The History Of Slavery In The Middle Ages

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Slavery itself was an evil greater in scope and magnitude than most people imagine and as a result, its place in history is radically different from the way it is usually portrayed. Mention slavery and immediately the image that arises is that of Africans and their descendants enslaved by Europeans and their descendants in the Southern United States - or at most, Africans enslaved by Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. No other historic horror is so narrowly construed. No one thinks of war, famine, or decimating epidemics in such localized terms. These are afflictions that have been suffered by the entire human race, all over the planet - and so was slavery. Had slavery been limited to one race in on country during three centuries, its tragedies …show more content…
[4] Nor have Asians or Polynesians been exempt from either being enslaved or enslaving others. China in centuries past has been described as "one of the largest and most comprehensive markets for the exchange of human beings in the world". [5] Slavery was also common in India, where it has been estimated that there were more slaves than in the entire Western Hemisphere - and where the original Thugs kidnapped children for the purpose of enslavement. [6] In some of the cities of Southern Asia, slaves were a majority of the population. [7] Slavery was also an established institution in the Western Hemisphere before Columbus ' ships ever appeared on the horizon. The Ottoman Empire regularly enslaved a percentage of the young boys from the Balkans, converted them to Islam and assigned them to various duties in the civil or military establishment. …show more content…
Over the centuries, as more and more territories around the world consolidated into nation states with their own armies and navies, raiding those territories to capture and enslave the people who lived within them became more hazardous in itself and also risked military retaliation against the countries from which the raiders came. Thus more and more peoples became off-limits to slave-raiders over time. Put differently, the areas which remained subject to slave raiding over the centuries were primarily those where the people lived in smaller or weaker societies. Such societies continued to exist where it was difficult, for geographic or other reasons, to consolidate large areas under one government. This was true of the Balkans, the backwaters of Asia, and much of sub-Saharan Africa. By the early modern

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