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Samenvatting - The Routledge History of Slavery
Major themes in this volume:
- slavery was both a formal institution as well as a negotiated relationship: slaves made communities with their own rules/systems, but were influenced by the community of 'free people' they were controlled by
- although race isn't the only denominator for slavery, it is a very important one. Slavery and race were in some cases the differentiator
What important points do we have to keep in mind when we talk about Slavery in the New World?
- the economic succes is almost unimaginable without slavery. Almost all product that was moved were slaves or slave products
- it was different because it was based on racial difference
- gender influenced slavery; women were seen as workers before they were seen as mothers. proper work/social roles for men were revised. and women were sexualized
- slavery in Americas was deadly and creative: new cultural expressions
What were 'slave societies' according to Tannenbaum?Socities in which the slavery could not be separated from ordinary life, but instead suffused every aspect of life. social, economic, cultural and political structures all revolved around slavery.
What defined slaves?They were workers above all else. They did the hard, tedious and dangerous work. Plantation labourers drew the short straw, plantation life was hard, extremely disciplined and they also had to provide for themselves. This had the benefit of being able to make money, but time/energy wise this was almost impossible.
Which work was the hardest with the worst demographic experiences? And why?Slaves in sugar productions. Sugar was in high demand and highly profitable. Death rates were extremely high, due to ill health and loss of children.
What is considered one of the most intriguing issues in the study of slavery?The debate about New World slave cultures and the extent to which these cultures were reflections of African cultural forms.
Slaves maintained a common crealised slave culture.
What are examples of the interconnected lives of blacks and whites?
- Religion: (Africanised) Catholicism
- relationships between white men/black women
- trading partnerships
- plotting of white/black servants against masters
In which forms did the resistance against slavery come?
- escaping from: forts etc
- violence on the Middle Passage
- running away from masters: establishing maroons: autonomous societies consisting of African born slaves, bulwarks of freedom
- day-to-day resistance: breaking tools, slow work
- rebellion: with different aims, abolition (individual/overall), free days
How was freedom a gradual process?
- Slavery was replaced by: 'apprenticeship' or 'patronato-system'. Slaves still had to work full workweeks without slaves for a certain amount of years.
- The Free Womb law: only newborn children were freed (1871 Brazil)
What did slaves expect from freedom?
- work for employers of their own choice
- move around freely
- reconstitute their families
- own the houses they had build and the grounds they had worked
0.1 Novel evidence for Roman Slavery - Hopkins
On which text is Hopkins' method based?The Life of Aesop, the only surviving biography of a slave surviving from antiquity. A pack of lies, its obviously fiction.
What point is Hopkins trying to make concerning preference of sources from antiquity?For the interpretation of culture, both sources, fiction and 'real histories' can provide the same amount of insight.
Which example does Hopkins give?Tacitus describes a murder in 61 AD of a master (senator) murdered by a slave. Although some found common Roman law, 1 slave murders his master all slaves must be executed, unfair. In the senate the argument that an example needed to be set for the whole community won. All slaves were executed, over 500.
How does Roman slavery differ from slavery in the American South?
- not distinguished by race
- Roman slaves could be educated (sometimes even better than their masters)
- Roman slaves could have positions of trust like: secretaries, clerks, teachers, physicians, management of businesses, architects
- possibility to make profit and save for manumission
- freed men became citizens of Roma, woman would bare citizens
What law laid at the base of Roman slavery? With what consequences?'All slaves are enemies'. This resulted in mutual hostility, masters and slaves. Although some slave masters were kind, they had different motivators like safeguarding the valuable assets that slaves were, not just kindness
How did the factors above influence the slave systems?Because slaves could be educated, achieve positions of trust and see their manumission coming, the tension between master and slave heightened. Slave was after all still at the mercy of their masters whims for as long as they were slaves.
What is another objective of this essay?To investigate what stories were told to help both slaves and masters set the boundaries of appropriate behaviour between masters and slaves. Morality and its boundaries.
What were 'normal' incidents that resulted in individual cruelty to slaves?
- betrayal of trust
- doing something wrong
- doing something too slow
What were the pro and cons of being a domestic slave?
- privileged and more pampered than others
- could save up for manumission.
- more contact with masters and more subject to their whims
What do individual stories tell us?Which abnormalities were dissapproved, they set boundaries. Don't feed your slaves to the fish.
Emperors set the tone, or reflected broadly held values.
What behaviour did Galen disapprove?Impulsive, rash behaviour. Like hitting slaves in the face with the hand.
How did Roman law rule over the murder of slaves?Murder counted as murder unless death occurred in the course of reasonable punishment.
What point emerge from Galens story, the friend with the sword that became remorseful?
- hitting a slave on the head with a sword was regrettable, but not serious
- even remorse took the form of violence (master asked to be whipped)
- violence and self-control represented an axis of moral strain in Roman society
- telling stories was an instrument of social control
What did the Life of Aesop become after years of revision and addition?A work by many authors, a collective, composite work incorporating many different stories about slaves, projected on to Aesop. Although the intended audience remains a mystery. The text reflects the central tensions in the relationship of master and slave.
Who was Aesop?A slave whom lived in the sixth century BC. He is believed to be the source of lively animal fables. These fables weren't politically innocent nor written for children.
Aesop was nasty, dirty, with a misshapen body. While hiding a cunning mind, with which he doesn't hesitate to teach his master a lesson. He represents everything a master might despise and fear in a slave.
His master was Xanthus, a philosopher. The master realizes that the slaves have intelligence, as he counts/trusts on them to use this.
The master is continually caught between punishment/ showing up his own moral inferiority.
Wat does the story contain?
- Aesop regains his speech from Isis
- the overseer, scared, receives orders to flay him or give him away
- a slave trader passes by and Aesop is summoned from the field, first too ugly to sell he proves his ingenuity/prays to Isis
- At the sell Aesop remains with a teacher and musician on the block. The wife of Xanthus sees the attractive slaves, but her husband buys ugly Aesop.
- Aesop unlike a real slave speaks his minds, and so uncovers what is in the mind of others. like calling the wife on her desire to have sex with her slave. Although he later seduces her to get to his master.
- The conflict between master-slave is structural and symptomatic, Aesop misunderstanding instructions. master is trapped by his intention to be reasonable.
- Do nothing more or less than you are told. Aesop takes revenge by doing exactly that.
- Humour lies in the predictable victor, and the unrealistic patience of the master.
- Aesop in the end i put to death, because he is too free with his thinking.
Aesopwas what slave masters desired, enviedand feared. He is a projection of repressed emotions from the masters. A way to let problems shortly rise to the surface.
How did hatred and fear go hand in hand?Slaves were often bodyslaves, and knew their masters inside and out. The masters hated this, because of the fear it created.
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Voorbeelden van vragen in deze samenvatting
What guaranteed the volume and longevity of Atlantic slave trade?
What did the Society on the codrington plantation do to counteraffect the rise of deaths and prices of male slaves?
Which countries failed in maintaining their slave populations naturally in de 18th century?
As what is slavery overall defined in this chapter?