Slavery has existed since the beginning of time. Slavery was a system put in place that allowed people to be treated property. In most cases, slaves could be bought and sold. People would acquire slaves through capture, purchase, or birth. All slaves were denied the right to leave, refuse work, or any type of payment for their labor. Slavery was a horrible institution, whose purpose was to serve as an economic system and display status throughout Western history.
The ancient Greek Civilization is famously known for their architecture, helicopters thinkers, mythology, and their knowledge of astronomy. Even with all of this Greece had slaves among their civilization. Strata, an ancient Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian, wrote about the temple of Aphrodite at Corinth. He mentions that “… [Aphrodite Temple] was so rich that it owned more than a thousand temple slaves… ” If you had a lot of slaves, as this temple did, it meant that you were rich and had power [Greek Slavery]. Ancient Greece believed in mythology, Aristotle spoke of this in BOCCE.
The gods are different from a normal human being, which is what makes them gods. They can fly and they posses powers. Physically they are very strong. Men are just men. To the eye, there is nothing physically that separates slaves from their owners. What makes them slaves is that it was decided that the inferior should serve their superiors due to economic status [Greek Slavery]. When the Roman Empire flourished in culture and wealth, what began to lack was humanity. The wealthy Romans owned slaves, whose jobs were mostly manual labor.
When estates were small treatment of slaves seemed to be in some ways tolerable. As farms grew larger, masters changed their views on treatment of slaves. The approach became more brutal and impersonal. Without slaves on farms the upper class would not be able to make their money. The upper class would have to do the work themselves or loose everything [Slavery in the Roman Republic]. Slaves were essentially the tools to the Romans upper classes’ wealth. In, Slavery in the Roman Republic, Flatus introduces his play. The final scene of his play is, The Last Great Slave Revolt, in 73 BC.
The slaves from the richest estates form Southern Italy were going to fight against the government. Ideally, the slaves would of won and got their freedom. But, the slaves do not understand their importance to their masters. They are the cheapest form of labor and the reason they are so wealthy. A slave revolt scares the people of Italy, so, masters began to treat slaves with more mercy then before [Slavery in the Roman Republic]. Treatment of slaves was possibly the absolute worst in the slave trade between African and European slave traders.
The New World needed inexpensive labor in large amounts for their sugar cane, tobacco, and cotton crops. The New World crops aided Western markets. By the mid-18th century there were 80,000 African slaves being transported to the New World, annually. The slave business had become super lucrative. A slave bought in Africa at fourteen pounds of bartered goods would be bought for more then three times the amount in the American market. Concluding that, a slave that is worth forty-five pounds could only be bought by the wealthy. To all the plantation owners in the New World owning slaves just made them wealthier and more powerful.
When these wealthy people went to buy their slaves, they did not see people they saw property. When these men came off of the boats they were cleaned and oiled with palm oil. These men were propped up as if hey were shiny new cars for sale. The wealthy purchasers looked for specific characteristics to assure it would be a rewarding purchase. Some of these characteristics were, age, state of health, and deformities. Things such as, bad eyes or teeth, lame or week joints, a distorted or slender back, narrow in the chest, or even being short automatically lessened their value.
The purchasers’ goal was to buy a slave that would be able to render the most labor possible. These people lost sight of the fact that they were buying people not too different from themselves [African Slave Trade]. As these slaves were treated s property they began to lose a lot of their individualism. In Flatus’ play, written during the Roman Republic, there is a soliloquy of a slave talking about his chores. He will do the chores perfectly and if his master is not there he will administer them with even more care. The slave speaks with eager and willingness to execute the chores.
He explains that he rather be diligent and do as he is told and maybe one day he will receive a reward. But, for now his reward is not getting a flogging, which is a whipping. “My obedience, I think, is such as is most for the profit of my back. And it surely does pay! This slave knows that working laboriously is beneficial to him only to avoid getting punished. Working hard does not earn him anything, but at least this way he will not need to feel the pain of lashings. This fear of consequences keeps this slave from fighting for his rights.
In fact, he does not understand that he deserves rights [Slavery in the Roman Republic]. A slave had no rights, there for, had no belongings. Elizabeth Ackley was born a slave, in Virginia, around 1818. She was given as a wedding present to her master’s eldest son. In today’s society, wedding presents are usually extravagant. Meaning, Elizabeth Ackley was an extravagant item to give. Later, she was given to the daughter of her original master. Even when that household went through rough times, Elizabeth was an important asset. Elizabeth was a very good seamstress, so, she was hired out. With my needle I kept bread in the mouths of seventeen persons for two years and five months. ” All the work she did, although it was not for her master, her master received all the earnings [A Slave’s Life]. Elizabeth Ackley recalls the first time she witnessed a slave being sold. His name was little Joe. Her master could not afford his hogs for the winter, there or he was going to sell one of his slaves. It did not matter to the master that little Joe was just a boy and had all his family there. Little Joe was just like livestock being weighed and sold to pay a debt [A Slave’s Life].
Dry. Alexander Balconied worked as a surgeon on many slave ships that took slaves from the West African Coast to the Caribbean in the late 1 ass’s. He like Elizabeth had seen mistreatment of people. The European and black traders took advantage of the power they had over the slaves. In their eyes, the slaves did not need the necessities they needed themselves to live. The traders were very stealthy in their demeanor. Dry. Alexander Balconied had four different examples of when people were tricked onto slave ships [African Slave Trade].
One example occurred on the boat, when a few of the black traders invited this man to have a few drinks. This was their attempt to seize him. The man fought back to try to escape but a large dog stopped him. Traders are known to keep these dogs and train them as a sport. These dogs will hurt slaves on the boat and the traders enjoy this [African Slave Trade]. A pregnant woman was walking home from a neighbors and she was kidnapped. She Was sold through different purchasers until she got to the coast of Africa, where she ended up on the ship.
Likewise, a man and his son were farming and were seized. He also was sold many times and finally reached the ship [African Slave Trade]. Dry. Balconied witnessed a black trader befriend a man. These men conversed and the trader invited the man to see the ships in the river. The man said okay, and they both went. The man looked in amazement at the ships because he was a simple countryman, who had never seen anything like it. Some traders on the boats he was watching jumped out and seized him. They dragged him onto the ship, and automatically sold him. These are all examples that Dry.
Balconied gave that exemplify how cruel traders were when capturing free men [African Slave Trade]. Finally, slavery was beginning to look cruel and inhumane. When legislation passed groups began to help the slaves assimilate into their civilizations. These oppressed people had to be individuals for the very first time. The Fifth Council of Orleans, specifically protected the rights of newly freedmen in north-central France, as the Council of Gage did for southern France. It states that if a master or lord wishes to grant freedom to their slaves they cannot be put back into servitude.
It also states that once a slave has pledged to the price their master gives them for their freedom, that they will receive their freedom without any further delay. The chance to save and buy your freedom gave the slaves hope that they did not have before. Coming out of slavery did not exist; if you were born a slave you died a slave. For the first time, there could be progression. From then on if a freeman chose to marry a free man or woman their children would be free, too [Slaves in Medieval France]. These legislations were only a small step in a big picture. Another small step in legislation came from the United States.
Free colored people always had to have “free papers” on them. These papers had the persons name, age, color, height, form of freeman, and any other marks or scars that would help identify the person who owned the “free papers. ” Even as slaves were finally receiving their freedom, governments still managed to make money off of them [Escape From Slavery]. These “free papers” that was required for colored people to have. These papers needed to be renewed very often. The state would do this so that every time the papers were renewed the state would charge a fee. But, these slaves wanted freedom, so they got smarter.
Slaves would take ‘free papers” from freemen who they knew to head north. These freemen would lend them for a fee. Once the slave arrived to a free state he would mail back the papers to their owner. This was a very risky busy. Both men could become fugitives if caught [Escape From Slavery]. The colored people in the United States were really learning how to band together. In southern France, slaves had more then just each other. In the Council of Gage, the church stated that they would help all fugitive slaves. For example, the church will give the newly freemen any assistance they can.
This assistance includes, sum of twenty solid, little vineyards, or house. The church will also put any newly freemen under their protection if their masters attempt to oppress them [Council of Gage]. The people of the church were trying to set a precedent to accept the new freemen. Slavery as an institution has changed a lot since the time it has started. The treatment of people has property is something that should be banned from our entire world. In most places today slavery cannot be found, unfortunately, this is not true for everywhere. Today we do not fight for slavery we fight against it.