The Slave Trade

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The topic on slavery is detailed so we have broken it up into 2 sections:

  • The Atlantic slave trade and its abolition
  • Slavery in South Africa and its abolition

One of the most controversial issues regarding European intervention in Africa is the slave trade. The causes and results of the slave trade have been debated for a long time. The European slave trade stands out as the most brutal, widespread and damaging version of slavery ever encountered.

Before the Atlantic slave trade: For a very long period, slave society was based on the capture of soldiers during wars. Roman slaves were captured during various conquests and taken to Rome to be sold to rich people. The children of slaves were doomed to the same fate as their parents. This practice ensured a long-term supply of slaves. Slaves were also captured from Roman wars of expansion in Eastern Europe. The term slave arose when early slaves were captured from the Slavic people but slaves were not exclusively from the Slavic population. Romans also conquered and enslaved English, Germanic, and Jewish people for rebelling against Roman imperialism.

Last updated : 14-Nov-2011

This article was produced for South African History Online on 22-Mar-2011