1st Essay Sample on History of Slavery
Since to origin of man, individuals have continually been enslaved for the benefit of another.Although culture and custom can often alter a word’s definition, even in primitive periods slaves were considered the most undignified social institution, existing merely as property, bound to its owner through involuntary servitude.Since slaves have invariably been legally regarded as objects, they were commonly bought, sold, given as a gift, or warranted as payment for debt.This exchange of slaves ensured and fueled slavery’s prosperity and existence. In practice, slavery has subsisted since prehistoric ages.However, it was probablyfirst regulated and distinctly established in ancient periods, when agricultural advances promoted the desire for facilitated manual labor and the conceived necessity for slavery.Multiple ancient civilizations began slavery as an accepted, often vital aspect to their economy and society.Slaves were often obtained as prisoners of war through raids, issued to owners as compensation for debt payment, or were enslaved as penalization for an infraction.The children born to a slave were also commonly bound to an unwritten social contract, and deemed a slave. Ancient Mesopotamian, Indian, and Chinese civilizations exercised slaves either domestically, in shops, or in groups for large-scale construction or agricultural projects.The ancient Egyptians used slaves, called hem, to build the royal palaces and monuments.These slaves frequently sold themselves into enslavement to avoid debt for poverty.For example, slavery is biblically cited, as Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to escape destitution, in approximately 1650 B.C.However, debt slavery was abolished in Egypt in the Late Dynastic Period.
2nd Essay Sample on History of Slavery
This essay focuses on three historical points. First, slavery existed and sometimes flourished in Africa before the transatlantic slave trade, but neither the African continent nor persons of African origin were as prominent in the world of slaveholding as they would later become. Second, the capture and sale of slaves across the Atlantic between 1450 and 1850 encouraged expansion and repeated transformation of slavery within Africa, to the point that systems of slavery became central to societies all across the continent. Third, even after the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade (largely accomplished by 1850) and the European conquest of Africa (mostly by 1900), millions of persons remained in slavery in Africa as late as 1930. The three sections of the essay address each of these points, giving particular attention to the last two.
While the argument reviews the rise and decline of export slave trades – across the Atlantic, the Sahara, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean – it focuses on the nature and extent of slavery within sub-Saharan Africa. Before the Transatlantic Slave Trade In ancient Egypt and Nubia slavery existed but not as a dominant institution. The enslavement of the Hebrews in Egypt and Babylonia was a significant exception. In classical times, the commercial North African state of Carthage as well as the Greek states and Rome all relied on slave labor in galleys and in agriculture, and acquired some of their slaves through trade with sub-Saharan Africa. The rise of Islam in the seventh century brought a set of rules that provided protection for those in slave status, but in so doing reinforced the institution of slavery.
In Africa, Islam took rootfirst in North Africa, then later in West Africa and along the eastern coast. A large proportion of slaves in Islamic society served as domestics, but slaves also worked as farm laborers and porters. Elite corps of slaves entered the military and government.