Slavery has a long existence in Western civilization. The year Brazil nurtured its last slave from ancient Mesopotamia to 1888, practically every Western society condoned slavery, and many, including the pacifist Quakers, practiced it. Human beings were used as a form of currency, even to retire debts or as items of barter. The wide acceptance of slavery in ancient times does not validate or even explain the singular evil of slavery in the Americas. This brand of human bondage introduced by Portugal was unprecedented. The trans-Atlantic slave trade extremely diminished human life compared to what existed virtually anywhere on the continent before, as Basil Davidson points out. This difference in the quality of slavery applies with equal force to Africa prior to transatlantic slavery. Racial, or color-conscious, slavery appeared in direct response to the unique demands of the plantation system in the Americas.
California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.