The Routledge History of Slavery (Routledge Histories)

The Routledge History of Slavery (Routledge Histories)

Trevor Burnard

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0415520835

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Routledge History of Slavery is a landmark publication that provides an overview of the main themes surrounding the history of slavery from ancient Greece to the present day. Taking stock of the field of Slave Studies, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades of study in this crucial field.

Offering an unusual, transnational history of slavery, the chapters have all been specially commissioned for the collection. The volume begins by delineating the global nature of the institution of slavery, examining slavery in different parts of the world and over time. Topics covered here include slavery in Africa and the Indian Ocean World, as well as the Transatlantic Slave Trade. In Part Two, the chapters explore different themes that define slavery such as slave culture, the slave economy, slave resistance and the planter class, as well as areas of life affected by slavery, such as family and work. The final part goes on to study changes and continuities over time, looking at areas such as abolition, the aftermath of emancipation and commemoration. The volume concludes with a chapter on modern slavery.

Including essays on all the key topics and issues, this important collection from a leading international group of scholars presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of slavery.

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of restricting the lives of slaves suspected of disaffection so that “treacherous” Africans would find so unbearable that they would leave Brazil, if free, or give up wanting to seek freedom, if slaves (Reis, 1993: 229). Of course, planters realised both that their propensity to violence gave their opponents ammunition to denounce them as uncivilised and barbaric tyrants, and also that torture and killing were ineffective ways of making slaves obedient labourers. Slaves may have been property,

and the Dutch in Suriname gave up trying to defeat them and signed formal treaties recognizing their freedom and autonomy. Treaty maroons existed in an ambiguous relationship to the slave regime. They agreed to help capture runaway slaves and to return any slaves who ran to them. They promised their military loyalty to the regime, both against hostile European powers, and against slave uprisings. Without looking beyond their legal standing, then, they simultaneously represented the promise of

more significant than previously believed. Apart from arable farming, slaves were also used in herding. Here we have a little more evidence of family life and indications of a degree of independence, perhaps one reason why herders are relatively prominent in the stories of slave rebellions discussed below. Our evidence for domestic slavery is heavily biased towards the households of the very wealthy. The degree of specialisation in such households is striking: male and female slaves ministered

peasants initially had important roles as voters and soldiers. They lost these as the empire first removed their voting rights and then recruited armies from outside Italy. Increasing economic pressure could therefore be placed upon them, making tenancy more profitable than directly supervised slaves: the remaining slaves could simply be converted into tenants. In addition, the decline in the market economy removed another of Finley’s preconditions for mass slavery. A third position is possible,

possibly misdiagnosed cases of advanced, life-threatening pellagra (including delirium and extreme physical wasting) or were mistaken as leprosy (where bone or joint lesions occur). Africans were particularly susceptible to pleurisy, tuberculosis (consumption), and various pulmonary infections to which they had little immunological resistance. On Worthy Park alone, 15 slaves succumbed to consumption, while on Newton Plantation in Barbados, one in eight deaths were tuberculosis-related. Smallpox

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