Slavery Throughout History

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A powerpoint that shows 5 cultures that have used slavery in the past, how they used it, and why.

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Slavery Throughout History

  1. 1. Slavery of Our Past How has slavery been used throughout the history of this world? Slavery in History
  2. 2. Slavery in the US <ul><li>Slavery in the US began in the 1600s and was abolished in the 1800s. Originally, slavery was considered “indentured servitude”, in that the labor would be used to pay costs for more settlers to come to America. The slavery at this time was not distinguished by race. Eventually, the government ruled that slavery had a close relation to race, which created the bias that people of African descent were meant for slavery. Native Americans that were overtaken and captured were sometimes used for slave labor as well. Slavery was also eventually decided to be meant for those who weren’t Christian. From the 17th to the 19th century, slaves were brought in from mostly Africa to do the hard labor in America. Whites felt that those who were “inferior” were meant to work for them and produce much of the needed resources like cotton, sugar cane, and tobacco. The justification of Americans for using slavery was that the slaves were of lower class because of their skin color, and that their only purpose was to do the labor of the white man. Statistics show that there was much more slavery in the south than the north, and from the years of 1790-1860, the only states that did not use slavery were California, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont. The north half of the US formed the Union in an attempt to restrict the South, known as the Confederate States, from conceding. War broke out, known as the American Civil War, in which lasted from 1861-1865. One of the most notable presidents of history, Abraham Lincoln, was president during the Civil War. He fought for the abolishment of slavery and published the Emancipation Proclamation in two parts. The first part stated that all slaves from the Confederate states would be set free if the states didn’t join the Union. The second issue stated 10 exact states in which this would apply. Slavery was eventually abolished in the US, and would stay that way. But throughout history, even today, the African Americans would face issues of racism that have been fought against for many years. </li></ul>Union vs Confederate
  3. 3. Slavery in Aztec Mexico <ul><li>The idea of “slavery” in the Aztec culture was much different than the ways slavery was portrayed in other cultures. Slaves were treated much more freely, in that their children were born free, they were able to escape the slavery, and were even allowed to own their own possessions and slaves. Slavery could be instituted by the slave themselves, if they wished to be given the provisions needed to live and were unable to obtain them themselves. Slavery was also used as a form of punishment. If a criminal was going to be sentenced to death, the wife could ask instead for the husband to become their own slave. If children were bad, the parents could sell them into slavery. Slaves were even given the chance to escape, if they could run across the town walls into the market place and step on human bodily fluids. They would then present their case to a judge, who would give them their freedom. If the slaves’ master died, they were set free. If they hadn’t done their work well enough, they might have been passed down to relatives of the master. If a slave was extremely disobedient, they were sentenced to sacrifice, which was actually often considered a great honor in the Aztec society. Slavery was usually seen as a punishment for bad people or a way to survive when there was nothing else. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Slavery in Ancient Greece <ul><li>In Ancient Greece, just about everyone owned a slave, unless extremely poor. Slaves were considered to be a necessary part of society by many. Most slaves during this time were laborers in agriculture , usually of a difficult load, stone quarrying and mining, and positions in workshops. Men who were slaves would help their master in his trade of work. Women were mainly used as slaves for domestic jobs, such as cooking. If war broke out, the slaves could often be sent out as a soldier. Slaves were often owned by the dozen by rich people, who would use and loan them out for labor in different jobs. Most of the slaves were prisoners of war, who were captured by the Greeks from neighbors that they conquered. The basic life of the slaves was to eat, be disciplined, and work. One of the greatest drawbacks of being a slave was that they weren’t allowed to vote. The right to vote wasn’t really an act of political righteousness, but rather a show of status as a citizen of the democracy. The Greeks really felt that slavery was something natural to society, and they used the labor of their slaves in all different ways that were beneficial to the wealthy. </li></ul>black figure amphora vase
  5. 5. Slavery Amongst the Arabs <ul><li>The Arab slave trade was spread over a vast amount, lasting over a millenium, of countries during different periods of time. The slave trade was often thought to have had a tie with the Muslim religion, but rather the only tie is that due to the texts, it is inferred that slavery of non-Muslims is okay. In the beginning, slaves for the Arabs were found mostly in Northern and Eastern Africa, and West Asia, and those who were made slaves were not restricted to those of a certain race or culture. The text of the Qu’ran stated that everyone came from one in the beginning, and there is no such thing as superiority of a class. Eventually, outside influences that were often brought to Islam by the slave trade would create some racism in the Arab world. From the 700s-800s, the Arabs began to spread their empire and captured many slaves from Eastern Europe, including the Slavic people (Audrey’s people). As the Islamic empire grew to great power, they began to even attack Christian societies, from Italy and Spain all the way to France, and take slaves from there. As the power of the empire grew, so did their captive numbers. It is said that the slaves were usually made to work for others after they had been captured by the Arabs. In this way, they were considered prisoners of war. Men who were traded were often made into eunuchs and were used for servitude, employed as soldiers, or worked as laborers. Women that were made into slaves were usually concubines, or sex slaves, and servants. The Arab justification for working originally started out as a way to put captives from other nations to work. Eventually, influences like Aristotle, who said that slavery of the lower classes was a natural thing, would create a racist bias in the Arab slave trade. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Slavery in the French West Indies <ul><li>When the French colonized the West Indies, also known as the Antilles, they found that there were abundant crops that could pull a great profit for them. Eventually, most of the natives died off due to disease and conquest. The French found that they had loads of labor to do in order to produce the crops that they would export to several ports around the world, pulling them a huge profit. They began to import slaves from Africa around this time, who were set to cultivate crops including bananas, sugar cane, coffee, and produce rum. By the late 1700s, the West Indies had several more times slaves than free citizens. The slaves were worked extremely hard because the French wanted to export as many valuable goods as possible. France had soon enough become the second largest slave-importing country in the 18th century, after England. One man, named François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, who was born a slave, encouraged other slaves to revolt against their oppression. The slaves began to revolt and were eventually given their freedom. When Napoleon Bonaparte went to the Antilles, he reinstated the use of slavery. Later, he would claim that this was the biggest failure of his career. Slavery was once again abolished after Napoleon was gone, and the natives were given their freedom. The basic idea of the French using slavery here was to produce more goods to export which would make then one of the richest empires during the time. </li></ul>

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