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1 History of Global Slavery!!!!!! from Discovery Education: Understanding Slavery PLEASE DO NOT WRITE ON THIS PACKET SO OTHER STUDENTS MAY USE IT!! The institution of slavery is as old as civilization. Many nations and empires were built by the muscles of slaves. But what kinds of people were enslaved, and why? In ancient civilizations, slaves were usually war captives. The victors in battle might enslave the losers rather than killing them. Over time, people have found other reasons to justify slavery. Slaves were usually considered somehow different than their owners. They might belong to a different race, religion, nationality, or ethnic background. By focusing on such differences, slave owners felt they could deny basic human rights to their slaves. And despite many efforts to end slavery, it still exists today. Some 27 million people worldwide are enslaved or work as forced laborers. That's more people than at any other point in the history of the world. Who was enslaved? What rights did slaves have? How could slaves gain their freedom? The answers are different for every society with slaves. Click on any of the highlighted areas of the map to explore a few of the many slave-based societies in history.

2 Who were the first slave owners in North America? Not Europeans, but several Native American tribes. The Klamath, Pawnee, Yurok, Creek, Mandan, and Comanche all had small numbers of slaves. The Shoshone woman Sacajawea now famous for guiding the Lewis and Clark Expedition had been captured as a slave and sold to the Mandan. But white European-Americans created the institution of slavery that we are familiar with. Many people from northern states profited from the slave trade by shipping thousands of Africans to the Americas as slaves. Over time, most of these enslaved Africans went to the plantations of the American South. By 1860, there were nearly four million slaves in the country. Why Africans? Europeans began enslaving Africans in the 1400s. For nearly a century, African slaves and European indentured servants lived similar lives of drudgery. But servants earned their freedom in exchange for several years of work. Slaves were forced into a lifetime of servitude. Gradually, slaves lost their rights until they became mere property. The law gave masters total power over slaves, including the right to kill their slaves. Also, white slave owners thought they were superior to black people, which increased the gap between slave and free. The American Civil War was fought, in part, over slavery. During the war, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves in rebel states. The North's victory in 1865 brought the end of slavery throughout the United States.

3 In the 1500s, a Catholic monk in Spanish America stopped the slaughter of enslaved Native Americans. This merciful act had some terrible consequences, for it doomed Africans to centuries of slavery. How could this have happened? Spain's colonies in Latin America had an enormous need for labor. Their gold and silver mines needed miners. Their plantations and cattle ranches needed field hands. The Spanish first enslaved Native Americans, but the Indians suffered terribly from European diseases and miserable working conditions. A Spanish monk named Bartolome de las Casas exposed that situation. He brought about gentler treatment of the Indians. With Native Americans off-limits, the Spanish had to look elsewhere for farm and mine workers. So they began importing Africans, who were immune to many tropical diseases. The Spanish imported millions of Africans more than the British and Americans brought to the United States. Over time, many of these slaves were freed. By the 1700s, there were more free blacks than slaves in Spanish America.

4 Portuguese colonists in Brazil needed slaves for their sugar plantations and gold and silver mines. At first, they enslaved the Indians of Brazil. The Indians suffered greatly under the miserable conditions and were often too ill to work. So the Portuguese soon turned to Africans. By the 19th century, Brazil had some 2 million slaves half of the country's entire population. Brazil had become one of the greatest slaveholding nations in the New World. Many Brazilian plantation owners lived in distant cities and left overseers in charge of the plantations. Overseers had no financial reason to keep slaves healthy, and often treated them brutally. The average life span for a slave in Brazil was just seven years. The Catholic Church improved some aspects of slaves' lives. The Church encouraged proper church marriages among slaves. It also opposed the separation of families. However, the Brazilian slave trade did not end until the 1850s and the slaves were not freed until 1888.

5 Why would someone work a slave to death? French and British sugar planters in the Caribbean craved wealth deeply so deeply that they didn't mind working slaves to death if it meant greater profits. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Caribbean sugar plantations satisfied Europe's skyrocketing hunger for sugar. Cultivating sugar in the heat and humidity of the tropics was hard, miserable work. Europeans refused to do it. So planters brought Africans to the islands instead. Working conditions were terrible. Field slaves worked from dawn to dusk six days a week, with a brief break at midday. They ate very little just flour, salt herring, or peas. These conditions drove up the death rate. About one third of Africans died within three years of arrival in the West Indies. To maintain the slave population, more Africans were imported. By the mid-1700s, over 100,000 were imported every year. This meant that slaves often outnumbered Europeans 10 times over. Rebellions were not unusual, but harsh discipline crushed most of them. Only the revolt on French St. Domingue in the 1790s succeeded. It was led by the ex-slave Toussaint l'ouverture. His army defeated the French and established the republic of Haiti the world's first black republic.

6 Britain dominated the slave trade for over 100 years. Only when the British public turned against slavery did Britain try to end, or abolish, it in Europe and the Americas. During the 1700s and 1800s, the British public supported the institution of slavery. British slave traders shipped huge numbers of Africans to English, French and Spanish colonies in the Americas. They made enormous profits, and much of this wealth later helped finance the Industrial Revolution. Some people in Britain began protesting slavery in the late 1700s. Lord Mansfield declared, "The air of England has long been too pure for a slave, and every man is free who breathes it." Many still defended slavery, saying that abolition would ruin the British economy. Efforts to abolish slavery failed in Parliament until abolitionists exposed the horrors of the slave trade. These reports fueled public distaste for the institution. Slavery within England was outlawed in In 1807, the Abolition Act ended the British slave trade. And in 1833, the Emancipation Act abolished slavery in all British colonies.

7 Nazi Germany enslaved millions of people in the 1940s. They sent people from many different groups to concentration camps: communists, socialists, Jews, Gypsies, gays, prostitutes, Soviet prisoners of war, and other foreigners. Forced labor slavery began in Prisoners were worked to death in chemical and rocket factories. Those too weak to work were killed. By the last months of World War II, over 700,000 people were enslaved. These slave camps were part of a larger Nazi extermination effort in which millions of Jews and other people were methodically killed.

8 Roman Republic In Rome's early years, most Romans worked their own small farms. The Punic Wars changed Roman society dramatically, as Romans began enslaving enemy captives. These slaves were put to work, making large plantations possible and profitable. These changes made the Roman Republic a slave-based society.

9 Roman Empire How important was slavery to the Roman Empire? The empire could not have been built without the muscles of slaves. Ironically, slavery may also have helped cause its downfall. Millions of people were enslaved throughout Rome's territory. Most were war captives or kidnapped in lootings. At times, slaves outnumbered freemen three times over. Roman law treated slaves brutally. Slaves could not possess property, enter into contracts, or marry. If a slave owner died violently within his own house, his slaves could be executed because they had not prevented his death. However, a slave was permitted to buy his freedom and become a Roman citizen. Such brutal treatment infuriated the slaves. Since slaves usually greatly outnumbered their owners, they often revolted. The most famous slave revolt was led by Spartacus. His army of 90,000 defeated two Roman armies before he was killed in battle and thousands of his soldiers captured and crucified. Over time, Roman slaves shouldered more responsibilities in agriculture, home life and government. Free Romans assumed that any service could be accomplished by slaves, excusing them from practical concerns and the need to learn practical skills. Some historians believe that this attitude led to the fall of Rome.

10 The Greeks enslaved others even as they founded the world's first democracies. Some Greek philosophers questioned the institution of slavery, but none called for abolition. Slaves were made of war captives, victims of piracy, and the unfortunate family members of those deep in debt. They worked throughout Greek society, from wealthy households and sacred temples to farms and mines. The life of a slave varied greatly. Slaves in the mines suffered through hard work and terrible conditions, while urban slaves were treated more humanely. Greek law gave slave owners almost complete power over their slaves, allowing any type of punishment except death. Slaves had no rights in courts of law. A slave could buy his own freedom or receive it as a gift for outstanding service, but an ex-slave could almost never become a Greek citizen. One exception was a slave named Pasion. He spent many years as a trusted slave for a banking firm. Upon his owner's death, he acquired his freedom, his citizenship, and the right to run the bank.

11 The ancient Egyptians enslaved Hebrews, Babylonians, and other war captives. Slaves worked in the Pharaoh's palace and the houses of nobility. A few rose to high office in service of the Pharaoh such as Joseph, also famous for his colorful coat. Many years after Joseph, Moses led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt into freedom. In 1250 A.D., slaves rose to rule Egypt. These slaves, the Mamluks, were Turks brought to Egypt as slaves in the early 1200s. Egyptians gave them military training and positions of power in the army and government. After seizing power, the Mamluks conquered several nearby countries. They lost power just 67 years later, when Turkey invaded Egypt.

12 African slavery arose long before Europeans came to the region in search of slaves. But West African slavery was quite different than what developed in Europe and the Americas. In many West African societies, land was owned by communities, not individuals. Social status and class could not be based on land ownership. Instead, they were based on one's place in the social environment. Slaves were thus part of the family as well as private property. And slavery was not a lifetime status someone might be born free, made a slave for a few years, and then be free again for the rest of their life. Slaves typically had many rights. They could marry, own property, and inherit substantial goods from their owner. They could even own slaves themselves. Their children were generally born into freedom, not servitude. Some owners even adopted their slaves as family. A regional slave trade developed. It followed ancient caravan routes across the Sahara to the Mediterranean and Arab world. When Europeans turned to West Africa as a source of slaves in the 15th century, they tapped into this existing trade network. Some African rulers took advantage of this opportunity. They earned great profits by controlling the regional slave trade. Typically, slaves were made of war captives, criminals, and people in debt. But the great demand for slaves in America required new ways to enslave Africans. Soon slave traders turned to outright kidnapping and armed raids. These methods provided steady supply of Africans to the slave market in the Americas.

13 The African rulers of Zanzibar relied on slave labor just as white plantation owners of the American South did. During the 19th century, African slaves composed up to 90 percent of the island's population. Slaves worked on the island's clove plantations, where conditions were harsh and many slaves became ill and died. This fueled the demand for new slaves, driving a vigorous slave trade that brought Africans from East and Central Africa. Growing British influence in the 1860s and 1870s led to the end of slavery in Zanzibar.

14 Slavery has existed in south and southeast Asia for thousands of years. In some Asian countries, slavery has never been abolished. It continues even today. Slavery existed in ancient India as early as 100 B.C. By 1841, India had about 8 million slaves. In the same period some 25% to 33% of the population of Thailand and Burma were slaves. Slavery continues in some forms today. In some Asian countries, children are sold into bondage or forced to work against their will. In some Asian nations, young men and women are forced into prostitution. They have no personal rights at all. Organizations such as Anti-Slavery International are working to end all these forms of slavery forever.

15 As one of the world's oldest civilizations, China has a long history of slavery. Slaves were made of war captives and kidnapping victims. People also sold themselves into slavery to satisfy debts. Some sold their wives and children instead. Slaves worked as household servants, in agriculture and construction, and as government bureaucrats. Some families adopted their slaves. In some cases, slaves even inherited wealth from their masters. The ruler Wang Mang abolished slavery in China in 17 A.D., but it was restored when he lost power six years later. Slavery was not officially abolished until 1910, and there continue to be problems. In the 1920s and 1930s, young girls (mui tsai) were traded and enslaved as prostitutes. After the communist revolution, the government established concentration camps called laogai. Most of the people imprisoned there are political prisoners. Survivors of the camps say they were forced to work as slave laborers.

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