Slavery

economic-dictionary

Slavery is the condition by which one person is subjected to another, losing their freedom. Thus, the slave owner takes possession of the slave, being able to dispose of his destiny.

Slavery is, in other words, a phenomenon in which some people are subordinate to others, practically becoming merchandise that can be bought and sold.

Likewise, it should be clarified that slavery can not only refer to the social phenomenon described, but to the particular state in which a person is. I mean, I can affirm: John was kept in a state of slavery for ten long years.

Slavery and the economy

According to the academy, slavery emerged as an alternative to make use of the labor of prisoners of war in ancient times. In this way, an economic benefit could be achieved.

In emblematic civilizations such as the Egyptian or the Greek, slavery was an accepted and common practice. Thus, a workforce was obtained for the development of different activities, such as construction and work in the field.

Thus, the economy of the Ancient Ages was based largely on slavery, However, that was changing over time, and in the Middle Ages with feudalism, serfdom began to be practiced, where (unlike slavery) the subordinate did not lose his freedom. However, slavery did not disappear.

We must remember, for example, that African slaves were brought to America with the arrival of Europeans to the new continent, being used as labor.

Abolitionist wave

Starting in the 18th century, a movement began, inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment, which sought to abolish slavery. This, based on the idea that all people have the same rights.

This abolitionist wave reached its most emblematic point in the American Civil War that took place between 1861 and 1865. In this conflict, the North (Confederate States of America) faced the Union (the North States). The former were reluctant to accept the disappearance of slavery, while the latter were in favor of abolition and were the ones who were victorious.

From the 19th century on, slavery stopped being accepted in more and more countries. Currently, it is a practice condemned by international bodies. However, there are black markets where, for example, sex slaves are traded or people are subjected to perform a particular job under threat or duress.

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