

13th century slave market in Yemen. Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962.[23]

The early medieval slave trade was mainly confined to the South and East: the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world were the destinations, pagan Central and Eastern Europe, along with the Caucasus and Tartary, were important sources. Viking, Arab, Greek and Jewish merchants (known as Radhanites) were all involved in the slave trade during the Early Middle Ages.[24][25][26]

Medieval Spain and Portugal were the scene of almost constant warfare between Muslims and Christians. Periodic raiding expeditions were sent from Al-Andalus to ravage the Iberian Christian kingdoms, bringing back booty and slaves. In raid against Lisbon, Portugal in 1189, for example, the Almohad caliph Yaqub al-Mansur took 3,000 female and child captives, while his governor of Córdoba, in a subsequent attack upon Silves, Portugal in 1191, took 3,000 Christian slaves.[27] From the 11th to the 19th century, North African Barbary Pirates engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns, to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in places such as Algeria and Morocco.[28][29]

At the time of the Domesday Book, compiled in 1086, nearly 10% of the English population were slaves.[30] Slavery in early medieval Europe was so common that the Roman Catholic Church repeatedly prohibited it — or at least the export of Christian slaves to non-Christian lands was prohibited at e.g. the Council of Koblenz (922), the Council of London (1102), and the Council of Armagh (1171).[31] In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas, granting Afonso V of Portugal the right to reduce any "Saracens, pagans and any other unbelievers" to hereditary slavery which legitimized the slave trade, at least as a result of war.[32] The approval of slavery under these conditions was reaffirmed and extended in his Romanus Pontifex bull of 1455. However, Pope Paul III forbade enslavement of the Indians in 1537 in his papal bull Sublimus Dei.[33] Dominican friars who arrived at the Spanish settlement at Santo Domingo strongly denounced the enslavement of the local Indians. Along with other priests, they opposed their treatment as unjust and illegal in an audience with the Spanish king and in the subsequent royal commission.[34]

An 1852 Wallachian poster advertising an auction of Roma slaves in Bucharest.

The Byzantine-Ottoman wars and the Ottoman wars in Europe brought large numbers of Christian slaves into the Islamic world too.[35] After the Battle of Lepanto approximately 12,000 Christian galley slaves were freed from the Ottoman Turks.[36] Eastern Europe suffered a series of Tatar invasions, the goal of which was to loot and capture slaves into jasyr. Seventy-five Crimean Tatar raids were recorded into Poland–Lithuania between 1474-1569.[37] There were more than 100,000 Russian captives in the Kazan Khanate alone in 1551.[38]

The transatlantic slave trade

Slavery was prominent presumably elsewhere in Africa long before the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade.[39] The maritime town of Lagos, Portugal, was the first slave market created in Portugal for the sale of imported African slaves - the Mercado de Escravos, opened in 1444.[40][41] In 1441, the first slaves were brought to Portugal from northern Mauritania.[41] By the year 1552 black African slaves made up 10 percent of the population of Lisbon.[42][43] In the second half of the 16th century, the Crown gave up the monopoly on slave trade and the focus of European trade in African slaves shifted from import to Europe to slave transports directly to tropical colonies in the Americas - in the case of Portugal, especially Brazil.[41] In the 15th century one third of the slaves were resold to the African market in exchange of gold.[44]

Spain had to fight against relatively powerful and hardy civilizations of the New World. However, the Spanish conquest of the indigenous peoples in the Americas was also facilitated by the spread of diseases (e.g. smallpox) due to lack of biological immunity.[45] Natives were used as forced labour (the Spanish employed the pre-Columbian draft system called the mita),[46] but the diseases caused a labour shortage and so the Spanish colonists were gradually involved in the Atlantic slave trade. The first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World were the Spaniards who labourers on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola, where the alarming decline in the native population had spurred the first royal laws protecting the native population (Laws of Burgos, 1512-1513). The first African slaves arrived in Hispaniola in 1501.[47] In 1518, Charles I of Spain agreed to ship slaves directly from Africa. England played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade. The "slave triangle" was pioneered by Francis Drake and his associates. By 1750, slavery was a legal institution in all of the 13 American colonies,[48][49] and the profits of the slave trade and of West Indian plantations amounted to 5% of the British economy at the time of the Industrial Revolution. [50]

Punishment of a slave. The whipping post (or pillory) in Salvador, Bahia.

The Transatlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by African kingdoms, such as the Oyo empire (Yoruba), the Ashanti Empire, the kingdom of Dahomey,[51] and the Aro Confederacy.[52] Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fierce African resistance. The slaves were brought to coastal outposts where they were traded for goods.

An estimated 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th centuries.[53] Of these, an estimated 645,000 were brought to what is now the United States. The white citizens of Virginia decided to treat the first Africans in Virginia as indentured servants.[54] Over half of all European immigrants to Colonial America during the 17th and 18th centuries arrived as indentured servants.[55] In 1655, John Casor, a black man, became the first legally recognized slave in the present United States.[56] According to the 1860 U.S. census, 393,975 individuals owned 3,950,528 slaves.[57]

The largest number of slaves were shipped to Brazil.[58] In the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada, corresponding mainly to modern Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela, the free black population in 1789 was 420,000, whereas African slaves numbered only 20,000. Free blacks also outnumbered slaves in Brazil. In Cuba, by contrast, free blacks made up only 15% in 1827; and in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) it was a mere 5% in 1789.[59] Some half-million slaves, most of them born in Africa, worked the booming plantations of Saint-Domingue.[60]

Slaves on a Virginia plantation (The Old Plantation, c. 1790)

Author Charles Rappleye argued that

In the West Indies in particular, but also in North and South America, slavery was the engine that drove the mercantile empires of Europe..It appeared, in the eighteenth century, as universal and immutable as human nature.[61]

Slavery in the United States

Although the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended shortly after the American Revolution, slavery remained a central economic institution in the Southern states. All the Northern states passed emancipation acts between 1780 and 1804; most of these arranged for gradual emancipation.[62] In the South, however, slavery expanded with the westward movement of population. Historian Peter Kolchin wrote, "By breaking up existing families and forcing slaves to relocate far from everyone and everything they knew" this migration "replicated (if on a reduced level) many of [the] horrors" of the Atlantic slave trade.[63] Historian Ira Berlin called this forced migration the Second Middle Passage. Characterizing it as the "central event” in the life of a slave between the American Revolution and the Civil War, Berlin wrote that whether they were uprooted themselves or simply lived in fear that they or their families would be involuntarily moved, "the massive deportation traumatized black people, both slave and free."[64] By 1860, 500,000 slaves had grown to 4 million. As long as slavery expanded, it remained profitable and powerful and was unlikely to disappear. Antislavery forces, however, proposed to put it on the path to extinction by stopping further expansion. If it became unprofitable, few people would spend the large sums of cash needed to buy and keep slaves, and the system would fade away quietly as it had in most countries in world history.

Slave population and percentages of the original thirteen colonies in 1770

New Hampshire had 654 slaves and one percent of the total. Massachusetts had 4,754 and 2 percent. Connecticut had 5,698 and 3 percent. Rhode Island had 3,761 and 6 percent. New York had 19,062 and 12 percent. New Jersey had 8,220 and 7 percent. Pennsylvania had 5,561 and 2 percent. Delaware had 1,836 and 5 percent. Maryland had 63,818 and 32 percent. Virginia had 187,600 and 42 percent. North Carolina had 69,600 and 35 percent. South Carolina had 75,168 and 61 percent. Georgia had 15,000 and 45 percent

The plantation system, based on tobacco growing in Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky, and rice in South Carolina, expanded into lush new cotton lands in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi—and needed more slaves. But slave importation became illegal in 1808. Although complete statistics are lacking, it is estimated that 1,000,000 slaves moved west from the Old South between 1790 and 1860. Most of the slaves were moved from Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Michael Tadman, in a 1989 book Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South, indicates that 60-70% of interregional migrations were the result of the sale of slaves. In 1820 a child in the Upper South had a 30% chance to be sold south by 1860.[65]

Political division over slavery was temporarily resolved by the Compromise of 1850 which sought to divide new territories between slave and free states. However, the status of Kansas was left unresolved, producing bloody clashes between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers.[66] In 1860, the election of Abraham Lincoln as President on a program of limiting slavery led to the secession of Southern States and the outbreak of the US Civil War. Although Lincoln initially disclaimed any intention to interfere with slavery, the progress of the war produced the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in Southern states still in revolt, and ultimately the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in December 1865, which ended legalized slavery in the United States.

Hamoud bin Mohammed, Sultan of Zanzibar from 1896 to 1902. He complied with British demands that slavery be banned in Zanzibar and that all the slaves be freed.

The Arab slave trade

Historians say the Arab slave trade lasted more than a millennium.[67] Slaves in the Arab World came from many different regions, including Sub-Saharan Africa (mainly Zanj), the Caucasus (mainly Circassians),[68] Central Asia (mainly Tartars), and Central and Eastern Europe (mainly Saqaliba).[69]

Ibn Battuta tells us several times that he was given or purchased slaves.[70] Slaves were purchased or captured on the frontiers of the Islamic world and then imported to the major centers, where there were slave markets from which they were widely distributed.[71][72][73] In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Zanj slaves may have constituted at least a half of the total population in lower Iraq.[74] At the same time, many tens of thousands of slaves in the region were also imported from Central Asia and the Caucasus.[75]

Zanzibar was once East Africa's main slave-trading port, and under Omani Arabs in the 19th century as many as 50,000 slaves were passing through the city each year.[76][77] Some historians estimate that between 11 and 18 million African slaves crossed the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara Desert from 650 AD to 1900 AD,[11][78][79]

Central and Eastern European slaves were generally known as Saqaliba (i.e., Slavs).[80] The Moors, starting in the 8th century, also raided coastal areas around the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean, and became known as the Barbary pirates. It is estimated that they captured 1.25 million white slaves from Western Europe and North America between the 16th and 19th centuries.[81][82]

Redemption of Christian slaves by Catholic monks in Algiers in 1662.

Slave trade in Europe

Approximately 10-20% of the rural population of Carolingian Europe consisted of slaves.[83] In Western Europe slavery largely disappeared by the later Middle Ages.[84] The trade of slaves in England was made illegal in 1102.[85] Thralldom in Scandinavia was finally abolished in the mid-14th century.[86] Slavery persisted longer in Eastern Europe. Slavery in Poland was forbidden in the 15th century; in Lithuania, slavery was formally abolished in 1588; they were replaced by the second serfdom. In Kievan Rus and Muscovy, the slaves were usually classified as kholops. Slavery remained a major institution in Russia until the year 1723, when the Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs. Russian agricultural slaves were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.[87] Russia's more than 23 million privately held serfs were freed from their lords by an edict of Alexander II in 1861.[88] State owned serfs were emancipated in 1866.[89]

According to Robert Davis between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries.[90][91] There was also an extensive trade in Christian slaves in the Black Sea region for several centuries until the Crimean Khanate was destroyed by the Russian Empire in 1783.[38] In the 1570s close to 20,000 slaves a year were being sold in the Crimean port of Kaffa.[92] The slaves were captured in southern Russia, Poland-Lithuania, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Circassia by Tatar horsemen in a trade known as the "harvesting of the steppe". In Podolia alone, about one-third of all the villages were destroyed or abandoned between 1578 and 1583.[93] Some researchers estimate that altogether more than 3 million people were captured and enslaved during the time of the Crimean Khanate.[94][95] It is estimated that up to 75% of the Crimean population consisted of slaves or freedmen.[39]

Slavery in Africa

In early Islamic states of the western Sudan, including Ghana (750-1076), Mali (1235–1645), Segou (1712–1861), and Songhai (1275-1591), about a third of the population were slaves. In Senegambia, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved. In Sierra Leone in the 19th century about half of the population consisted of slaves. In the 19th century at least half the population was enslaved among the Duala of the Cameroon, the Igbo and other peoples of the lower Niger, the Kongo, and the Kasanje kingdom and Chokwe of Angola. Among the Ashanti and Yoruba a third of the population consisted of slaves.[citation needed]The population of the Kanem (1600–1800) was about a third-slave. It was perhaps 40% in Bornu (1580–1890). Between 1750 and 1900 from one- to two-thirds of the entire population of the Fulani jihad states consisted of slaves.[citation needed] The population of the Sokoto caliphate formed by Hausas in the northern Nigeria and Cameroon was half-slave in the 19th century. Between 65% to 90% population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. Roughly half the population of Madagascar was enslaved.[96][97] When British rule was first imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate and the surrounding areas in northern Nigeria at the turn of the 20th century, approximately 2 million to 2.5 million people there were slaves.[98] The Anti-Slavery Society estimated there were 2 million slaves in Ethiopia in the early 1930s out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million.[99]

Southern Central Africa in 1880.

One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The prazeros slave traders, descendants of Portuguese and Africans, operated along the Zambezi. North of the Zambezi, the waYao and Makua people played a similar role as professional slave raiders and traders. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated further north under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo.[100]

Slavery in Asia

Persian slave in the Khanate of Khiva, 19th century

As late as 1908, women slaves were still sold in the Ottoman Empire.[101] A slave market for captured Russian and Persian slaves was centred in the Central Asian khanate of Khiva.[102] According to Sir Henry Bartle Frere (who sat on the Viceroy's Council), there were an estimated 8 million or 9 million slaves in India in 1841. In Malabar, about 15% of the population were slaves. Slavery was abolished in both Hindu and Muslim India by the Indian Slavery Act V. of 1843.[11][103] In Istanbul about one-fifth of the population consisted of slaves.[39]

In East Asia, the Imperial government formally abolished slavery in China in 1906, and the law became effective in 1910.[104] Slave rebellion in China at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century was so extensive that owners eventually converted the institution into a female-dominated one.[105] The Nangzan in Tibetan history were hereditary household slaves.[106] Indigenous slaves existed in Korea. Slavery was officially abolished with the Gabo Reform of 1894 but remained extant in reality until 1930. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910) about 30% to 50% of the Korean population were slaves.[107] In late 16th century Japan, slavery was officially banned; but forms of contract and indentured labor persisted alongside the period penal codes' forced labor.[108]

In Southeast Asia, a quarter to a third of the population of some areas of Thailand and Burma were slaves.[11] The hill tribe people in Indochina were "hunted incessantly and carried off as slaves by the Siamese (Thai), the Anamites (Vietnamese), and the Cambodians."[109] The Siamese military expedition had been converted into a slave hunting operation on a large scale.[110]

Abolitionist movements

Three Abyssinian slaves in chains. The Anti-Slavery Society estimated there were 2 million slaves in Ethiopia in the early 1930s out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million.[99]
From the title page of abolitionist Anthony Benezet's book Some Historical Account of Guinea, London, 1788
Photographed in 1863 – Peter, a man who was enslaved in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose scars are a result of a whipping by his overseer, who was subsequently discharged by Peter's owner. Photo on file with U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, online at among others.

Slavery has existed, in one form or another, through the whole of recorded human history — as have, in various periods, movements to free large or distinct groups of slaves. According to the Biblical Book of Exodus, Moses led Israelite slaves out of ancient Egypt — possibly the first written account of a movement to free slaves. Later Jewish laws (known as Halacha) prevented slaves from being sold out of the Land of Israel, and allowed a slave to move to Israel if he so desired.

The Spanish colonization of the Americas sparked a discussion about the right to enslave native Americans. The main person active defending at first Native Amercans and then also Africans in America, was Bartolomé de las Casas. But see more about slavery in the Spanish New World colonies.

One of the first protests against the enslavement of Africans came from German and Dutch Quakers in Pennsylvania in 1688. One of the most significant milestones in the campaign to abolish slavery throughout the world occurred in England in 1772, with British judge Lord Mansfield, whose opinion in Somersett's Case was widely taken to have held that slavery was illegal in England. This judgement also laid down the principle that slavery contracted in other jurisdictions (such as the American colonies) could not be enforced in England.[111] In 1777, Vermont became the first portion of what would become the United States to abolish slavery (at the time Vermont was an independent nation). In 1794, under the Jacobins, Revolutionary France abolished slavery.[112] There were celebrations in 2007 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the slave trade in the United Kingdom through the work of the British Anti-Slavery Society. William Wilberforce received much of the credit although the groundwork was an anti-slavery essay by Thomas Clarkson. Wilberforce was also urged by his close friend, Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, to make the issue his own, and was also given support by reformed Evangelical John Newton. The Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament on 25 March 1807, making the slave trade illegal throughout the British Empire, Wilberforce also campaigned for abolition of slavery in British Empire, which he lived to see in the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. After the 1807 act abolishing the slave trade was passed, these campaigners switched to encouraging other countries to follow suit, notably France and the British colonies.

Between 1808 and 1860, the British West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard.[113] Action was also taken against African leaders who refused to agree to British treaties to outlaw the trade, for example against "the usurping King of Lagos", deposed in 1851. Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.[114]

In the United States, abolitionist pressure produced a series of small steps towards emancipation. After January 1, 1808, the importation of slaves into the United States was prohibited,[115] but not the internal slave trade, nor involvement in the international slave trade externally. Legal slavery persisted; and those slaves already in the U.S. would not be legally emancipated for another 60 years. Many American abolitionists took an active role in opposing slavery by supporting the Underground Railroad. Violence soon erupted, with the anti-slavery forces led by John Brown, and Bleeding Kansas, involving anti-slavery and pro-slavery settlers, became a symbol for the nationwide clash over slavery. The American Civil War, beginning in 1861, led to the end of slavery in the United States.

In 1863 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves held in the Confederate States; the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865) prohibited slavery throughout the country.

In the 1860s, David Livingstone's reports of atrocities within the Arab slave trade in Africa stirred up the interest of the British public, reviving the flagging abolitionist movement. The Royal Navy throughout the 1870s attempted to suppress "this abominable Eastern trade", at Zanzibar in particular.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declared freedom from slavery is an internationally recognized human right. Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.[116]

Contemporary slavery

Since 1945, debate about the link between economic growth and different relational forms (most notably unfree social relations of production in Third World agriculture) occupied many contributing to discussions in the development decade (the 1960s). This continued to be the case in the mode of production debate (mainly about agrarian transition in India) that spilled over into the 1970s, important aspects of which continue into the present (see the monograph by Brass, 1999, and the 600 page volume edited by Brass and van der Linden, 1997). Central to these discussions was the link between capitalist development and modern forms of unfree labour (peonage, debt bondage, indenture, and chattel slavery (which involves outright ownership of the slave)). Within the domain of political economy, the debate has a long historical lineage, and - accurately presented - never actually went away. Unlike advocacy groups, for which the number of the currently unfree is paramount, those political economists who participated in the earlier debates sought to establish who, precisely, was (or was not) to be included under the rubric of a worker whose subordination constituted a modern form of unfreedom. This element of definition was regarded as an epistemologically necessary precondition to any calculations of how many were to be categorized as relationally unfree.[citation needed]

Slavery exists today across the world, including among nations within Africa. Groups such as the American Anti-Slavery Group, Anti-Slavery International, Free the Slaves, the Anti-Slavery Society, and the Norwegian Anti-Slavery Society continue to campaign to rid the world of slavery. Conditions that are considered slavery include debt bondage, indentured servitude, serfdom, domestic servants kept in captivity, adoption in which children are effectively forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, and forced marriage.[117] Though slavery was officially abolished in China in 1910,[118] the practice continues unofficially in some regions of the country.[119][120]

More people suffer slavery than in the past but slaves are a smaller proportion of the human population.[citation needed] Slaves are cheap and can therefore be treated as expendable.[citation needed] Worldwide slavery is a criminal offence but criminal slave owners can get very high returns for their actions.[121] According to researcher Siddharth Kara, the profits generated worldwide by all forms of slavery in 2007 was $91.2 billion. That is second only to drug trafficking in terms of global, criminal, illicit enterprises. The weighted average annual profits generated by a slave in 2007 was $3,175, with a low of an average $950 for bonded labor and $29,210 for a trafficked sex slave.[122] Approximately forty percent of all slave profits each year are generated by trafficked sex slaves, representing slightly more than 4 percent of the world's 29 million slaves.[122]

Current situation

Francis Bok, former Sudanese slave. It is estimated that as many as 200,000 people had been taken into slavery during the Second Sudanese Civil War. The slaves are mostly Dinka people.[123][124]

Although outlawed in nearly all countries, forms of slavery still exist.[4][125] Several estimates of the number of slaves in the world have been provided. According to a broad definition of slavery used by Kevin Bales of Free the Slaves (FTS), an advocacy group linked with Anti-Slavery International, there were 27 million people in slavery in 1999, spread all over the world.[126] In 2005, the International Labour Organisation provided an estimate of 12.3 million forced labourers in the world,[127]. Siddharth Kara has provided an estimate of 28.4 million slaves at the end of 2006 divided into the following three categories: bonded labour/debt bondage (18.1 million), forced labour (7.6 million), and trafficked slaves (2.7 million).[122] Kara provides a dynamic model to calculate the number of slaves in the world each year, with an estimated 29.2 million at the end of 2009. The weighted average global sales price of a slave is calculated to be approximately $340, with a high of $1,895 for the average trafficked sex slave, and a low of $40 to $50 for debt bondage slaves in part of Asia and Africa.[122]

Enslavement is also taking place in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.[128] The Middle East Quarterly reports that slavery is still endemic in Sudan.[129] In June and July 2007, 570 people who had been enslaved by brick manufacturers in Shanxi and Henan were freed by the Chinese government.[130] Among those rescued were 69 children.[131] In response, the Chinese government assembled a force of 35,000 police to check northern Chinese brick kilns for slaves, sent dozens of kiln supervisors to prison, punished 95 officials in Shanxi province for dereliction of duty, and sentenced one kiln foreman to death for killing an enslaved worker.[130] In 2008, the Nepalese government abolished the Haliya system of forced labour, freeing about 20,000 people.[132] An estimated 40 million people in India, most of them Dalits or "untouchables", are bonded workers, many working to pay off debts that were incurred generations ago.[133][134]

In Mauritania alone, it is estimated that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved with many used as bonded labour.[135][136] Slavery in Mauritania was criminalized in August 2007.[137] In Niger, slavery is also a current phenomenon. A Nigerien study has found that more than 800,000 people are enslaved, almost 8% of the population.[138][139][140] Pygmies, the people of Central Africa's rain forest,[141] live in servitude to the Bantus.[142] Some tribal sheiks in Iraq still keep blacks, called Abd, which means servant or slave in Arabic, as slaves.[143] Child slavery has commonly been used in the production of cash crops and mining. According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 109,000 children were working on cocoa farms alone in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in "the worst forms of child labor" in 2002.[144] Poverty has forced at least 225,000 children in Haiti's cities into slavery as unpaid household servants.[145]

In November 2006, the International Labour Organization announced it will be seeking "to prosecute members of the ruling Myanmar junta for crimes against humanity" over the continuous forced labour of its citizens by the military at the International Court of Justice.[146][147] According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), an estimated 800,000 people are subject to forced labour in Myanmar.[148][149] Since its inception in 1949, 40 to 50 million people are estimated to have been imprisoned in the laogai, the system of forced labor camps in the People's Republic of China.[150]

The Ecowas Court of Justice is hearing the case of Hadijatou Mani in late 2008, where Ms. Mani hopes to compel the government of Niger to end slavery in its jurisdiction. Cases brought by her in local courts have failed so far.[151]

Human trafficking

Monument to the slaves in Zanzibar

Trafficking in human beings (also called human trafficking) is one method of obtaining slaves. Victims are typically recruited through deceit or trickery (such as a false job offer, false migration offer, or false marriage offer), sale by family members, recruitment by former slaves, or outright abduction. Victims are forced into a "debt slavery" situation by coercion, deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat, physical force, debt bondage or even force-feeding with drugs of abuse to control their victims.[152] “Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors,” reports the U.S. Department of State in a 2008 study.[153]

Whilst the majority of victims are women, and sometimes children, who are forced into prostitution (in which case the practice is called sex trafficking), victims also include men, women and children who are forced into manual labour.[154] Due to the illegal nature of human trafficking, its exact extent is unknown. A U.S. Government report published in 2005, estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 people worldwide are trafficked across borders each year. This figure does not include those who are trafficked internally.[154] Another research effort revealed that between 1.5 million and 1.8 million individuals are trafficked either internally or internationally each year, 500,000 to 600,000 of whom are sex trafficking victims.[122]


Economists have attempted to model during which circumstances slavery (and variants such as serfdom) appear and disappear. One observation is that slavery becomes more desirable for land owners when land is abundant but labour is not, so paid workers can demand high wages[citation needed]. If labour is abundant but land is scarce, then it becomes more costly for the land owners to have guards for the slaves than to employ paid workers who can only demand low wages due to the competition. Thus first slavery and then serfdom gradually decreased in Europe as the population grew[citation needed]. It was reintroduced in the Americas and in Russia (serfdom) as large new land areas with few people became available.[citation needed]. In his books,Time on the Cross and Without Consent or Contract: the Rise and Fall of American Slavery, Robert Fogel maintains that slavery was in fact a profitable method of production, especially on bigger plantations growing cotton that fetched high prices in the world market. It gave whites in the South higher average incomes than those in the North, but most of the money was spent on buying slaves and plantations.

Slave being whipped in Brazil, during the heyday of gold exploration in Minas Gerais (1770).

Slavery is more common when the labour done is relatively simple and thus easy to supervise, such as large scale growing of a single crop. It is much more difficult and costly to check that slaves are doing their best and with good quality when they are doing complex tasks. Therefore, slavery was seen as the most efficient method of production for large scale crops like sugar and cotton, whose output was based on economies of scale. This enabled a gang system of labor to be prominent on large plantations where field hands were monitored and worked with factory-like precision. Each work gang was based on an internal division of labor that not only assigned every member of the gang to a precise task but simultaneously made his or her performance dependent on the actions of the others. The hoe hands chopped out the weeds that surrounded the cotton plants as well as excessive sprouts. The plow gangs followed behind, stirring the soil near the rows of cotton plants and tossing it back around the plants. Thus, the gang system worked like an early version of the assembly line later to be found in factories.[155]

Critics since the 18th century have argued that slavery tends to retard technological advancement, since the focus is on increasing the number of slaves doing simple tasks rather than upgrading the efficiency of labour. Because of this, theoretical knowledge and learning in Greece—and later in Rome—was not applied to ease physical labour or improve manufacturing.[156]

Adam Smith made the argument that free labor was economically better than slave labor, and argued further that slavery in Europe ended during the Middle Ages, and only then after both the church and state were separate, independent and strong institutions,[157] that it is nearly impossible to end slavery in a free, democratic and republican forms of governments since many of its legislators or political figures were slave owners, and would not punish themselves, and that slaves would be better able to gain their freedom when there was centralized government, or a central authority like a king or the church.[158] Similar arguments appear later in the works of Auguste Comte, especially when it comes to Adam Smith’s belief in the separation of powers or what Comte called the "separation of the spiritual and the temporal" during the Middle Ages and the end of slavery, and Smith's criticism of masters, past and present. As Smith stated in the Lectures on Jurisprudence, "The great power of the clergy thus concurring with that of the king set the slaves at liberty. But it was absolutely necessary both that the authority of the king and of the clergy should be great. Where ever any one of these was wanting, slavery still continues."


On May 21, 2001, the National Assembly of France passed the Taubira law, recognizing slavery as a crime against humanity. Apologies on behalf of African nations, for their role in trading their countrymen into slavery, remain an open issue since slavery was practiced in Africa even before the first Europeans arrived and the Atlantic slave trade was performed with a high degree of involvement of several African societies. The black slave market was supplied by well-established slave trade networks controlled by local African societies and individuals.[159] Indeed, as already mentioned in this article, slavery persists in several areas of West Africa until the present day.

There is adequate evidence citing case after case of African control of segments of the trade. Several African nations such as the Ashanti of Ghana also Calabar and other southern parts of Nigeria had economies depended solely on the trade. African peoples such as the Imbangala of Angola and the Nyamwezi of Tanzania would serve as middlemen or roving bands warring with other African nations to capture Africans for Europeans.[160]

Several historians have made important contributions to the global understanding of the African side of the Atlantic slave trade. By arguing that African merchants determined the assemblage of trade goods accepted in exchange for slaves, many historians argue for African agency and ultimately a shared responsibility for the slave trade.[161]

The issue of an apology is linked to reparations for slavery and is still being pursued by a number of entities across the world. For example, the Jamaican Reparations Movement approved its declaration and action Plan.

In September, 2006, it was reported[162] that the UK Government may issue a "statement of regret" over slavery, an act that was followed through by a "public statement of sorrow" from Tony Blair on November 27, 2006.[163]

On February 25, 2007 the state of Virginia resolved to 'profoundly regret' and apologize for its role in the institution of slavery. Unique and the first of its kind in the U.S., the apology was unanimously passed in both Houses as Virginia approached the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, where the first slaves were imported into North America in 1619.[164]

On August 24, 2007, Mayor Ken Livingstone of London, United Kingdom apologized publicly for Britain's role in colonial slave trade. "You can look across there to see the institutions that still have the benefit of the wealth they created from slavery," he said pointing towards the financial district. He claimed that London was still tainted by the horrors of slavery. Jesse Jackson praised Mayor Livingstone, and added that reparations should be made, one of his common arguments.[165]


Sporadically there have been movements to achieve reparations for those formerly held as slaves, or sometimes their descendants. Claims for reparations for being held in slavery are handled as a civil law matter in almost every country. This is often decried as a serious problem, since former slaves' relative lack of money means they often have limited access to a potentially expensive and futile legal process. Mandatory systems of fines and reparations paid to an as yet undetermined group of claimants from fines, paid by unspecified parties, and collected by authorities have been proposed by advocates to alleviate this "civil court problem." Since in almost all cases there are no living ex-slaves or living ex-slave owners these movements have gained little traction. In nearly all cases the judicial system has ruled that the statute of limitations on these possible claims has long since expired.

Nonetheless, from time to time misinformation is circulated (often through e-mail) to United States residents describing a $5000 "slavery tax credit," supposedly passed into law under President Bill Clinton's administration during the 1990s, but never announced to the public. No such credit exists, and persons attempting to promote or take advantage of the alleged credit are subject to prosecution.[166] (See Slavery reparations scam for further information.) A similar scam involves a "tax credit" available to Native Americans.

Other uses of the term

Entering Gulag, Soviet forced-labour camp (a leaf from Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya's notebook). Millions of people worked in the Gulag system of penal labour.[167]

The word slavery is often used as a pejorative to describe any activity in which one is coerced into performing.

See also

Slavery by region
Slavery by religion and era
Opposition and resistance


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  • Bales, Kevin, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy (1999)
  • Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, vol. III: The Perspective of the World (1984, originally published in French, 1979.)
  • Davis, David Brion. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (1999)
  • Davis, David Brion. The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1988)
  • Finkelman, Paul. Encyclopedia of Slavery (1999)
  • Lal, K. S. Muslim Slave System in Medieval India (1994) ISBN 81-85689-67-9
  • Gordon, M. Slavery in the Arab World (1989)
  • E. Wyn James, 'Welsh Ballads and American Slavery', Welsh Journal of Religious History, 2 (2007), pp. 59–86. ISSN 0967-3938.
  • Jacqueline Dembar Greene, Slavery in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, (2001), ISBN 0531165388
  • Morgan, Kenneth. Slavery and the British Empire: From Africa to America (2008)
  • Nieboer, H. J. (1910). Slavery as an Industrial System
  • Postma, Johannes. The Atlantic Slave Trade, (2003)
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  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia (2007)
  • Shell, Robert Carl-Heinz Children Of Bondage: A Social History Of The Slave Society At The Cape Of Good Hope, 1652-1813 (1994)
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Uncited sources
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  • The Slavery Reader, ed. by Rigas Doganis, Gad Heuman, James Walvin, Routledge 2003
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United States
Slavery in the modern era
  • Jesse Sage and Liora Kasten, Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 ISBN 9781403974938
  • Tom Brass, Marcel van der Linden, and Jan Lucassen, Free and Unfree Labour. Amsterdam: International Institute for Social History, 1993
  • Tom Brass, Towards a Comparative Political Economy of Unfree Labour: Case Studies and Debates, London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass Publishers, 1999. 400 pages.
  • Tom Brass and Marcel van der Linden, eds., Free and Unfree Labour: The Debate Continues, Bern: Peter Lang AG, 1997. 600 pages. A volume containing contributions by all the most important writers on modern forms of unfree labour.
  • Kevin Bales, Disposable People. New Slavery in the Global Economy, Revised Edition, University of California Press 2004, ISBN 0-520-24384-6
  • Kevin Bales (ed.), Understanding Global Slavery Today. A Reader, University of California Press 2005, ISBN 0-520-24507-5freak
  • Kevin Bales, Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, University of California Press 2007, ISBN 978-0-520-25470-1.
  • Mende Nazer and Damien Lewis, Slave: My True Story, ISBN 1-58648-212-2. Mende is a Nuba, captured at 12 years old. She was granted political asylum by the British government in 2003.
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  • Somaly Mam Foundation

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Whipped slave, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, April 2 1863.

Slavery is a form of forced labour in which people are held under the involuntary control of others, and required to work under legal penalty. Most notably, from the 16th to the 19th centuries, millions of people were taken from Africa to the Americas to work there.



Abolition of slave trade

  • Personally I believe the bicentenary offers us a chance not just to say how profoundly shameful the slave trade was – how we condemn its existence utterly and praise those who fought for its abolition, but also to express our deep sorrow that it ever happened, that it ever

could have happened and to rejoice at the different and better times we live in today.~ Tony Blair, in a statement to New Nation newspaper published on 27 November 2006.

Islamic Republic of Mauritania

  • When I became conscious of what my situation was, I thought of the best way to escape without being caught. I knew that if I didn't find that way, I could be killed.


  • I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted. -- Frederick Douglass (African American orator, journalist and civil-rights leader, 1817-1895)
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.--Abraham Lincoln
  • As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.-- Abraham Lincoln

In writings

  • The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.
  • Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free, they touch our country and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud and jealous of the blessing

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SLAVERY. It appears to be true that, in the words of Dunoyer, the economic regime of every society which has recently become sedentary is founded on the slavery of the industrial professions. In the hunter period the savage warrior does not enslave his vanquished enemy, but slays him; the women of a conquered tribe he may, however, carry off and appropriate as wives or as servants, for in this period domestic labour falls almost altogether on their sex. In the pastoral stage slaves will be captured only to be sold, with the exception of a few who may be required for the care of flocks or the small amount of cultivation which is then undertaken. It is in proportion as a sedentary life prevails, and agricultural exploitation is practised on a larger scale, whilst warlike habits continue to exist, that the labour of slaves is increasingly introduced to provide food for the master, and at the same time save him from irksome toil. Of this stage in the social movement slavery seems to have been, as we have said, a universal and inevitable accompaniment.

But wherever theocratic organizations established themselves slavery in the ordinary sense did not become a vital element in the social system. The members of the lowest class were not in a state of individual subjection: the entire caste to which they belonged was collectively subject. It is in the communities in which the military order obtained an ascendancy over the sacerdotal, and which were directly organized for war, that slavery (as the word is commonly understood) had its natural and appropriate place. It is not merely that in its first establishment slavery was an immense advance by substituting for the immolation of captives, often accompanied by cannibalism, their occupation in labour for the benefit of the victor. This advantage, recalled by an old though erroneous 1 Servus is not cognate with servare, as has often been supposed; it is really related to the Homeric E'lpepos and the verb Etpw, with which the Latin sero is to be connected. It may be here mentioned that slave was originally a national name; it meant a man of Slavonic race captured and made a bondman to the Germans. " From the Euxine to the Adriatic, in the state of captives or subjects, ... they [the Slavonians] overspread the land, and the national appellation of the Slaves has been degraded by chance or malice from the signification of glory to that of servitude " (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. lv.). The historian alludes to the derivation of the national name from slava, glory. See Skeat's Etym. Dict., s.v.; see also Slavs.

etymology, is generally acknowledged. But it is not so well understood that slavery discharged important offices in the later social evolution - first, by enabling military action to prevail with the degree of intensity and continuity requisite for the system of incorporation by conquest which was its final destination; and, secondly, by forcing the captives, who with their descendants came to form the majority of the population in the conquering community, to an industrial life, in spite of the antipathy to regular and sustained labour which is deeply rooted in human nature. As regards the latter consideration, it is enough to say that nowhere has productive industry developed itself in the form of voluntary effort; in every country of which we have any knowledge it was imposed by the strong upon the weak, and was wrought into the habits of the people only by the stern discipline of constraint. From the former point of view the freeman, then essentially a warrior, and the slave were mutual auxiliaries, simultaneously exercising different and complementary functions - each necessary to the community. In modern slavery, on the other hand, where the occupations of both parties were industrial, the existence of a servile class only guaranteed for some of them the possibility of self-indulgent ease, whilst it imposed on others the necessity of indigent idleness.

It was in the Roman state that military action - in Greece often purposeless and, except in the resistance to Persia, on the whole fruitless - worked out the social mission which formed its true justification. Hence at Rome slavery also most properly found its place, so long as that mission was in progress of accomplishment. As soon as the march of conquest had reached its natural limit, slavery began to be modified; and when the empire was divided into the several states which had grown up under it, and the system of defence characteristic of the middle ages was substituted for the aggressive system of antiquity, slavery gradually disappeared, and was replaced by serfdom.

We have so far dealt with the political results of ancient slavery, and have found it to have been in certain respects not only useful but indispensable. When we consider its moral effects, whilst endeavouring to avoid exaggeration, we must yet pronounce its influence to have been profoundly detrimental. In its action on the slave it marred in a great measure the happy effects of habitual industry by preventing the development of the sense of human dignity which lies at the foundation of morals. On the morality of the masters - whether personal, domestic, or social - the effects of the institution were disastrous. The habit of absolute rule, always dangerous, was peculiarly corrupting when it penetrated every department of daily life, and when no external interference checked individual caprice in its action on the feelings and fortunes of inferiors. It tended to destroy the power of self-command, and exposed the master to the baneful influences of flattery. As regards domestic morality, the system offered constant facilities for libertinism, and tended to subvert domestic peace by compromising the dignity and ruining the happiness of the wife. The sons of the family were familiarized with vice, and the general tone of the younger generation was lowered by their intimate association with a despised and degraded class. These deplorable results were, of course, not universally produced; there were admirable exceptions both among masters and among slaves - instances of benevolent protection on the one side and of unselfish devotion on the other; but the evil effects without doubt greatly preponderated.

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We find slavery fully established in the Homeric period. The prisoners taken in war are retained as slaves, or sold (Il. xxiv.

c 752) or held at ransom (Il. vi. 427) by the captor. Some Heroic times the men of a conquered town or district are slain and the women carried off (Od. ix. 40). Not unfrequently free persons were kidnapped by pirates and sold in other regions, like Eumaeus in the Odyssey. The slave might thus be by birth of equal rank with his master, who knew that the same fate might befall himself or some of the members of his family. The institution does not present itself in a very harsh form in Homer, especially if we consider (as Grote suggests) that " all classes were much on a level in taste, sentiment and instruction." The male slaves were employed in the tillage of the land and the tending of cattle, and the females in domestic work and household manufactures. The principal slaves often enjoyed the confidence of their masters and had important duties entrusted to them; and, after lengthened and meritorious service, were put in possession of a house and property of their own (Od. xiv. 64). Grote's idea that the women slaves were in a more pitiable condition than the males does not seem justified, except perhaps in the case cf the aletrides, who turned the household mills which ground the flour consumed in the family, and who were sometimes overworked by unfeeling masters (Od. xx. 110-119). Homer marks in a celebrated couplet his sense of the moral deterioration commonly wrought by the condition of slavery (Od. xvii. 322).

It is, however, in historic Greece, where we have ample documentary information, that it is most important to study the system. The sources of slavery in Greece were: (I) Birth, the condition being hereditary. This was not an abundant source, women slaves being less numerous than men, and wise masters making the union of the sexes rather a reward of good service than a matter of speculation (Xen. Oecon. 9.5). It was in general cheaper to buy a slave than to rear one to the age of labour. (2) Sale of children by their free parents, which was tolerated, except in Attica, or their exposure, which was permitted, except at Thebes. The consequence of the latter was sometimes to subject them to a servitude worse than death, as is seen in the plays of Plautus and Terence, which, as is well known, depict Greek, not Roman, manners. Freemen, through indigence, sometimes sold themselves, and at Athens, up to the time of Solon, an insolvent debtor became the slave of his creditor. (3) Capture in war. Not only Asiatics and Thracians thus became slaves, but in the many wars between Grecian states, continental or colonial, Greeks were reduced to slavery by men of their own race. Callicratidas pronounced against the enslavement of Greeks by Greeks, but violated his own principle, to which, however, Epaminondas and Pelopidas appear to have been faithful. (4) Piracy and kidnapping. The descents of pirates on the coasts were a perpetual source of danger; the pirate was a gainer either by the sale or by the redemption of his captives. If ransomed, the victim became by Athenian law the slave of his redeemer till he paid in money or labour the price which had been given for him. Kidnappers (andrapodistae) carried off children even in cities, and reared them as slaves. Whether from hostile forays or from piracy, any Greek was exposed to the risk of enslavement. (5) Commerce. Besides the sale of slaves which took place as a result of the capture of cities or other military operations, there was a systematic slave trade. Syria, Pontus, Lydia, Galatia, and above all Thrace were sources of supply. Egypt and Ethiopia also furnished a certain number, and Italy a few. Of foreigners, the Asiatics bore the greatest value, as most amenable to command, and most versed in the arts of luxurious refinement. But Greeks were highest of all in esteem, and they were much sought for foreign sale. Greece proper and Ionia supplied the petty Eastern princes with courtesans and female musicians and dancers. Athens was an important slave market, and the state profited by a tax on the sales; but the principal marts were those of Cyprus, Samos, Ephesus and especially Chios.

The slaves were employed either in domestic service - as household managers, attendants or personal escorts - or in work of other kinds, agricultural or urban. In early Attica, and even down to the time of Pericles, the landowners lived in the country. The Peloponnesian War introduced a change; s and after that time the proprietors resided at Athens, and the cultivation was in the hands of slaves. In manufactures and commerce, also, servile gradually displaced free labour. Speculators either directly employed slaves as artisans or commercial and banking agents, or hired them out, sometimes for work in mines or factories, sometimes for service in private houses, as cooks, flute-players, &c., or for viler uses. There were also public slaves; of these some belonged to temples, to which they were presented as offerings, amongst them being the courtesans who acted as hieroduli at Corinth and at Eryx in Sicily; others were appropriated to the service of the magistrates or to public works; there were at Athens 1200 Scythian archers for the police of the city; slaves served, too, in the fleets, and were employed in the armies, - commonly as workmen, and exceptionally as soldiers.

The condition of slaves at Athens was not in general a wretched one. Demosthenes (In Mid. p. 530) says that, if the barbarians from whom the slaves were bought were informed of the mild treatment they received, they would entertain a great esteem for the Athenians. Plautus in more than one place thinks it necessary to explain to the spectators of his plays that slaves at Athens enjoyed such privileges, and even licence, as must be surprising to a Roman audience. The slave was introduced with certain customary rites into his position in the family; he was in practice, though not by law, permitted to accumulate a private fund of his own; his marriage was also recognized by custom; though in general excluded from sacred ceremonies and public sacrifices, slaves were admissible to religious associations of a private kind; there were some popular festivals in which they were allowed to participate; they had even special ones for themselves both at Athens and in other Greek centres. Their remains were deposited in the family tomb of their master, who sometimes erected monuments in testimony of his affection and regret. They often lived on terms of intimacy either with the head of the house or its younger members; but it is to be feared that too often this intimacy was founded, not on mutual respect, as in the heroic example of Ulysses and Eumaeus, but on insolent self-assertion on the one side and a spirit of unworthy compliance on the other, the latter having its raison d'être in degrading services rendered by the slave. Aristophanes and Plautus show us how often resort was had to the discipline of the lash even in the case of domestic slaves. Those employed in workshops, whose overseers were themselves most commonly of servile status, had probably a harder lot than domestics; and the agricultural labourers were not unfrequently chained, and treated much in the same way as beasts of burden. The displeasure of the master sometimes dismissed his domestics to the more oppressive labours of the mill or the mine. A refuge from cruel treatment was afforded by the temples and altars of the gods and by the sacred groves. Nor did Athenian law leave the slave without protection. He had, as Demosthenes boasts, an action for outrage like a freeman, and his death at the hand of a stranger was avenged like that of a citizen (Eurip. Hec. 288), whilst, if caused by his master's violence, it had to be atoned for by exile and a religious expiation. Even when the slave had killed his master, the relatives of the house could not themselves inflict punishment; they were obliged to hand him over to the magistrate to be dealt with by legal process. The slave who had just grounds of complaint against his master could demand to be sold; when he alleged his right to liberty, the law granted him a defender and the sanctuaries offered him an asylum till judgment should be given. Securities were taken against the revolt of slaves by not associating those of the same nationality and language; they were sometimes fettered to prevent flight, and, after a first attempt at escape, branded to facilitate their recovery. There were treaties between states for the extradition of fugitives, and contracts of mutual assurance between individuals against their loss by flight. Their inclination to take advantage of opportunities for this purpose is shown by the number that escaped from Athens to join the Spartans when occupying Decelea. There were formidable revolts at the mines of Laurium, and more than once in Chios. The evidence of slaves - women as well as men - was often, with the consent of their masters, taken by torture; and that method is generally commended by the orators as a sure means of arriving at the truth.

The slave could purchase his liberty with his peculium by agreement with his master. He could be liberated by will, or, during his Emanci- master's life, by proclamation in the theatre, the law courts, or other public places, or by having his name inscribed in the public registers, or, in the later age of Greece, by sale or donation to certain temples - an act which did not make the slave a hierodulus but a freeman. Conditions were sometimes attached to emancipation, as of remaining for life or a definite time with the former master, or another person named by him, or of performing some special service; payments or rights of succession to property might also be reserved. By manumission the Athenian slave became in relation to the state a metic, in relation to his master a client. He was thus in an intermediate condition between slavery and complete freedom. If the freedman violated his duties to his patron he was subject to an action at law, and if the decision were against him he was again reduced to slavery. He became a full member of the state only, as in the case of foreigners, by a vote in an assembly of six thousand citizens; and even this vote might be set aside by a graphe paranomon. Slaves who had rendered eminent services to the public, as those who fought at Arginusae and at Chaeronea, were at once admitted to the status of citizens in the class of (so-called) Plataeans. But it would appear that even in their case some civic rights were reserved and accorded only to their children by a female citizen. The number of freedmen at Athens seems never to have been great. (See further Greece, Ancient History, § 5.) It is well known that Aristotle held slavery to be necessary and natural, and, under just conditions, beneficial to both parties in the relation - views which were correct enough from the ie ws on political side, regard being had to the contemporary v. social state. His practical motto, if he is the author of the Economics attributed to him, is - " no outrage, and no familiarity." There ought, he says, to be held out to the slave the hope of liberty as the reward of his service. Plato condemned the practice, which the theory of Aristotle also by implication sets aside as inadmissible, of Greeks having Greeks for slaves. In the Laws he accepts the institution as a necessary though embarrassing one, and recommends for the safety of the masters that natives of different countries should be mixed and that they should all be well treated. But, whilst condemning harshness towards them, he encourages the feeling of contempt for them as a class. The later moral schools of Greece scarcely at all concern themselves with the institution. The Epicurean had no scruple about the servitude of those whose labours contributed to his own indulgence and tranquillity. The Stoic regarded the condition of freedom or slavery as an external accident, indifferent in the eye of wisdom; to him it was irrational to see in liberty a ground of pride or in slavery a subject of complaint; from intolerable indignity suicide was an ever-open means of escape. The poets - especially the authors of the New Comedy - strongly inculcate humanity, and insist on the fundamental equality of the slave. The celebrated " homo sum " is a translation from Alexis, and the spirit of it breathes in many passages of the Greek drama. A fragment of Philemon declares, as if in reply to Aristotle, that not nature, but fortune, makes the slave. Euripides, as might be expected from his humanitarian cast of sentiment, and the " premature modernism " which has been remarked in him, rises above the ordinary feelings of his time in regard to the slaves. As Paley says, he loves " to record their fidelity to their masters, their sympathy in the trials of life, their gratitude for kindness and considerate treatment, and their pride in bearing the character of honourable men.. .. He allows them to reason, to advise, to suggest; and he even makes them philosophize on the follies and the indiscretions of their superiors " (compare Med. 54; Orest. 869; Hel. 728; Ion. 854; Frag. Melan. 506; Phrix. 823). But we are not to suppose that even he, latitudinarian and innovator as he was, could have conceived the possibility of abolishing an institution so deeply rooted in the social conditions, as well as in the ideas, of his time.

(For the Helots in Laconia, see Helots.) Rome. - We have already observed that the Roman system of life was that in which slavery had its most natural and relatively legitimate place; and accordingly it was at Rome that, as Blair has remarked, the institution was more than anywhere else " extended in its operation and methodized in its details." We must distinguish from the later slavery at Rome what Mommsen calls " the old, in some measure innocent slavery, under which the farmer tilled the land along with his slave, or, if he possessed more land than he could manage, placed the slave - either as a steward, or as a sort of lessee obliged to render up a portion of the produce - over a detached farm. Though slaves were obtained by the early victories of Rome over her Italian neighbours, no large number was employed on the small holdings of those periods. But the extension of properties in the hands of the patricians, and the continued absences of citizens required by the expanding system of conquest, necessarily brought with them a demand for slave labour, which was increasingly supplied by captives taken in war. Of the number furnished from this source a few particulars from the time of the mature republic and the first century of the empire will give some idea. In Epirus, after the victories of Aemilius Paullus, 150,000 captives were sold. The prisoners at Aquae Sextiae and Vercellae were 90,000 Teutons and 60,000 Cimbri. Caesar sold on a single occasion in Gaul 63,000 captives. But slavery, as Hume has shown, is unfavourable to population. Hence a regular commerce in slaves was established, which was based on the " systematically-prosecuted hunting of man," and indicated an entire perversion of the primitive institution, which was essentially connected with conquest. The pirates sold great numbers of slaves at Delos, where was the chief market for this kind of wares; and these sales went on as really, though more obscurely, after the successful expedition of Pompey. There was a regular importation to Rome of slaves, brought to some extent from Africa, Spain and Gaul, but chiefly from Asiatic countries - Bithynia, Galatia, Cappadocia and Syria. A portorium - apparently one-eighth for eunuchs, onefortieth for others - was paid on their import or expori, and a duty of 2 or 4% on their sale.

There were other sources from which slavery was alimented, though of course in a much less degree. Certain offences reduced the guilty persons to slavery (servi poenae), and they were employed in public work in the quarries or the mines. Originally, a father could sell his children. A creditor could hold his insolvent debtor as a slave, or sell him out of the city (trans Tiberim). The enslavement of creditors, overwhelmed with usury in consequence of losses by hostile raids or their own absence on military service, led to the secession to the Mons Sacer (493 B.C.). The Poetelian law (326 B.C.) restricted the creditor's lien (by virtue of a nexum) to the goods of his debtor, and enacted that for the future no debtor should be put in chains; but we hear of debtors addicti to their creditors by the tribunals long after - even in the time of the Punic Wars.

There were servi publici as well as privati. The service of the magistrates was at first in the hands of freemen; but the lower offices, as of couriers, servants of the law courts, of prisons and of temples, were afterwards filled by slaves. The execution of public works also came to be largely corn- meats. mitted to them - as the construction of roads, the cleansing of the sewers and the maintenance of the aqueducts. Both kinds of functions were discharged by slaves, not only at Rome, but in the rural and provincial municipalities. The slaves of a private Roman were divided between the familia rustica and the familia urbana. At the head of the familia rustica was the villicus, himself a slave, with the wife who was given him at once to aid him and to bind him to his duties. Under him were the several groups employed in the different branches of the exploitation and the care of the cattle and flocks, as well as those who kept or prepared the food, clothing and tools of the whole staff and those who attended on the master in the various species of rural sports. A slave prison (ergastulum) was part of such an establishment, and there were slaves whose office it was to punish the offences of their fellows. To the familia urbana belonged those who discharged the duties of domestic attendance, the service of the toilet, bath, table and kitchen, besides the entertainment of the master and his guests by dancing, singing and other arts. There were, besides, the slaves who accompanied the master and mistress out of doors, and were chosen for their beauty and grace as guards of honour, for their strength as chairmen or porters, or for their readiness and address in remembering names, delivering messages of courtesy and the like. There were also attached to a great household physicians, artists, secretaries, librarians, copyists, preparers of parchment, as well as pedagogues and preceptors of different kinds - readers, grammarians, men of letters and even philosophers - all of servile condition, besides accountants, managers and agents for the transaction of business. Actors, comic and tragic, pantomimi, and the performers of the circus were commonly slaves, as were also the gladiators. These last were chosen from the most warlike races - as the Samnites, Gauls and Thracians. Familiae of gladiators were kept by private speculators, who hired them out; they were sometimes owned by men of high rank.

Several special examples and other indirect indications show that the wealthier Romans possessed large familiae. This may be inferred from the columbaria of the house of Livia and of other great houses. The slaves of Pedanius Secundus, who, in spite of a threatened outbreak of the indignant populace, were all put to death because they had been under their master's roof when he was murdered, were four hundred in number. Pliny tells us that Caecilius, a freedman of the time of Augustus, left by his will as many as 4116. The question as to the total number of slaves at Rome or in Italy is a very difficult one, and it is not, perhaps, possible to arrive with any degree of certainty at an approximate estimate. Gibbon supposes that there were in the Roman world in the reign of Claudius at least as many slaves as free inhabitants. But Blair seems right in believing that this number, though probably correct for an earlier period, is much under the truth for the age to which it is assigned. He fixes the proportion of slaves to free men as that of three to one for the time between the conquest of Greece (146 B.C.) and the reign of Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235). The entire number of slaves in Italy would thus have been, in the reign of Claudius, 20,832,000.

By the original Roman law the master was clothed with absolute dominion over the slave, extending to the power of life and death, which is not surprising when we consider the nature of the patria. potestas. The slave could not possess property of any kind; Laws whatever he acquired was legally his master's. He was, however, in practice permitted to enjoy and accumulate chance earnings or savings, or a share of what he produced, under the name of peculium. A master could not enter into a contract with his slave, nor could he accuse him of theft before the law; for, if the slave took anything, this was not a subtraction, but only a displacement, of property. The union of a male and female slave had not the legal character of a marriage; it was a cohabitation (contubernium) merely, which was tolerated, and might be terminated at will, by the master; a slave was, therefore, not capable of the crime of adultery. Yet general sentiment seems to have given a stronger sanction to this sort of connexion; the names of husband and wife are freely used in relation to slaves on the stage, and even in the laws, and in the language of the tombs. For entering the military service or taking on him any state office a slave -, was punished with death. He could not in general be examined ` s a witness, except by torture. A master, when accused, could offer his slaves for the " question," or demand for the same purpose the slaves of another; and, if in the latter case they were injured or killed in the process, their owner was indemnified. A slave could not accuse his master, except of adultery or incest (under the latter name being included the violation of sacred things or places); the case of high treason was afterwards added to these. An accused slave could not invoke the aid of the tribunes. The penalties of the law for crime were specially severe on slaves.

Columella, like Xenophon, favours a certain friendliness and familiarity in one's intercourse with his farm slaves. Cato ate and drank the same coarse victuals as his slaves, and even had the children suckled by his wife, that they might imbibe a fondness for the family. But he had a strict eye to profit in all his dealings with them. He allowed the contubernium of male and female slaves at the price of a money payment from their peculium. Columella regarded the gains from the births as a sufficient motive for encouraging these unions, and thought that mothers should be rewarded for their fecundity; Varro, too, seems to have taken this view. The immense extension of the rural estates (latifundia) made it impossible for masters to know their slaves, even if they were disposed to take trouble for the purpose. Effective superintendence even by overseers became less easy; the use of chains was introduced, and these were worn not only in the field during working hours but at night in the ergastulum where the slaves slept. Urban slaves had probably often a life as little enviable, especially those who worked at trades for speculators. Even in private houses at Rome, so late as the time of Ovid, the porter was chained. In the familia urbana the favourites of the master had good treatment, and might exercise some influence over him which would lead to their receiving flattery and gifts from those who sought his vote or solicited his support. Doubtless there was often genuine mutual affection; slaves sometimes, as in noted instances during the civil wars, showed the noblest spirit of devotion to their masters. Those who were not inmates of the household, but were employed outside of it as keepers of a shop or boat, chiefs of workshops, or clerks in a mercantile business, had the advantage of greater freedom of action. The slaves of the leno and the lanista were probably in most cases not only degraded but unhappy. The lighter punish ments inflicted by masters were commonly personal chastisement or banishment from the town house to rural labour; the severer were employment in the mill (pistrinum) or relegation to the mines or quarries. To the mines also speculators sent slaves; they worked half-naked, men and women, in chains, under the lash and guarded by soldiers. Vedius Pollio, in the time of Augustus, was said to have thrown his slaves, condemned sometimes for trivial mistakes or even accidents, to the lampreys in his fishpond. Cato advised the agriculturist to sell his old oxen and his old slaves, as well as his sick ones; and sick slaves were exposed in the island of Aesculapius in the Tiber; by a decree of Claudius slaves so exposed, if they recovered, could not be reclaimed by their masters.

Though the Roman slaves were not, like the Spartan Helots, kept obedient by systematic terrorism, their large numbers were a constant source of danger. The law under which the slaves of Pedanius were put to death, probably introduced under Augustus and more fully enacted under Nero, is sufficient proof of this anxiety, which indeed is strongly stated by Tacitus in his narrative of the facts. There had been many conspiracies amongst the slaves in the course of Roman history, and some formidable insurrections. The growth of the latifundia made the slaves more and more numerous and formidable. Free labour was discountenanced. Cato, Varro and Columella all agree that slave labour was to be preferred to free except in unhealthy regions and for large occasional operations, which probably transcended the capacity of the permanent familia rustica. Cicero and Livy bear testimony to the disappearance of a free plebs from the country districts and its replacement by gangs of slaves working on great estates. The worst form of such praedial slavery existed in Sicily, whither Mommsen supposes that its peculiarly harsh features had been brought by the Carthaginians. In Sicily, accordingly, the first really serious servile insurrections took place. The rising under Eunus in 133 B.C. was with some difficulty suppressed by Rupilius. Partial revolts in Italy succeeded; and then came the second Sicilian insurrection under Trypho and Athenio, followed by the Servile War in Italy under Spartacus. Clodius and Milo used bands of gladiators in their city riots, and this action on the part of the latter was approved by Cicero. In the First Civil War they were to be found in both camps, and the murderers of Caesar were escorted to the Capitol by gladiators. Antony, Octavius, and Sextus Pompeius employed them in the Second Civil War; and it is recorded by Augustus on the Monumentum Ancyranum that he gave back to their masters for punishment about 30,000 slaves who had absconded and borne arms against the state. Under Tiberius, at the death of Caligula, and in the reign of Nero there were threatening movements of the slaves. In the wars from Otho to Vespasian they were employed, as Tacitus tells us, even by the most scrupulous generals.

Blair, in comparing the Greek and Roman systems of slavery, points with justice to the greater facility and frequency of emancipation as the great superiority of the latter. No Roman slave, he says, " needed to despair of becoming both a freeman and a citizen." Manumission was of two kinds justa or regular, and minus justa. Of manumissio justa there were four modes: (I) by adoption, rarely resorted to; (2) by testament, already recognized in the Twelve Tables; (3) by census, which was of exceptional use, and did not exist later than the time of Vespasian; and (4) by vindicta, which was the usual form. In the last method the master turned the slave round, with the words " Tiber esto," in the presence of the praetor, that officer or his lictor at the same time striking the slave with his rod. The manumissio minus justa was effected by a sufficient manifestation of the will of the master, as by letter, by words, by putting the pileus (or cap of liberty) on the slave, or by any other formality which had by usage become significant of the intention to liberate, or by such an act as making the slave the guardian of his children. This extra-legal sort of manumission was incomplete and precarious; even after the lex Junia Norbana (A.D. 19), which assimilated the position of those so liberated to that of the Latin colonists, under the name of Latini juniores, the person remained in the eye of the law a slave till his death and could not dispose of his peculium. A freedman, unless he became such by operation of law, remained client of his master, and both were bound by the mutual obligations arising out of that relation. These obligations existed also in the case of freedmen of the state, of cities, temples and corporations. The freedman took his former master's name; he owed him deference (obsequium) and aid (officium); and neglect of these obligations was punished, in extreme cases even with loss of liberty. Conditions might be annexed by the master to the gift of freedom, as of continued residence with him, or of general service or some particular duty to be performed, or of a money payment to be made. But the praetor Rutilius, about the beginning of the 1st century B.C., limited the excessive imposition of such conditions, and his restrictions were carried further by the later jurists and the imperial constitutions. Failing natural heirs of an intestate freedman, the master, now patron, succeeded to his property at his death; and he could dispose by will of only half his possessions, the patron receiving the other half. Freedmen and their sons were subject to civil disabilities; the third generation became ingenui (full citizens). Thus, the slave element tended to merge itself in the general popular body.

It was often a pecuniary advantage to the master to liberate his slave; he obtained a payment which enabled him to buy a substitute, a^ .d at the same time gained a client. This of course presupposes the recognition of the right of the slave to his peculium; and the same is implied in Cicero's statement that a diligent slave could in six years purchase his freedom. Augustus set himself against the undue multiplication of manumissions, probably considering the rapid succession of new citizens a source of social instability, and recommended a similar policy to his successor. The lex Aelia Sentia (about A.D. 3) forbade manumission, except in strictly limited cases, by masters under 20 years of age or of slaves under 30; and the lex Furia Caninia (about A.D. 7) fixed the proportion of a man's slaves which he could liberate by testament, and forbade more than a hundred being so enfranchised, whatever might be the the number of the familia. Under the empire the freedmen rose steadily in influence; they became admissible to the rank of equites and to the senate; they obtained provincial governments, and were appointed to offices in the imperial household which virtually placed them at the head of administrative departments (see Pallas and Narcissus). Freedmen of humbler rank, on the other hand, filled the minor offices in the administrative service, in the city cohorts, and in the army; and we shall find that they entered largely into the trades and professions when free labour began to revive. They appeared also in literature, e.g. Tiro, the amanuensis of Cicero; Hyginus, the librarian of Augustus; Livius Andronicus, Caecilius, Statius, Terence, Publilius Syrus, Phaedrus and Epictetus.

In the 2nd century of the Christian era we find a marked change with respect to the institution of slavery, both in the region of thought and in that of law. Already the principles of reason and humanity had been applied to the subject by Seneca. But it was in the 2nd century, as we have said, that " the victory of moral ideas " in this, as in other departments of life, became " decisive.... Dio Chrysostom, the adviser of Trajan, is the first Greek writer who has pronounced the principle of slavery to be contrary to the law of nature " (Mark Pattison). And a parallel change is found in the practical policy of the state. The military vocation of Rome was now felt to have reached its normal limits; and the emperors, understanding that, in the future, industrial activity must prevail, prepared the abolition of slavery as far as was then possible, by honouring the freedmen, by protecting the slave against his master, and by facilitating manumissions. The general tendency both of the imperial constitutions and of the maxims of the legists is in favour of liberty. The practices of exposure and sale of children, and of giving them in pledge for debt, are forbidden. Diocletian forbade a free man to sell himself. Kidnappers (plagiarii) were punished with death. The insolvent debtor was withdrawn from the yoke of his creditor. While the slave trade was permitted, the mutilation of boys and young men, too often practised, was punished with exile and even with death. In redhibitory actions (for the annulment of sales), if a slave were returned to the seller, so must also be his parents, brothers and personae contubernio conjunctae. In the interpretation of testaments it was to be assumed that members of the same family were not to be separated by the division of the succession. The law also favoured in special cases the security of the peculium, though in general principle it still remained the property of the master. The state granted to public slaves the right of bequeathing half their possessions; and private persons sometimes permitted similar dispositions even to a greater extent, though only within the familia. Hadrian took from masters the power of life and death and abolished the subterranean prisons. Antoninus Pius punished him who killed his own slave as if he had killed another's. Already in the time of Nero the magistrates had been ordered to receive the slave's complaint of ill-treatment; and the lex Petronia, belonging to the same or an earlier period, forbade masters to hand over their slaves to combats with wild beasts. Antoninus directed that slaves treated with excessive cruelty, who had taken refuge at an altar or imperial image, should be sold; and this provision was extended to cases in which the master had employed a slave in a way degrading to him or beneath his character. M. Aurelius gave to masters an action against their slaves for any cause of complaint, thus bringing their relation more directly under the surveillance of law and public opinion. A slave's oath could still not be taken in a court of law; he was interrogated by the " question "; but the emperors and jurists limited in various ways the application of torture, adding, however, as we have mentioned, to the cases in which it could previously be appealed to that of the crime of majestas. For certain alleged offences of the master the slave could bring an action, being represented for the purpose by an adsertor. Emancipation was facilitated. The power of imposing conditions on testamentary manumissions was restricted, and these conditions interpreted in the sense most favourable to freedom. The emperor could confer liberty by presenting a gold ring to a slave with the consent of the master, and the legal process called restitutio natalium made him a full citizen. It w'as decided that liberty could not be forfeited even by a prescription of sixty years' duration.

The rise of Christianity in the Roman world still further improved the condition of the slave. The sentiments it created were not only favourable to the humane treatment of the class in the of present, but were the germs out of which its entire libera- of was destined, at a later period, in part to arise. It is sometimes objected that the Christian church did not denounce slavery as a social crime and insist on its abolition. We have seen that slavery was a fundamental element of the old Roman constitution. When the work of conquest had been achieved, it could not be expected that a radical alteration should be suddenly wrought either in the social system which was in harmony with it, or even in the general ideas which had grown up under its influence. The latter would, indeed, be gradually affected; and accordingly we have observed a change in the policy of the law, indicating a change in sentiment with respect to the slave class, which does not appear to have been at all due to Christian teaching. But the institution itself could not be at once seriously disturbed. The results must have been disastrous, most of all to the slave population itself. Before that end could be accomplished, an essentially new social situation must come into existence. But in the meantime much might be done towards further mitigating the evils of slavery, especially by impressing on master and slave their relative duties and controlling their behaviour towards one another by the exercise of an independent moral authority. This was the work open to the Christian priesthood, and it cannot be denied that it was well discharged. Whilst the fathers agree with the Stoics of the 2nd century in representing slavery as an indifferent circumstance in the eye of religion and morality, the contempt for the class which the Stoics too often exhibited is in them replaced by a genuine sympathy. They protested against the multiplication of slaves from motives of vanity in the houses of the great, against the gladiatorial combats (ultimately abolished by the noble self-devotion of a monk) and against the consignment of slaves to the theatrical profession, which was often a school of corruption. The church also encouraged the emancipation of individual slaves and the redemption of captives. And its influence is to be seen in the legislation of the Christian emperors, which softened some of the harshest features that still marked the institution. But a stronger influence of Christianity appears in Theodosius, and this influence is at the highest in the legislation of Justinian. Its systematic effort is, in his own words, " pro libertate, quam et fovere et tueri Romanis legibus et praecipue nostro numini peculiare est." Law still refused in general to recognize the marriages of slaves; but Justinian gave them a legal value after emancipation in establishing rights of succession. Unions between slaves and free women, or between a freeman and the female slave of another, continued to be forbidden, and were long punished in certain circumstances with atrocious severity. As witness, the slave was still subject to the question; as criminal, he was punished with greater rigour than the freeman. If he accused his master of a crime, unless the charge was of treason, he was burnt. But he could maintain a legal claim to his own liberty, not now merely through an adsertor, but in person. A female slave was still held incapable of the offence of adultery; but Justinian visited with death alike the rape of a slave or freedwoman and that of a free maiden. Already the master who killed his slave had been punished as for homicide, except in the case of his unintended death under correction; Constantine treated as homicide a number of specially-enumerated acts of cruelty. Even under Theodosius the combats of the amphitheatre were permitted, if not encouraged, by the state authorities; these sports were still expected from the candidates for public honours. Combats of men with beasts were longest continued; they had not ceased even in the early years of the reign of Justinian. A new process of manumission was now established, to be performed in the churches through the intervention of the ministers of religion; and it was provided that clerics could at any time by mere expression of will liberate their slaves. Slaves who were admitted to holy orders, or who entered a monastery, became freemen, under certain restrictions framed to prevent fraud or injustice. Justinian abolished the personal conditions which the legislation of Augustus had required to be satisfied by the master who emancipated and the slave who was manumitted, and removed the limitation of number. The liberated slave, whatever the process by which he had obtained his freedom, became at once a full citizen, his former master, however, retaining the right of patronage, the abolition of which would probably have discouraged emancipation.

Transition to Serfdom

The slavery of the working classes was not directly changed into the system of personal freedom. There was an intermediate stage which has not always been sufficiently discriminated from slavery. We mean the regime of serfdom. In studying the origin of this transitional state of things, four principal considerations have to be kept in view. (I) As Gibbon observes, the completion of the Roman system of conquest reduced the supply of slaves. It is true that, when the barbarian invasions began in the 3rd century, many captives were made, who, when not enrolled in the army, were employed in agriculture or domestic service; but the regular importation was increasingly diminished. This improved the condition of the slave by rendering his existence an object of greater value to his master. It was clearly to the interest of each family to preserve indefinitely its own hereditary slaves. Hence the abolition of the external slave trade tended, in fact, to put an end to internal sales, and the slaves became attached to the households or lands of their masters. (2) The diminished supply of slaves further acted in the direction of the rehabilitation of free labour. A general movement of this kind is noticeable from the 2nd century onwards. Freemen had always been to some extent employed in the public service. In private service superior posts were often filled by freedmen; the higher arts - as medicine, grammar, painting - were partly in the hands of freedmen and even of ingenui; the more successful actors and gladiators were often freedmen. In the factories or workshops kept by wealthy persons slave labour was mainly employed; but free artisans sometimes offered their services to these establishments or formed associations to compete with them. We have seen that free persons had all along been to some extent employed in the cultivation of land as hired labourers, and, as we shall presently find, also as tenants on the great estates. How all this operated we shall understand when we examine the remarkable organization of the state introduced by Diocletian and his successors. (3) This organization established in the Roman world a personal and hereditary fixity of professions and situations which was not very far removed from the caste system of the East. The purpose of this was doubtless to resist by a strong internal consolidation the shock of the invasions, to secure public order, to enforce industrious habits, and to guarantee the financial resources of the state. Personal independence was largely sacrificed, but those still more important ends were in a great measure attained. This system, by diminishing the freeman's mastery over himself and his power to determine his occupation, reduced the interval between him and the slave; and the latter on the one hand, the free domestic servant and workshop labourer on the other, both passed insensibly into the common condition of serfdom. (4) The corresponding change, in the case of the rural slaves, took place through their being merged in the order of coloni. The Roman colonus was originally a free person who took land on lease, contracting to pay to the proprietor either a fixed sum annually or (when a colonus partiarius) a certain proportion of the produce of the farm. Under the emperors of the 4th century the name designated a cultivator who, though personally free, was attached to the soil, and transmitted his condition to his descendants; and this became the regular status of the mass of Roman cultivators. The class of coloni appears to have been composed partly of tenants by contract who had incurred large arrears of rent and were detained on the estates as debtors (obaerati), partly of foreign captives or immigrants who were settled in this condition on the land, and partly of small proprietors and other poor men who voluntarily adopted the status as an improvement in their position. They paid a fixed proportion of the produce (pars agraria) to the owner of the estate, and gave a determinate amount of labour (operae) on the portion of the domain which he kept in his own hands (mansus dominicus). The law for a long time took no notice of these customary tenures, and did not systematically constitute them until the 4th century. It was indeed the requirements of the fiscus and the conscription which impelled the imperial government to regulate the system. The coloni were inscribed (adscripti) on the registers of the census as paying taxes to the state, for which the proprietor was responsible, reimbursing himself for the amount. In a constitution of Constantine (A.D. 332) we find the colonus recognized as permanently attached to the land. If he abandoned his holding he was brought back and punished; and any one who received him had not only to restore him but to pay a penalty. He could not marry out of the domain; if he took for wife a colona of another proprietor, she was restored to her original locality, and the offspring of the union were divided between the estates. The children of a colonus were fixed in the same status. They and their descendants were retained, in the words of a law of Theodosius, " quodam aeternitatis jure," and by no process could be relieved from their obligations. By a law of Anastasius, at the end of the 5th century, a colonus who had voluntarily come into an estate was by a tenure of thirty years for ever attached to it. The master (dominus) could inflict on his coloni " moderate chastisement," and could chain them if they attempted to escape, but they had a legal remedy against him for unjust demands or injury to them or theirs. In no case could the rent or the labour dues be increased. The colonus could possess property of his own, but 'could not alienate it without the consent of the master. Thus, whilst the members of the class were personally free, their condition had some incidents of a semi-servile character. They are actually designated by Theodosius, " servi terrae cui nati suet." And Salvian treats the proposition "coloni divitum fiunt " as equivalent to " vertuntur in servos." This is indeed an exaggeration; the colonatus was not an oppressive system; it afforded real security against unreasonable demands and wanton disturbance, and it was a great advance on the system of the familia rustica. But the point which is important is that there was a certain approximation between the condition of the colonus and the slave which tended towards the fusion of both in a single class.

Besides the coloni there were on a great estate - and those of the 4th century were on a specially large scale - a number of praedial slaves, who worked collectively under overseers on the part of the property which the owner himself cultivated. But it was a common practice to settle certain of the slaves (and possibly also of the freedmen) on other portions of the estate, giving them small farms on conditions similar to those to which the coloni were subject. These slaves are, in fact, described by Ulpian as quasi coloni. They had their own households and were hence distinguished as casati. In law these slaves were at first absolutely at the disposal of their masters; they had no property in the strict sense of the word, and could be sold to another proprietor and separated from their families. But the landlord's interest and the general tone of feeling alike modified practice even before the intervention of legislation; they were habitually continued in their holdings, and came to possess in fact a perpetual and hereditary enjoyment of them. By a law of Valentinian I. (377) the sale of these slaves was interdicted unless the land they occupied were at the same time sold. The legal distinction between the coloni and the slave tenants continued to exist after the invasions; but the practical difference was greatly attenuated. The colonus often occupied a servile mansus, and the slave a mansus originally appropriated to a colonus. Intermarriages of the two classes became frequent. Already at the end of the 7th century it does not appear that the distinction between them had any substantial existence.

The influence of the Northern invasions on the change from slavery to serfdom was, in all probability, of little account. The change would have taken place, though perhaps not so speedily, if they had never occurred. For the developments of the Middle Ages See Serfdom and Villenage.

Modern Slave Trade

Not very long after the disappearance of serfdom in the most advanced communities comes into sight the new system of colonial slavery, which, instead of being the spontaneous outgrowth of social necessities and subserving a temporary need of human development, was politically as well as morally a monstrous aberration.

In 1442, when the Portuguese under Prince Henry the Navigator were exploring the Atlantic coast of Africa, one of his officers, Antam Gonsalves, who had captured some Moors, was directed by the prince to carry them back to Africa. He received from the Moors in exchange for them ten blacks and a quantity of gold dust. This excited the cupidity of his fellow-countrymen; and they fitted out a large number of ships for the trade, and built several forts on the African coast. Many negroes were brought into Spain from these Portuguese settlements, and the colonial slave trade first appears in the form of the introduction into the newly-discovered western world of descendants of these negroes. When Nicolas de Ovando was sent out in 1502 as governor of Haiti, whilst regulations, destined to prove illusory, were made for the protection of the natives of the island, permission was given to carry to the colony negro slaves, born in Seville and other parts of Spain, who had been instructed in the Christian faith. It appears from a letter of Ovando in 1503 that there were at that time numbers of negroes in Haiti; he requested that no more might be permitted to be brought out. In 1510 and the following years King Ferdinand ordered a number of Africans to be sent to that colony for the working of the mines.

Before this time Columbus had proposed an exchange of his Carib prisoners as slaves against live stock to be furnished to Haiti by Spanish merchants. He actually sent home, in 1494, above Soo Indian prisoners taken in wars with the caciques, who, he suggested, might be sold as slaves at Seville. But, after a royal order had been issued for their sale, Queen Isabella, interested by what she had heard of the gentle and hospitable character of the natives and of their docility, procured a letter to be written to Bishop Fonseca, the superintendent of Indian affairs, suspending the order until inquiry should be made into the causes for which they had been made prisoners, and into the lawfulness of their sale. Theologians differed on the latter question, and Isabella directed that these Indians should be sent back to their native country.

Bartolome de las Casas, the celebrated bishop of Chiapa, accompanied Ovando to Haiti, and was a witness of the cruelties from which the Indians suffered under his administration. He came to Spain in 1517 to obtain measures in their favour, and he then made the suggestion to Charles that each Spanish resident in Haiti should have licence to import a dozen negro slaves. Las Casas, in his Historia de las Indias (lib. iii. cap. Ioi), confesses the error into which he thus fell. Other good men appear to have given similar advice about the same time, and, as has been shown, the practice was not absolutely new; indeed the young king had in 1516, whilst still in Flanders, granted licences to his courtiers for the importation of negroes into the colonies, though Jimenes, as regent of Castile, by a decree of the same year forbade the practice. The suggestion of Las Casas was no doubt made on the ground that the negroes could, better than the Indians, bear the labour in the mines, which was rapidly exhausting the numbers of the latter.' He has sometimes on this plea been exonerated from all censure; but, though entitled to honour for the zeal which he showed on behalf of the natives, he must bear the blame for his violation or neglect of moral principle. His advice was unfortunately adopted. " Charles," says Robertson, " granted a patent to one of his Flemish favourites, containing an exclusive right " of supplying 4000 negroes annually to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and Porto Rico. " The favourite sold his patent to some Genoese merchants for 25,000 ducats "; these merchants obtained the slaves from the Portuguese; and thus was first systematized the slave trade between Africa and America.

The first Englishman who engaged in the traffic was Sir John Hawkins. The English slave traders were at first altogether occupied in supplying the Spanish settlements. Indeed E the reign of Elizabeth passed without any English colony having been permanently established in America. But in 1620 a Dutch ship from the coast of Guinea visited Jamestown in Virginia, and sold a part of her cargo of negroes to the tobacco-planters. This was the first beginning of slavery in British America; the number of negroes was afterwards continually increased - though apparently at first slowly - by importation, and the field-labour was more and more performed by servile hands, so that in 1790 the state of Virginia contained 200,000 negroes.

The African trade of England was long in the hands of exclusive companies; but by an act of the first year of William and Mary it became free and open to all subjects of the crown. The African Company, however, continued to exist, and obtained from time to time large parliamentary grants. By the treaty of Utrecht the asiento, 2 or contract for supplying the Spanish colonies with 4800 negroes annually, which had previously passed from the Dutch to the French, was transferred to Great Britain; an English company was to enjoy the monopoly for a period of thirty years from 1st May 1713. But the contract came to an end in 1739, when the complaints of the English merchants on one side and of the Spanish officials on the other rose to such a height that Philip V. declared his 'The Spaniards, in the space of fifteen years subsequent to the discovery of the West Indies, had, as Robertson mentions, reduced the natives of Haiti from a million to 60,000.

22 The Spaniards were prevented from forming establishments on the African coast by the Bull of Demarcation (" Inter caetera ") of Pope Alexander VI. (1493), which forbade their acquiring territory to the east of the meridian line of 100 m. west of the Azores. They could therefore supply their American possessions with slaves only by contracts with other powers.

determination to revoke the asiento, and Sir Robert Walpole was forced by popular feeling into war with Spain. Between 1680 and 1700 about 140,000 negroes were exported by the African Company, and 160,000 more by private adventurers, making a total of 300,000. Between 1700 and the end of 1786 as many as 610,000 were transported to Jamaica alone, which had been an English possession since 1655. Bryan Edwards estimated the total import into all the British colonies of America and the West Indies from 1680 to 1786 at 2,130,000, being an annual average of 20,095. The British slave trade reached its utmost extension shortly before the War of American Independence. It was then carried on principally from Liverpool, but also from London, Bristol and Lancaster; the entire number of slave ships sailing from those ports was 192, and in them space was provided for the transport of 47,146 negroes. During the war the number decreased, but on its termination the trade immediately revived. When Edwards wrote (1791), the number of European factories on the coasts of Africa was 40; of these 14 were English, 3 French, 15 Dutch, 4 Portuguese and 4 Danish. As correct a notion as can be obtained of the numbers annually exported from the continent about the year 1790 by traders cf the several European countries engaged in the traffic is supplied by the following statement: - " By the British, 38,000; by the French, 20,000; by the Dutch, 4000; by the Danes, 2000; by the Portuguese, 10,000; total 74,000." Thus more than half the trade was in British hands. The hunting of human beings to make them slaves was greatly aggravated by the demand of the European colonies. The native chiefs engaged in forays, sometimes even on their own subjects,for the purpose of procuring slaves to be exchanged for Western commodities. They often set fire to a village by night and captured the inhabitants when trying to escape. Thus all that was shocking in the barbarism of Africa was multiplied and intensified by this foreign stimulation. Exclusive of the slaves who died before they sailed from Africa, 121% were lost during their passage to the West Indies; at Jamaica 42% died whilst in the harbours or before the sale and one-third more in the " seasoning." Thus, out of every lot of 100 shipped from Africa 17 died in about 9 weeks, and not more than 50 lived to be effective labourers in the islands. The circumstances of their subsequent life on the plantations were not favourable to the increase of their numbers. In Jamaica there were in 1690, 40,000; from that year till 1820 there were imported 800,000; yet at the latter date there were only 340,000 in the island. One cause which prevented the natural increase of population was the inequality in the numbers of the sexes; in Jamaica alone there was in 1789 an excess of 30,000 males.

Movement against the Slave Trade

When the nature of the slave trade began to be understood by the public, all that was best in England was adverse to it. Among those who denounced it - besides some whose names are now little known, but are recorded in the pages of Clarkson - were Baxter, Sir Richard Steele (in Inkle and Yarico), the poets Southern (in Oroonoko), Pope, Thomson, Shenstone, Dyer, Savage and above all Cowper (see his Charity, and Task, bk. 2), Thomas Day (author of Sandford and Merton), Sterne, Warburton, Hutcheson, Beattie, John Wesley, Whitfield, Adam Smith, Millar, Robertson, Dr Johnson, Paley, Gregory, Gilbert Wakefield, Bishop Porteus, Dean Tucker. The question of the legal existence of slavery in Great Britain and Ireland was raised in consequence of an opinion given in 1729 by Yorke and Talbot, attorney-general and solicitor-general at the time, to the effect that a slave by coming into those countries from the West Indies did not become free, and might be compelled by his master to return to the plantations. Chief-Justice Holt had expressed a contrary opinion; and the matter was brought to a final issue by Granville Sharp in the case of the negro Somerset. It was decided by Lord Mansfield, in the name of the whole bench, on the 22nd of June 1772, that as soon as a slave set his foot on the soil of the British islands he became free. In 1776 it was moved in the House of Commons by David Hartley, son of the author of Observations on Man, that " the slave trade was contrary to the laws of God and the rights of men "; but this motion - the first which was made on the subject - failed.

The first persons in England who took united practical action against the slave trade were the Quakers, following the expression of sentiment which had emanated so early as 1671 from their founder George Fox. In 1727 they declared it to be " not a commendable or allowed " practice; in 1761 they excluded from their society all who should be found concerned in it, and issued appeals to their members and the public against the system. In 1783 there was formed among them an association " for the relief and liberation of the negro slaves in the West Indies, and for the discouragement of the slave trade on the coast of Africa." This was the first society established in England for the purpose. The Quakers in America had taken action on the subject still earlier than those in England. The Pennsylvanian Quakers advised their members against the trade in 1696; in 1754 they issued to their brethren a strong dissuasive against encouraging it in any manner; in 1774 all persons concerned in the traffic, and in 1776 all slave holders who would not emancipate their slaves, were excluded from membership. The Quakers in the other American provinces followed the lead of their brethren in Pennsylvania. The individuals among the American Quakers who laboured most earnestly and indefatigably on behalf of the Africans were John Woolman (1720-1773) and Anthony Benezet (1713-1784), the latter a son of a French Huguenot driven from France by the revocation of the edict of Nantes. The former confined his efforts chiefly to America and indeed to his coreligionists there; the latter sought, not without success, to found a universal propaganda in favour of abolition. A Pennsylvanian society was formed in 1774 by James Pemberton and Dr Benjamin Rush, and in 1787 (after the war) was reconstructed on an enlarged basis under the presidency of Franklin. Other similar associations were founded about the same time in different parts of the United States. The next important movement took place in England. Dr Peckard, vice-chancellor of the university of Cambridge, who entertained strong convictions against the slave trade, proposed in 1785 as subject for a Latin prize dissertation the question, " An liceat invitos in servitutem dare." Thomas Clarkson obtained the first prize, translated his essay into English in an expanded form, and published it in 1786 with the title Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species. In the process of its publication he was brought into contact with several persons already deeply interested in the question; amongst others with Granville Sharp, William Dillwyn (an American by birth, who had known Benezet), and the Rev. James Ramsay, who had lived nineteen years in St Christopher, and had published an Essay on the Treatment and Conversion of the African Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies. The distribution of Clarkson's book led to his forming connexions with many persons of influence, and especially with William Wilberforce. A committee was formed on the 22nd of May 1787 for the abolition of the slave trade, under the presidency of Granville Sharp. It is unquestionable that the principal motive power which originated and sustained their efforts was Christian principle and feeling. The most earnest and unremitting exertions were made by the persons so associated in investigating facts and collecting evidence, in forming branch committees and procuring petitions, information and support of those who pleaded the cause in parliament. To the original members were afterwards added several remarkable persons, amongst whom were Josiah Wedgwood, Bennet Langton (Dr Johnson's friend), and, later, Zachary Macaulay, Henry Brougham and James Stephen.

In consequence of the numerous petitions presented to parliament, a committee of privy council was appointed by the crown in 1788 to inquire concerning the slave trade; and Pitt moved that the House of Commons should early in the next session take the subject into consideration. Wilberforce's first motion for a committee of the whole House upon the question was made on the 19th of March 1789, and this committee proceeded to business on the 12th of May of the same year. After an admirable speech, Wilberforce laid on the table twelve resolutions which were intended as the basis of a future motion for the abolition of the trade. The discussion of these was postponed to the next session, and in1790-1791evidence was taken upon them. At length, on the 18th of April of the latter year, a motion was made for the introduction of a bill to prevent the further importation of slaves into the British colonies in the West Indies. Opinion had been prejudiced by the insurrections in St Domingo and Martinique, and in the British island of Dominica; and the motion was defeated by 163 votes against 88. Legislative sanction was, however, given to the establishment of the Sierra Leone Company, for the colonization of a district on the west coast of Africa and the discouragement of the slave trade there. It was hoped at the time that that place would become the centre from which the civilization of Africa would proceed; but this expectation was not fulfilled. On the 2nd of April 1792 Wilberforce again moved that the trade ought to be abolished; an amendment in favour of gradual abolition was carried, and it was finally resolved that the trade should cease on the 1st of January 1796. When a similar motion was brought forward in the Lords the consideration of it was postponed to the following year, in order to give time for the examination of witnesses by a committee of the House. A bill in the Commons in the following year to abolish that part of the trade by which British merchants supplied foreign settlements with slaves was lost on the third reading; it was renewed in the Commons in 1 794 and carried there, but defeated in the Lords. Then followed several years during which efforts were made by the abolitionists in parliament with little success. But in 1806, Lord Grenville and Fox having come into power, a bill was passed in both Houses to put an end to the British slave trade for foreign supply, and to forbid the importation of slaves into the colonies won by the British arms in the course of the war. On the 10th of June of the same year Fox brought forward a resolution " that effectual measures should be taken for the abolition of the African slave trade in such a manner and at such a period as should be deemed advisable," which was carried by a large majority. A similar resolution was successful in the House of Lords. A bill was then passed through both Houses forbidding the employment of any new vessel in the trade. Finally, in 1807, a bill was presented by Lord Grenville in the House of Lords providing for the abolition of the trade, was passed by a large majority, was then sent to the Commons (where it was moved by Lord Howick), was there amended and passed, and received the royal assent on the 25th of March. The bill enacted that no vessel should clear out for slaves from any port within the British dominions after the 1st of May 1807, and that no slave should be landed in the colonies after the 1st of March 1808.

In 1807 the African Institution was formed, with the primary objects of keeping a vigilant watch on the slave traders and procuring, if possible, the abolition of the slave trade by the other European nations. It was also to be made an instrument for promoting the instruction of the negro races and diffusing information respecting the African continent.

The Act of 1807 was habitually violated, as the traders knew that, if one voyage in three was successful, they were abundantly remunerated for their losses. This state of things, it was plain, must continue as long as the trade was only a contraband commerce, involving merely pecuniary penalties. Accordingly, in 1811, Brougham carried through parliament a bill declaring the traffic to be a felony punishable with transportation. Some years later another act was passed, making it a capital offence; but this was afterwards repealed. The law of 1811 proved effectual and brought the slave trade to an end so far as the British dominions were concerned. Mauritius, indeed, continued it for a time. That island, which had been ceded by France in 1810, three years after the abolition, had special facilities for escaping observation in consequence of the proximity of the African coast; but it was soon obliged to conform.

The abolition of the French slave trade was preceded by struggles and excesses. The western part of St Domingo, nominally belonging to Spain, had been occupied by buccaneers, who were recognized and supported by the French government, and France. had been ceded to France at the peace of Ryswick in 1697. So vast was the annual importation of enslaved negroes into this colony before 1791 that the ratio of the blacks to the whites was as 16 to 1. In that year there were in French St Domingo 480,000 blacks, 24,000 mulattoes and only 30,000 whites. The French law for the regulation of slavery in the plantations, known as the Code Noir (framed under Louis XIV. in 1685), was humane in its spirit; but we are informed that its provisions were habitually disregarded by the planters, whilst the free mulattoes laboured under serious grievances and were exposed to irritating indignities. A " Societe des Amis des Noirs " was formed in Paris in 1788 for the abolition, not only of the slave trade, but of slavery itself. The president was Condorcet, and amongst the members were the duc de la Rochefoucault, the Abbe Gregoire, Brissot, Claviere, Petion and La Fayette; Mirabeau was an active sympathizer. The great motor of the parallel effort in England was the Christian spirit; in France it was the enthusiasm of humanity which was associated with the revolutionary movement. There were in 1789 a number of mulattoes in Paris, who had come from San Domingo to assert the rights of the people of colour in that colony before the national assembly. The Declaration of the Rights of Man in August 1789 seemed to meet their claims, but in March 1790 the assembly, alarmed by rumours of the discontent and disaffection of the planters in San Domingo, passed a resolution that it had not been intended to comprehend the internal government of the colonies in the constitution framed for the mother country. Vincent Oge, one of the mulatto delegates in Paris, disgusted at the overthrow of the hopes of his race, returned to San Domingo, and on landing in October 1790 addressed a letter to the governor announcing his intention of taking up arms on behalf of the mulattoes if their wrongs were not redressed. He rose accordingly with a few followers, but was soon defeated and forced to take refuge in the Spanish part of the island. He was afterwards surrendered, tried and sentenced to be broken on the wheel. When the news of this reached Paris, it created a strong feeling against the planters; and on the motion of the Abbe Gregoire it was resolved by the assembly on the 15th of May 1791 " that the people of colour resident in the French colonies, born of free parents, were entitled to, as of right, and should be allowed, the enjoyment of all the privileges of French citizens, and among others those of being eligible to seats both in the parochial and colonial assemblies." On the 23rd of August a rebellion of the negroes broke out in the northern province of San Domingo, and soon extended to the western province, where the mulattoes and blacks combined. Many enormities were committed by the insurgents, and were avenged with scarcely inferior barbarity. The French assembly, fearing the loss of the colony, repealed on the 24th of September the decree of the preceding May. This vacillation put an end to all hope of a reconciliation of parties in the island. Civil commissioners sent out from France quarrelled with the governor and called the revolted negroes to their assistance. The white inhabitants of Cape Francois were massacred and the city in great part destroyed by fire. The planters now offered their allegiance to Great Britain; and an English force landed in the colony. But it was insufficient to encounter the hostility of the republican troops and the revolted negroes and mulattoes; it suffered from disease, and was obliged to evacuate the island in 1798. On the departure of the British the government remained in the hands of Toussaint l'Ouverture. Slavery had disappeared; the blacks were employed as hired servants, receiving for their remuneration the third part of the crops they raised; and the population was rapidly rising in civilization and comfort. The whole island was now French, the Spanish portion having been ceded by the treaty of Basel. The wish of Toussaint was that San Domingo should enjoy a practical independence whilst recognizing the sovereignty and exclusive commercial rights of France. The issue of the violent and treacherous conduct of Bonaparte towards the island was that the blacks drove from their soil the forces sent to subdue them, and founded a constitution of their own, which was more than once modified. There can be no doubt that the government of the Restoration, in seeking to obtain possession of the island, had the intention of reestablishing slavery, and even of reopening the slave trade for the purpose of recruiting the diminished population. But Bonaparte abolished that trade during the Hundred Days, though he also failed to win back the people of San Domingo, or, as it was now called by its original name, Haiti, to obedience. The Bourbons, when again restored, could not reintroduce the slave trade; the notion of conquering the island had to be given up; and its independence was formally recognized in 1825 (see Haiti).

England had not been the first European power to abolish the slave trade; that honour belongs to Denmark; a royal order was issued on the 16th of May 1792 that the traffic should cease in the Danish possessions from the end of of the 1802. The United State s h a d in 1 forbidden any a 794 Y m par ticipation by American subjects in the slave trade to foreign countries; they now prohibited the importation of slaves from Africa into their own dominions. This act was passed on the 2nd of March 1807; it did not, however, come into force till 1st January 1808. At the congress of Vienna (November 1814) the principle was acknowledged that the slave trade should be abolished as soon as possible; but the determination of the limit of time was reserved for separate negotiation between the powers. It had been provided in a treaty between France and Great Britain (May 30, 1814) that no foreigner should in future introduce slaves into the French colonies, and that the trade should be absolutely interdicted to the French themselves after the 1st of June 1819. This postponement of abolition was dictated by the wish to introduce a fresh stock of slaves into Haiti, if that island should be recovered. Bonaparte, as we have seen, abolished the French slave trade during his brief restoration, and this abolition was confirmed at the second peace of Paris on the 10th of November, 1815, but it was not effectually carried out by French legislation until March 1818. In January 1815 Portuguese subjects were prohibited from prosecuting the trade north of the equator, and the term after which the traffic should be everywhere unlawful was fixed to end on the 21st of January 1823, but was afterwards extended to February 1830; England paid £300,000 as a compensation to the Portuguese. A royal decree was issued on the 10th of December 1836 forbidding the export of slaves from any Portuguese possession. But this decree was often violated. It was agreed that the Spanish slave trade should come to an end in 18 20, England paying to Spain an indemnification of £400,000. The Dutch trade was closed In 1814; the Swedish had been abolished in 1813. By the peace of Ghent, December 1814, the United States and England mutually bound themselves to do all in their power to extinguish the traffic. It was at once prohibited in several of the South American states when they acquired independence, as in La Plata, Venezuela and Chile. In 1831 and 1833 Great Britain entered into an arrangement with France for a mutual right of search within certain seas, to which most of the other powers acceded; and by the Ashburton treaty (1842) with the United States provision was made for the joint maintenance of squadrons on the west coast of Africa. By all these measures the slave trade, so far as it was carried on under the flags of European nations or for the supply of their colonies, ceased to exist.

Meantime another and more radical reform had been in preparation and was already in progress, namely, the abolition of slavery itself in the foreign possessions of the several states of Europe. When the English slave trade had Anti" been closed, it was found that the evils of the traffic, slavery > as still continued by several other nations, were greatly aggravated. In consequence of the activity of the British cruisers the traders made great efforts to carry as many slaves as possible in every voyage, and practised atrocities to get rid of the slaves when capture was imminent. It was, besides, the interest of the cruisers, who shared the price of the captured slave-ship, rather to allow the slaves to be taken on board than to prevent their being shipped at all. Thrice as great a number of negroes as before, it was said, was exported from Africa, and two-thirds of these were murdered on the high seas. It was found also that the abolition of the British slave trade did not lead to an improved treatment of the negroes in the West Indies. The slaves were overworked now that fresh supplies were stopped, and their numbers rapidly decreased. In 1807 there were in the West Indies 800,000; in 1830 they were reduced to 700,000. It became more and more evident that the evil could be stopped only by abolishing slavery altogether.

An appeal was made by Wilberforce in 1821 to Thomas Fowell Buxton to undertake the conduct of this new question in parliament. An anti-slavery society was established in 1823, the principal members of which, besides Wilberforce and Buxton, were Zachary Macaulay, Dr Lushington and Lord Suffield. Buxton moved on the 5th of May 1823 that the House should take into consideration the state of slavery in the British colonies. The object he and his associates had then in view was gradual abolition by establishing something like a system of serfdom for existing slaves, and passing at the same time a measure emancipating all their children born after a certain day. Canning carried against Buxton and his friends a motion to the effect that the desired ameliorations in the condition and treatment of the slaves should be recommended by the home government to the colonial legislatures, and enforced only in case of their resistance, direct action being taken in the single instance of Trinidad, which, being a crown colony, had no legislature of its own. A well-conceived series of measures of reform was accordingly proposed to the colonial authorities. Thereupon a general outcry was raised by the planters at the acquiescence of the government in the principles of the anti-slavery party. A vain attempt being made in Demerara to conceal from the knowledge of the slaves the arrival of the order in council, they became impressed with the idea that they had been set free, and accordingly refused to work, and, compulsion being resorted to, offered resistance. Martial law was proclaimed; the disturbances were repressed with great severity; and the treatment of the missionary Smith, which was taken up and handled with great ability by Brougham, awakened strong feeling in England against the planters. The question, however, made little progress in parliament for some years, though Buxton, William Smith, Lushington, Brougham, Mackintosh, Butterworth, and Denman, with the aid of Z. Macaulay, James Stephen, and others, continued the struggle, only suspending it during a period allowed to the local legislatures for carrying into effect the measures expected from them. In 1828 the free people of colour in the colonies were placed on a footing of legal equality with their fellow-citizens. In 1830 the public began to be aroused to a serious prosecution of the main issue. It was becoming plain that the planters would take no steps tending to the future liberation of the slaves, and the leaders of the movement determined to urge the entire abolition of slavery at the earliest practicable period. The government continued to hesitate and to press for mitigations of the existing system. At length in 1833 the ministry of Earl Grey took the question in hand and carried the abolition with little difficulty, the measure passing the House of Commons on the 7th of August, 1833 and receiving the Royal assent on the 28th. A sum of 20 millions sterling was voted as compensation to the planters. A system of apprenticeship for seven years was established as a transitional preparation for liberty. The slaves were bound to work for their masters during this period for three-fourths of the day, and were to be liable to corporal punishment if they did not give the due amount of labour. The master was, in return, to supply them with food and clothing. All children under six years of age were to be at once free, and provision was to be made for their religious and moral instruction. Many thought the postponement of emancipation unwise. Immediate liberation was carried out in Antigua, and public tranquillity was so far from being disturbed there that the Christmas of 1833 was the first for twenty years during which martial law was not proclaimed in order to preserve the peace. Notwithstanding protracted and strenuous opposition on the part of the government, the House of Commons passed a resolution against the continuance of the transitional system. When this was done the local legislatures saw that the slaves would no longer work for the masters; they accordingly cut off two years of the indentured apprenticeship, and gave freedom to the slaves in August 1838 instead of 1840.

The example of Great Britain was gradually followed by the other European states, and some American ones had already taken action of the same kind. The immediate emancipation of the slaves in the French colonies was decreed by the provisional government of 1848. In 1858 it was enacted that every slave belonging to a Portuguese subject should be free in twenty years from that date, a system of tutelage being established in the meantime. This law came into operation on the 29th of April 1878, and the status of slavery was thenceforth illegal throughout the Portuguese possessions. The Dutch emancipated their slaves in 1863. Several of the Spanish American states, on declaring their independence, had adopted measures for the discontinuance of slavery within their limits. It was abolished by a decree of the Mexican republic on 15th September 1829. The government of Buenos Aires enacted that all children born to slaves after the 31st of January 1813 should be free; and in Colombia it was provided that those born after the 16th of July 1821 should be liberated on attaining their eighteenth year.

Three of the most important slave systems still remained in which no steps towards emancipation had been taken - those of the Southern United States, of Cuba and of Brazil.

Slavery was far from being approved in principle by the most eminent of the fathers of the American Union. Washington in his will provided for the emancipation of his own his first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in his country might be abolished by law," and again he wrote that to this subject his own suffrage should never be wanting. John Adams declared his abhorrence of the practice of slaveholding, and said that " every measure of prudence ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States." Franklin's opinions we have already indicated; and Madison, Hamilton, and Patrick Henry all reprobated the principle of the system. Jefferson declared in regard to slavery, " I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." The last-named statesman, at the first Continental Congress after the evacuation by the British forces, proposed a draft ordinance (March ist 1784) for the government of the North-West Territory, in which it was provided that "after the year 1800 there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the said states, otherwise than in punishment of crime." This proviso, however, was lost; but in the Ordinance of 1787 (13 July) for the government of the territory xxv. 8 of the United States north-west of the Ohio river, which was introduced by Nathan Dane and probably drafted by Manasseh Cutler, slavery was forbidden in the Territory. At the convention of Philadelphia in 1787, where the constitution was drafted, the sentiments of the framers were against slavery; but South Carolina and Georgia insisted on its recognition as a condition of their joining the Union, and even an engagement for the mutual rendition of fugitive slaves was embodied in the federal pact. The words " slave" and " slavery " were, however, excluded from the constitution, " because," as Madison says," they did not choose to admit the right of property in man " in direct terms; and it was at the same time provided that Congress might interdict the foreign slave trade after the expiration of twenty years. It must not be forgotten that either before or soon after the formation of the Union the Northern States - beginning with Vermont in 1777, and ending with New Jersey in 1804 - either abolished slavery or adopted measures to effect its gradual abolition within their boundaries. But the principal operation of (at least) the latter change was simply to transfer Northern slaves to Southern markets.

We cannot follow in detail the several steps by which the slave power for a long time persistently increased its influence in the Union. The acquisition of Louisiana in 1803, which gave a new field for the growth of the slave power, though not made in its interest, the Missouri Compromise (1820), the annexation of Texas (1845), the Fugitive Slave Law (1850), the Kansas-Nebraska bill (1854), the Dred Scott decision (1857), the attempts to acquire Cuba (especially in 1854) and to reopen the foreign slave trade (1859-1860), were the principal steps - only some of them successful - in its career of aggression. They roused a determined spirit of opposition, founded on deep-seated convictions. The pioneer of the more recent abolitionist movement was Benjamin Lundy (1789-1839). He was followed by William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879), Elijah P. Lovejoy (1802-1837)- a martyr, if ever there was one - Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, John Brown (b. 1800, hanged 1859), all of whom were in their several ways leading apostles or promoters of the cause. The best intellect of America outside the region of practical politics has been on the anti-slavery side. William E. Channing, R. W. Emerson, the poets Bryant, Longfellow, pre-eminently Whittier and Whitman, have spoken on this theme with no uncertain sound. The South, and its partisans in the North, made desperate efforts to prevent the free expression of opinion respecting the institution, and even the Christian churches in the slave states used their influence in favour of the maintenance of slavery. But in spite of every such effort opinion steadily grew. Public sentiment in the North was deeply stirred by the Uncle Ton's Cabin (1852) of Mrs Harriet Beecher Stowe, which, as Senior said, under the disguise of a novel was really a pamphlet against the Fugitive Slave Law. It gradually became apparent that the question could not be settled without an armed conflict. The election of Abraham Lincoln as president in November 1860 was the signal for the rising of the South. The North at first took arms simply to maintain the Union; but the farsighted politicians from the first, and soon the whole nation, saw that the real issue was the continued existence or the total abolition of slavery. (See United States.) The war was practically closed by the surrender at Appomattox (9th April 1865), but already in 1862 slavery in the Territories had been abolished by Congress; on the 22nd of September of the same year Lincoln had issued the preliminary emancipation proclamation, followed on the ist of January 1863 by the emancipation of all slaves in the states in arms against the Union; and in December 1865 a constitutional amendment was ratified abolishing and forever prohibiting slavery throughout the United States.

The Spanish slave code, promulgated in 1789, is admitted on all hands to have been very humane in its character; and, in consequence of this, after Trinidad had become an English possession, the anti-slavery party resisted - and success fully - the attempt of the planters (1811) to have the Spanish law in that island replaced by the British. But notwithstanding this slaves; he said to Jefferson that it was " among mildness of the code, its provisions were habitually and glaringly violated in the colonies of Spain, and in Cuba particularly the conditions of slavery were very bad. The slave population of the island was estimated in 1792 at 84,000; in 1817 at 179,000; in 1827 at 286,000; and in 1843 at 436,000. An act was passed by the Spanish legislature in 1870, providing that every slave who had then passed, or should thereafter pass, the age of sixty should be at once free, and that all yet unborn children of slaves should also be free. The latter, however, were to be maintained at the expense of the proprietors up to their eighteenth year, and during that time to be kept, as apprentices, to such work as was suitable for their age. This was known as the Moret Law, having been carried through the house of representatives by Senor Moret y Prendergast, then minister for the colonies. By the census of 1867 there was in Cuba a total population of 1,370,211 persons, of whom 764,750 were whites and 605,461 black or coloured; and of the latter number 225,938 were free and 379,5 2 3 were slaves. In 1873 the Cubans roughly estimated the population at 1,500,000 - of whom 500,000, or one-third, were slaves. Mr Crowe, consul-general in the island, in 1885, stated that " the institution was rapidly dying, - that in a year, or at most two, slavery, even in its then mild form, would be extinct." There was a convention between Great Britain and Brazil in 1826 for the abolition of the slave trade, but it was habitually violated in spite of the English cruisers. In 1830 the traffic was declared piracy by the emperor of Brazil. England asserted by the Aberdeen Act (1845) the right of seizing suspected craft in Brazilian waters. Yet by the connivance of the local administrative authorities 54,000 Africans continued to be annually imported. In 1850 the trade is said to have been decisively put down. The planters and mine proprietors cried out against this as a national calamity. The closing of the traffic made the labour of the slaves more severe, and led to the employment on the plantations of many who before had been engaged in domestic work; but the slavery of Brazil had always been lighter than that of the United States. On 28th September 1871 the Brazilian chambers decreed that slavery should be abolished throughout the empire. Though existing slaves were to remain slaves still, with the exception of those possessed by the government, who were liberated by the act, facilities for emancipation were given; and it was provided that all children born of female slaves after the day on which the law passed should be free. They were, however, bound to serve the owners of their mothers for a term of 21 years. A clause was inserted to the effect that a certain sum should be annually set aside from fines to aid each province in emancipating slaves by purchase. Seven years before the passing of this act the emperor, whose influence had always been exerted in favour of freedom, had liberated his private slaves, and many Brazilians after 1871 followed his example. Finally, in 1888 the chambers decreed the total abolition of slavery, some 700,000 persons being accordingly freed.

In the colonies of more than one European country, after the prohibition of the slave trade, attempts were made to replace it by a system of importing labourers of the inferior races under contracts for a somewhat lengthened term; and this was in several instances found to degenerate into a sort of legalized slave traffic. About 1867 we began to hear of a system of this kind which was in operation between the South Sea Islands and New Caledonia and the white settlements in Fiji. It seems to have begun in really voluntary agreements; but for these the unscrupulous greed of the traders soon substituted methods of fraud and violence. The natives were decoyed into the labour ships under false pretences, and then detained by force; or they were seized on shore or in their canoes and carried on board. The nature of the engagements to go and work on the plantations was not fully explained to them, and they were hired for periods exceeding the legal term. The area of this trade was ere long further extended. In 1884 attention was drawn in a special degree to the Queensland traffic in Pacific Islanders by the " Hopeful " trials, and a government commission was appointed to inquire into the methods followed by labour ships in recruiting the natives of New Guinea, the Louisiade Archipelago, and the D'Entrecasteaux group of islands. The result of the investigations, during which nearly five hundred witnesses were examined, was the disclosure of a system which in treachery and atrocity was little inferior to the old African slave trade. These shameful deeds made the islanders regard it as a duty to avenge their wrongs on any white men they could entice upon their shores. The bishop of Melanesia, John Coleridge Patteson, fell a victim to this retaliation on the island of Nukapu 10th September 1871.

We have seen that the last vestiges of the monstrous anomaly of modern colonial slavery are disappearing from all civilized states and their foreign possessions. It now remains to consider the slavery of primitive origin which has .existed within recent times, or continues to exist, outside of the Western world.

In Russia, a country which had not the same historical antecedents with the Western nations, properly so called, and which is in fact more correctly classed as Eastern, whilst slavery had disappeared, serfdom was in force down to our own days. The rural population of that country, at the earliest period accessible to our inquiries, consisted of (I) slaves, (2) free agricultural labourers, and (3) peasants proper, who were small farmers or cottiers and members of a commune. The sources of slavery were there, as elsewhere, capture in war, voluntary sale by poor freemen of themselves, sale of insolvent debtors, and the action of the law in certain criminal cases. In the 18th century we find the distinction between the three classes named above effaced and all of them merged in the class of serfs, who were the property either of the landed proprietors or of the state. They were not even adscripti glebae, though forbidden to migrate; an imperial ukase of 1721 says, " the proprietors sell their peasants and domestic servants, not even in families, but one by one, like cattle." This practice, at first tacitly sanctioned by the government, which received dues on the sales, was at length formally recognized by several imperial ukases. Peter the Great imposed a poll-tax on all the members of the rural population, making the proprietors responsible for the tax charged on their serfs; and the " free wandering people " who were not willing to enter the army were required to settle on the land either as members of a commune or as serfs of some proprietor. The system of serfdom attained its fullest development in the reign of Catherine II. The serfs were bought, sold, and given in presents, sometimes with the land, sometimes without it, sometimes in families and sometimes individually, sale by public auction being alone forbidden, as " unbecoming in a European state." The proprietors could transport without trial their unruly serfs to Siberia or send them to the mines for life, and those who presented complaints against their masters were punished with the knout and condemned to the mines. The first symptoms of a reaction appear in the reign of Paul (1796-1801).1801). He issued an ukase that the serfs should not be forced to work for their masters more than three days in each week. There were several feeble attempts at further reform, and even abortive projects of emancipation, from the commencement of the 19th century. But no decisive measures were taken before the accession of Alexander II. (1855). That emperor, after the Crimean War, created a secret committee composed of the great officers of state, called the chief committee for peasant affairs, to study the subject of serf-emancipation. Of this body the grand-duke Constantine was an energetic member. To accelerate the proceedings of the committee advantage was taken of the following incident. In the Lithuanian provinces the relations of the masters and serfs were regulated in the time of Nicholas by what were called inventories. The nobles, dissatisfied with these, now sought to have them revised. The government interpreted the application as implying a wish for the abolition of serfdom, and issued a rescript authorizing the formation of committees to prepare definite proposals for a gradual emancipation. A circular was soon after sent to the governors and marshals of the nobility all over Russia proper, informing them of this desire of the Lithuanian nobles, and setting out the fundamental principles which should be observed " if the nobles of the provinces should express a similar desire." Public opinion strongly favoured the projected reform; and even the masters who were opposed to it saw that, if the operation became necessary, it would be more safely for their interests intrusted to the nobles than to the bureaucracy. Accordingly during 1858 a committee was created in nearly every province in which serfdom existed. From the schemes prepared by these committees, a general plan had to be elaborated, and the government appointed a special imperial commission for this purpose. The plan was formed, and, in spite of some opposition from the nobles, which was suppressed, it became law, and serfdom was abolished (19th February 3rd March 1861). (See Russia.) The total number of serfs belonging to proprietors at the time of the emancipation was 21,625,609, of whom 20,158,231 were peasant serfs and 1,467,378 domestic serfs. This number does not include the state serfs, who formed about one-half of the rural population. Their position had been better, as a rule, than that of the serfs on private estates; it might indeed, Mr (afterwards Sir) R. D. M. Wallace says, be regarded as " an intermediate position between serfage and freedom." Amongst them were the serfs on the lands formerly belonging to the church, which had been secularized and transformed into state demesnes by Catherine II. There were also serfs on the apanages affected to the use of the imperial family; these amounted to nearly three and a half millions. Thus by the law of 1861 more than forty millions of serfs were emancipated.

The slavery of the Mahommedan East is usually not the slavery of the field but of the household. The slave is a member of the family, and is treated with tenderness and affection. The Koran breathes a considerate and kindly spirit towards the class, and encourages manumission. The child of a slave girl by her master is born free, and the mother is usually raised to be a free wife. The traffic in slaves has been repeatedly declared by the Ottoman Porte to be illegal throughout its dominions, and a law for its suppression was published in 1889, but it cannot be said to be extinct, owing to the laxity and too often the complicity of the government officials. In Egypt it has practically died out.

In the days of the colonial slave trade its African centre was the region about the mouths of the rivers Calabar and Bonny, whither the captive negroes were brought from great distances Africa. in the interior. As many slaves, Clarkson tells us, came annually from this part of the coast as from all the rest of Africa besides. The principal centres from which the supply was furnished to Egypt, Turkey, Arabia, and Persia were three in number. (I) The central Sudan appeared to be one vast hunting-ground. Captives were brought thence to the slave market of Kuka in Bornu, where, after being bought by dealers, they were, to the number of about 10,000 annually, marched across the Sahara to Murzuk in Fezzan, from which place they were distributed to the northern and eastern Mediterranean coasts. Their sufferings on the route were dreadful; many succumbed and were abandoned. Rohlfs informs us that " any one who did not know the way " by which the caravans passed " would only have to follow the bones which lie right and left of the track." Negroes were also brought to Morocco from the Western Sudan and from Timbuktu. The centre of the traffic in Morocco was Sidi Hamed ibn Musa, seven days' journey south of Mogador, where a great yearly fair was held. The slaves were forwarded thence in gangs to different towns, especially to Marrakesh, Fez and Mequinez. About 4000 were thus annually imported, and an ad valorem duty was levied by the sultan, which produced about 4800 of annual revenue. The control now exercised by the French over the greater part of the western Sudan has deprived Morocco of its chief sources of supply. Slavery, however, still flourishes in that empire. (2) The basin of the Upper Nile, extending to the great lakes, was another region infested by the slave trade; the slaves were either smuggled into Egypt or sent by the Red Sea to Turkey. The khedive Ismail in 1869 appointed Sir Samuel Baker to the command of a large force with which he was " to strike a direct blow at the slave trade in its distant nest." The work begun by him was continued by Colonel C. G. Gordon (1874 to 1879), but under the Mandi and the Khalifa the slave trade was revived. Since the reconquest of the eastern Sudan by an Anglo-Egyptian force in 1898 effective measures have been taken to suppress slave raiding and as far as possible slavery itself. The conquest of the central Sudan states by France - completed in 1910 by the subjugation of Wadai - has practically ended the caravan trade in slaves across the Sahara. (3) There was for long a slave trade from the Portuguese possessions on the East African coast. The stream of supply came mainly from the southern Nyasa districts by three or four routes to Ibo, Mozambique, Angoche and Quilimane. Madagascar and the Comoro Islands obtained most of their slaves from the Mozambique coast. It was believed in 1862 that about 19,000 passed every year from the Nyasa regions to Zanzibar, whence large supplies were drawn for the markets of Arabia and Persia up to 1873. The mission of Sir Bartle Frere to the sultan of Zanzibar in 1873 brought about a treaty for the suppression of the slave trade. It is said that, whereas io,000 slaves formerly passed the southern end of the Nyasa every year, in 1876 not more than 38 were known to have been conveyed by that route. Lieutenant O'Neill, British consul at Mozambique, writing in 1880, fixed at about 3000 the number then annually exported from the coast between the rivers Rovuma and Zambesi. With the establishment of a British protectorate at Zanzibar, and of British and German protectorates on the mainland of East Africa and in the region of the head-waters of the Nile, the East African slave trade received its death-blow. Slavery itself has been abolished in the Zanzibar, British, German and Portuguese dominions, and had ceased in Madagascar even before its conquest by the French. The complete control of the seaboard by European powers has rendered the smuggling of slaves to Arabia and Persia a difficult and dangerous occupation.

A new era was opened up by the discovery of the course of the Congo by H. M. Stanley, the founding of the Congo Free State by Leopold II. of Belgium and the partition of the greater part of Africa between various European powers. Though the history of the Congo Free State affords a painful contrast to the philanthropic professions of its founder, in other parts of the continent the establishment of protectorates by Great Britain, France and Germany was followed by strenuous, and largely successful, efforts to put down slave raiding. In parts where European authority remained weak, as in the hinterland of the Portuguese province of Angola and the adjacent regions of Central Africa, native potentates continued to raid their neighbours, and from this region many labourers were (up to 1910) forcibly taken to work on the cocoa plantation in St Thomas. With the accession of Albert I. to the Belgian throne in 1909 a serious endeavour was made to improve the state of affairs in the Congo. At the close of the first decade of the 10th century it might be said that over the greater part of Africa slave raiding was a thing of the past.

Clarkson first, and Buxton afterwards, whilst they urged all other means for the suppression or discouragement of the slave trade and slavery, saw clearly that the only thoroughly effectual method would be the development of legitimate commerce in Africa itself. When Buxton published in 1840 his book entitled The Slave Trade and its Remedy, this was the remedy he contemplated. The unfortunate Niger expedition of 1841 was directed to similar ends; and it has been more and more felt by all who were interested in the subject that here lies the radical solution of the great problem. It was for some time thought that from Sierra Leone as a centre industry and civilization might be diffused amongst the nations of the continent; and in 1822 the colony (which in 1847 became the independent republic) of Liberia had been founded by Americans with a similar object; but in neither case have these expectations been adequately fulfilled.

Bibliography. - On the several branches of the subject of slavery and serfdom information may be obtained from the following works :- On Ancient Slavery: H. Wallon, Histoire de l'esclavage dans l'antiquite (3 vols., 1847; 2nd ed., 1879); A. Boeckh, Public Economy of Athens, Eng. trans. by G. Cornewall Lewis (1828; 2nd ed., 1842); William Blair, Inquiry into the State of Slavery among the Romans, from the Earliest Period to the Establishment of the Lombards in Italy (1833); Dureau de la Malle, Economie politique des Romains (2 vols., 1840); M. Troplong, De l'influence du Christianisme sur le droit civil des Romains (2nd ed., 1855); Ebeling, Die Sklaverei von den ciltesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart (Paderborn, 1889); W. W. Buckland, The Roman Law of Slavery (Cambridge, 1909); A. Calderini, La Manomissione dei liberti in Grecia (Milan, 1908).

On Medieval Slavery and Serfdom: G. Humbert, article " Colonat " in the Dictionnaire des antiquites grecques et romaines of Daremberg and Saglio; J. Yanoski, De l'abolition de l'esclavage ancien au moyen age et de sa transformation en servitude de la glebe (Wallon and Yanoski had jointly composed a memoir to compete for a prize offered by the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 1837; Wallon's portion of the memoir became the foundation of his Histoire de l'esclavage dans l'antiquite above mentioned; Yanoski's part, the expansion of which was prevented by his early death, was posthumously published in 1860; it is no more than a slight sketch); Benjamin Gubrard, Prolegomenes au Polyptyque d'Irminon (1844); Fustel de Coulanges, Histoire des institutions politiques de l'ancienne France (2nd ed., 1877), and Recherches sur quelques problemes d'histoire (1885) (the latter work contains an admirable discussion of the whole subject of the colonatus, founded throughout on the original texts); Stubbs, Constitutional History of England (3 vols., 1874-1878). On the Colonial Slave Trade and Slavery: Washington Irving, Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1828), several times reprinted; Arthur Helps, Life of Las Casas (1868); Bryan Edwards, History, Civil and Commercial, of the British West Indies (1793; 5th ed. in 5 vols., 1819); Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament (2 vols., 1808); T. Fowell Buxton, African Slave Trade (2nd ed., 1838), and The Remedy, a Sequel (1840); Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton, edited by his son Charles Buxton (3rd ed., 1849). On North American Slavery: G. M. Stroud, Laws relating to Slavery in America (2nd ed., 1856); H. Greeley, The American Conflict (1865); John E. Cairnes, The Slave Power, its Character, Career, and Probable Designs (1862; 2nd ed., 1863); H. Wilson, History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America (Boston, 1872); Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science (Baltimore, 1889-1902); Du Bois, Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States (New York, 1896); Merriam, The Negro and the Nation (New York, 1906); Sir H. H. Johnston, The Negro in the New World (London, 1910); Ballagh, A History of Slavery in Virginia (Baltimore, 1902); B. B. Munford, Virginia's Attitude toward Slavery (London, 1909), and A. Johnston, History of American Politics (New York, 4th ed., 1898); H. E. von Hoist, The Constitutional and Political History of the United States (Chicago, 1899). On Brazilian: Fletcher and Kidder, Brazil and the Brazilians (9th ed., 1879). On Russian Serfdom: D. Mackenzie Wallace, Russia (1877). For the African slave trade, and Egyptian and Turkish slavery, the Ismailia of Sir S. Baker, the writings of Livingstone, and the biographies of Gordon may be consulted, besides the many documents on these subjects published by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. There are two volumes by A. Tourmagne, entitled respectively Histoire de l'esclavage ancien et moderne (1880) and Histoire du servage ancien et moderne (1879), which bring together many facts relating to slavery and serfdom; but they are somewhat loose and uncritical; the author, too, repeats himself much, and dwells on many topics scarcely if at all connected with his main themes; see also H. J. Nieboer, Slavery as an Industrial System (The Hague, 1900); W. H. Smith, Political History of Slavery (London, 1903). The largest and most philosophical views on slavery generally will be found in Hume's essay " On the Populousness of Antient Nations," and in Comte's Philosophie positive, vol. v., and Politique positive, vol. iii. For its economic effects, when it is regarded as an organization of labour, reference may be had to Smith's Wealth of Nations, book iii. chap. 2, J. S. Mill's Political Economy, book ii. chap. 5, and J. E. Cairnes's Slave Power, chap. 2. (J. K. I.; X.)

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Simple English

Chains such as these were used to stop slaves from trying to escape

Slavery (also called thralldom) is an economic system. In it, some people must work for little or no pay. These people are called slaves.

There is evidence that even before there was writing, there was slavery. There have been different types of slavery, and they have been in almost all cultures and continents.[1] Some societies had laws about slavery, or they had an economy that was built on it. As of 2010, slavery has been made against the law in almost all countries. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that slavery is wrong. Nevertheless, different forms of slavery continue to exist around the world in some countries.[2][3]

The English word "slave" comes from the medieval word for Slavic people of Central and Eastern Europe, because these were the last ethnic group to be captured and enslaved in Central Europe.[4][5] According to Adam Smith and Auguste Comte, a slave was mainly defined as a captive or prisoner of war.

Slaves may not have all rights.


Slavery today

People are still being made slaves in some parts of the world.[2][3] The ways in which it is done have changed. Today, slaves work because of things like a high debt (for example, slaves have to work to pay off a debt). For girls and women, forced prostitution is a type of slavery. Another form of slavery still happening today is forced child labor. Some children have to work in mines or in plantations, or they have to fight wars as child soldiers, for no pay.

One study says that there are 27 million people (but others say there could be as many as 200 million) in slavery today.[6]


Slave contract Lima/Peru 13/10/1794

There is obvious enslavement still taking place in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.[7] In Summer 2007, 570 people were found to be slaves for brick makers in China[8]. Of those freed, 69 were children.[9] The Chinese government made a force of 35,000 police check northern Chinese brick kilns for slaves, and sent lots of kiln supervisors and officials to prison and sentenced one kiln foreman to death for killing an enslaved worker.[8]

In Mauritania, it is estimated that up to 600,000 men, women and children, or 20% of the population, are enslaved, many of them used as bonded labour.[10][11] Slavery in Mauritania was made illegal in August 2007.[12] In Niger, slavery is also rife. A Nigerian study has found that more than 800,000 people are enslaved, almost 8% of the population.[13][14][15] Child slavery has commonly been used when making cash crops and mining. According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 109,000 children were working on cocoa farms alone in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in 'the worst forms of child labour' in 2002.[16]

Slave policy

File:Jean-Léon Gérô
Slave auction in Rome, a painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

The prices for a slave are different in different places[needs proof]. They start at about US$40, in Mali, for young adult male workers. A young woman or a girl who does not have HIV may sell for as much as US$1,000 in Thailand. In 1850 in the United States, a slave could have been US$1,000 — about $25,800 today. The change in price is probably due to the fact of today's greater population, making human life cheaper. As a result of the lower price, the money advantages of present-day slavery are clear.

In November 2006, the International Labour Organisation said that it would prosecute members of the junta that rules Myanmar (also called Burma) at the International Court of Justice for "Crimes against Humanity". This is because the military obliges some citizens to forced labour.[17][18] The International Labour Organisation says that it thinks that about 800.000 people are forced to work this way. [19][20]

Stopping slavery

In 1833, Britain stopped slavery, then in late 1865 the United States did the same, making it illegal. They made it a crime to own slaves. In the United States, it stopped after the American Civil War. When the North won, all slaves were made free. When that happened, it was called "abolition of slavery".

File:Cicatrices de flagellation sur un
This is a slave who was beaten very badly. The person who hit him was not his owner, but someone who worked for his owner.

Famous people who were slaves

Other pages


  1. Historical survey > Slave-owning societies. Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. 2.0 2.1 UN Chronicle | Slavery in the Twenty-First Century
  3. 3.0 3.1 BBC Millions 'forced into slavery'
  4. slave,, retrieved 26 March 2009 
  5. Merriam-Webster's,, retrieved 18 August 2009 
  6. Kevin Bales, Disposable People
  7. "Does Slavery Still Exist?". Anti-Slavery Society. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Convictions in China slave trial". BBC. July 17, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  9. Zhe, Zhu (June 15, 2007). "More than 460 rescued from brick kiln slavery". China Daily. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  10. Mauritania made slavery illegal last month
  11. The Abolition season on BBC World Service
  12. Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law
  13. The Shackles of Slavery in Niger
  14. Born to be a slave in Niger
  15. BBC World Service | Slavery Today
  16. U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2005 Human Rights Report on Côte d'Ivoire
  17. "ILO seeks to charge Myanmar junta with atrocities". Reuters. 2006-11-16. Retrieved 2006-11-17. 
  18. ILO asks Myanmar to declare forced labour banned
  19. ILO cracks the whip at Yangon
  20. Critics: Myanmar biofuel drive uses forced labor
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