History of serfdom
Like slavery, serfdom has a long history, dating to the Ancient Times. Social institutions similar to serfdom occurred in the ancient world, the status of the helots in the ancient Greek city-state of Sparta resembled that of medieval serfs. By the 3rd century AD, the Roman Empire faced a labour shortage, large Roman landowners increasingly relied on Roman freemen, acting as tenant farmers, to provide labour. The status of these tenant farmers, eventually known as coloni, in 332 AD Emperor Constantine issued legislation that greatly restricted the rights of the coloni and tied them to the land. Some see these laws as the beginning of medieval serfdom in Europe, medieval serfdom really began with the breakup of the Carolingian Empire around the 10th century. The demise of this empire, which had ruled much of western Europe for more than 200 years, during this period, powerful feudal lords encouraged the establishment of serfdom as a source of agricultural labor. Serfdom as a system provided most of the agricultural labour throughout the Middle Ages, Slavery persisted right through the Middle Ages, but it was rare and largely confined to the use of household slaves.
Parts of Europe, including much of Scandinavia, never adopted serfdom, in the Middle Ages serfdom began to disappear west of the Rhine even as it spread through much of the rest of Europe. This was one important cause for the differences between the societies and economies of eastern and western Europe. In Western Europe, the rise of powerful monarchs, Serfdom in Western Europe came largely to an end in the 15th and 16th centuries, because of changes in the economy and laws governing lord-tenant relations in Western European nations. The enclosure of fields for livestock grazing and for larger arable plots made the economy of serfs small strips of land in open fields less attractive to landowners. Paid labour was more flexible, since workers could be hired only when they were needed. At the same time, increasing unrest and uprisings by serfs and peasants, like Tyler’s Rebellion in England in 1381, put pressure on the nobility and the clergy to reform the system. As a result, the establishment of new forms of land leases and increased personal liberties accommodated serf.
An important factor in the decline of serfdom was industrial development—especially the Industrial Revolution and this led to the growing process of urbanization. Serfdom reached Eastern Europe centuries than Western Europe—it became dominant around the 15th century, before that time, Eastern Europe had been much more sparsely populated than Western Europe, and the lords of Eastern Europe created a peasantry-friendly environment to encourage migration east. Serfdom developed in Eastern Europe after the Black Death epidemics of the mid-14th century, the resulting high land-to-labour ratio - combined with Eastern Europes vast, sparsely populated areas - gave the lords an incentive to bind the remaining peasantry to their land. This pattern applied in Central and Eastern European countries, including Prussia, Hungary, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and this led to the slower industrial development and urbanisation of those regions
This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its Berber inhabitants. The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Muslim slavery market in North Africa and the Middle East. In that period Algiers and Tripoli came under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, similar raids were undertaken from Salé and other ports in Morocco. Corsairs captured thousands of ships and repeatedly raided coastal towns, as a result, residents abandoned their former villages of long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy. The raids were such a problem coastal settlements were seldom undertaken until the 19th century, from the 16th to 19th century, corsairs captured an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people as slaves. Some corsairs were European outcasts and converts such as John Ward, Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis, Turkish Barbarossa Brothers, who took control of Algiers on behalf of the Ottomans in the early 16th century, were notorious corsairs.
The European pirates brought advanced sailing and shipbuilding techniques to the Barbary Coast around 1600, the effects of the Barbary raids peaked in the early to mid-17th century. However, the ships and coasts of Christian states without such effective protection continued to suffer until the early 19th century. Following the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15, European powers agreed upon the need to suppress the Barbary corsairs entirely and the threat was largely subdued. Occasional incidents occurred, including two Barbary wars between the United States and the Barbary States, until terminated by the French conquest of Algiers in 1830. Piracy by Muslim populations had been known in the Mediterranean since at least the 9th century, in the 14th century Tunisian corsairs became enough of a threat to provoke a Franco-Genoese attack on Mahdia in 1390, known as the Barbary Crusade. The Barbary pirates had long attacked English and other European shipping along the North Coast of Africa and they had been attacking English merchant and passengers ships since the 1600s.
Regular fundraising for ransoms was undertaken generally by families and local church groups, the government did not ransom ordinary persons. The English became familiar with captivity narratives written by Barbary pirates prisoners and ransomed captives, during the American Revolution the pirates attacked American ships. The Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship stands as the U. S. s oldest non-broken friendship treaty with a foreign power, in 1778 Morocco became the first nation to recognize the new United States. As late as 1798, an islet near Sardinia was attacked by the Tunisians, throughout history, geography was on the pirates side on the Northern coast of Africa. The coast was ideal for their wants and needs, with natural harbours often backed by lagoons, it provided a haven for guerrilla warfare, such as attacks on shipping vessels venturing through their territory. On the coast, mountainous areas provided ample reconnaissance for the corsairs as well, ships were spotted from afar, the pirates had time to prepare their attacks and surprise the ships
Arab slave trade
The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab world, mainly in Western Asia, North Africa, Southeast Africa, the Horn of Africa and Europe. This barter occurred chiefly between the era and the early 21st century. The trade was conducted through slave markets in areas, with the slaves captured mostly from Africas interior. These traders captured Bantu peoples from the interior in present-day Kenya and Tanzania, the slaves gradually assimilated in the rural areas, particularly on the Unguja and Pemba islands. The captives were sold throughout the Middle East and this trade accelerated as superior ships led to more trade and greater demand for labour on plantations in the region. Eventually, tens of thousands of captives were being taken every year, the Indian Ocean slave trade was multi-directional and changed over time. Slave labor in East Africa was drawn from the Zanj, Bantu peoples that lived along the East African coast, the Zanj were for centuries shipped as slaves by Arab traders to all the countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
The Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs recruited many Zanj slaves as soldiers and, as early as 696 and it grew to involve over 500,000 slaves and free men who were imported from across the Muslim empire and claimed over tens of thousands of lives in lower Iraq. The Zanj who were taken as slaves to the Middle East were often used in agricultural work. As the plantation economy boomed and the Arabs became richer, the resulting labor shortage led to an increased slave market. To 5°S. to which the name was applied, wealthy proprietors had received extensive grants of tidal land on the condition that they would make it arable. Sugar cane was prominent among the products of their plantations, particularly in Khūzestān Province, Zanj worked the salt mines of Mesopotamia, especially around Basra. Their jobs were to clear away the topsoil that made the land arable. The working conditions were considered to be extremely harsh and miserable. Many other people were imported into the region, besides Zanj, historian M. A.
Shaban has argued that rebellion was not a slave revolt, but a revolt of blacks. In his opinion, although a few runaway slaves did join the revolt, if the revolt had been led by slaves, they would have lacked the necessary resources to combat the Abbasid government for as long as they did. These slaves were captured mainly from seaside villages from Italy, Spain and more distant places like France or England. They were taken from ships stopped by the pirates, the effects of these attacks were devastating, France and Spain each lost thousands of ships
This practice is considered exploitative by many international organisations. Legislation across the world prohibit child labour, Child labour has existed to varying extents, through most of history. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, many children aged 5–14 from poorer families still worked in Europe and these children mainly worked in agriculture, home-based assembly operations, mining and in services such as news boys. Some worked night shifts lasting 12 hours, with the rise of household income, availability of schools and passage of child labour laws, the incidence rates of child labour fell. In developing countries, with poverty and poor schooling opportunities. In 2010, sub-saharan Africa had the highest incidence rates of child labour, worldwide agriculture is the largest employer of child labour. Vast majority of labour is found in rural settings and informal urban economy, children are predominantly employed by their parents. Poverty and lack of schools are considered as the cause of child labour.
Globally the incidence of child labour decreased from 25% to 10% between 1960 and 2003, according to the World Bank. Nevertheless, the number of child labourers remains high, with UNICEF. Child labour forms a part of pre-industrial economies. In pre-industrial societies, there is rarely a concept of childhood in the modern sense, Children often begin to actively participate in activities such as child rearing and farming as soon as they are competent. In many societies, children as young as 13 are seen as adults, the work of children was important in pre-industrial societies, as children needed to provide their labour for their survival and that of their group. In pre-industrial societies, there was little need for children to attend school and this is especially the case in non literate societies. Most pre-industrial skill and knowledge were amenable to being passed down through direct mentoring or apprenticing by competent adults, with the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the late 18th century, there was a rapid increase in the industrial exploitation of labour, including child labour.
Industrial cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool rapidly grew from small villages into large cities and these cities drew in the population that was rapidly growing due to increased agricultural output. This process was replicated in other industrialising counties, the Victorian era in particular became notorious for the conditions under which children were employed. Children as young as four were employed in factories and mines working long hours in dangerous, often fatal
Impressment, the press or the press gang, refers to the act of taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. Navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means, the large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly associated with Britain. The Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other nations, people liable to impressment were eligible men of seafaring habits between the ages of 18 and 55 years. Non-seamen were impressed as well, though rarely, though the public opposed conscription in general, impressment was repeatedly upheld by the courts, as it was deemed vital to the strength of the navy and, by extension, to the survival of the realm. Impressment was essentially a Royal Navy practice, reflecting the size of the British fleet, Continental Navy did however apply a form of impressment during the American War of Independence. The impressment of seamen from American ships caused serious tensions between Britain and the United States in the leading up to the War of 1812.
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Britain ended the practice, conscription was not limited to the Royal Navy and living conditions for the average sailor in the Royal Navy in the 18th century were harsh by modern standards. Naval pay was attractive in the 1750s, but towards the end of the century its value had been eroded by rising prices, sailors pay on merchant ships was somewhat higher during peacetime, and could increase to double naval pay during wartime. Until 19th century reforms improved conditions, the Royal Navy was additionally known to pay wages up to two years in arrears, and it always withheld six months pay to discourage desertion. Naval wages had been set in 1653, and were not increased until April 1797 after sailors on 80 ships of the Channel Fleet based at Spithead mutinied, despite this, there were many volunteers for naval service. Also the food supplied by the Navy was plentiful and good by the standards of the day. The main problem with recruitment, was a shortage of qualified seamen during wartime, the Royal Navy, and the Merchant Navy all competed for a small pool of ordinary and able seamen in wartime, and all three groups were usually short-handed.
Volunteering protected the sailor from creditors, as the law forbade collecting debts accrued before enlistment, the main disadvantage was that enlisted deserters who were recaptured would be hanged, whereas pressed men would simply be returned to service. Other records confirm similar percentages throughout the 18th century, average annual recruitment 1736–1783 All three groups suffered high levels of desertion. In the 18th century, British desertion rates on naval ships averaged 25% annually, if a naval ship had taken a prize, a deserting seaman would forfeit his share of the prize money. In a report on proposed changes to the RN written by Admiral Nelson in 1803, the Impress Service was formed to force sailors to serve on naval vessels. There was no concept of joining the navy as a fixed career-path for non-officers at the time since seamen remained attached to a ship only for the duration of its commission. They were encouraged to stay in the Navy after the commission, Impressment relied on the legal power of the King to call men to military service, as well as to recruit volunteers
Serfdom is the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism. It was a condition of bondage, which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe, serfs were often required not only to work on the lords fields, but his mines and roads. The decline of serfdom in Western Europe has sometimes been attributed to the Black Death, Serfdom became increasingly rare in most of Western Europe after the Renaissance, but conversely, it grew strong in Central and Eastern Europe, where it had previously been less common. In Eastern Europe the institution persisted until the mid-19th century, in the Austrian Empire serfdom was abolished by the 1781 Serfdom Patent, corvée continued to exist until 1848. Serfdom was abolished in Russia in the 1860s, in Finland and Sweden, feudalism was never fully established, and serfdom did not exist, serfdom-like institutions did exist in both Denmark and its vassal Iceland. According to Joseph R. Strayer, the concept of feudalism can be applied to the societies of ancient Persia, ancient Mesopotamia, Muslim India, james Lee and Cameron Campbell describe the Chinese Qing dynasty as maintaining a form of serfdom.
Tibet is described by Melvyn Goldstein to have had serfdom until 1959, bhutan is described by Tashi Wangchuk, a Bhutanese civil servant, as abolishing serfdom officially by 1959, but Wangchuk believes less than or about 10% of poor peasants were in copyhold situations. The United Nations 1956 Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery prohibits serfdom as a form of slavery, the word serf originated from the Middle French serf and can be traced further back to the Latin servus. In Late Antiquity and most of the Middle Ages, what are now called serfs were usually designated in Latin as coloni. As slavery gradually disappeared and the status of servi became nearly identical to that of the coloni. Serfs had a place in feudal society, as did barons and knights, in return for protection. Thus the manorial system exhibited a degree of reciprocity, one rationale held that a serf worked for all while a knight or baron fought for all and a churchman prayed for all, thus everyone had a place.
The serf was the worst fed and rewarded, but at least he had his place and, unlike slaves, had rights in land. A lord of the manor could not sell his serfs as a Roman might sell his slaves and this unified system preserved for the lord long-acquired knowledge of practices suited to the land. Further, a serf could not abandon his lands without permission, a freeman became a serf usually through force or necessity. Sometimes the greater physical and legal force of a local magnate intimidated freeholders or allodial owners into dependency, often a few years of crop failure, a war, or brigandage might leave a person unable to make his own way. In such a case he could strike a bargain with a lord of a manor, in exchange for protection, service was required, in cash, produce or labour, or a combination of all. These oaths bound the lord and his new serf in a feudal contract, to become a serf was a commitment that encompassed all aspects of the serfs life
A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised. In a broader sense, the word slavery may refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against his or her will. Scholars use the generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour. However – and especially under slavery in broader senses of the word – slaves may have some rights and/or protections, Slavery began to exist before written history, in many cultures. A person could become a slave from the time of their birth, while slavery was institutionally recognized by most societies, it has now been outlawed in all recognized countries, the last being Mauritania in 2007. Nevertheless, there are still more slaves today than at any point in history. The most common form of the trade is now commonly referred to as human trafficking. Chattel slavery is still practiced by the Islamic State of Iraq.
An older interpretation connected it to the Greek verb skyleúo to strip a slain enemy, there is a dispute among historians about whether terms such as unfree labourer or enslaved person, rather than slave, should be used when describing the victims of slavery. Chattel slavery, called traditional slavery, is so named because people are treated as the chattel of the owner and are bought, although it dominated many societies in the past, this form of slavery has been formally abolished and is very rare today. Even when it can be said to survive, it is not upheld by the system of any internationally recognized government. Indenture, otherwise known as bonded labour or debt bondage is a form of labour under which a person pledges himself or herself against a loan. The services required to repay the debt, and their duration, debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation, with children required to pay off their parents debt. It is the most widespread form of slavery today, debt bondage is most prevalent in South Asia.
This may include institutions not commonly classified as slavery, such as serfdom, Human trafficking primarily involves women and children forced into prostitution. And is the fastest growing form of forced labour, with Thailand, India, Brazil, in 2007, Human Rights Watch estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 children served as soldiers in current conflicts. A forced marriage may be regarded as a form of slavery by one or more of the involved in the marriage
Slavery in ancient Greece
Slavery was a very common practice in Ancient Greece, as in other places of the time. Some ancient writers considered slavery natural and even necessary and this paradigm was notably questioned in Socratic dialogues, the Stoics produced the first recorded condemnation of slavery. Modern historiographical practice distinguishes chattel slavery from land-bonded groups such as the penestae of Thessaly or the Spartan helots, the chattel helot is an individual deprived of liberty and forced to submit to an owner, who may buy, sell, or lease them like any other chattel. The academic study of Slavery in Ancient Greece is beset by significant methodological problems, documentation is disjointed and very fragmented, focusing primarily on Athens. No treatises are specifically devoted to the subject, and jurisprudence was interested in slavery only inasmuch as it provided a source of revenue and tragedies represented stereotypes while iconography made no substantial differentiation between slaves and craftsmen.
The ancient Greeks had several words for slaves, which leads to ambiguity when they are studied out of their proper context. In Homer and Theognis of Megara, the slave was called δμώς / dmōs, the term has a general meaning but refers particularly to war prisoners taken as booty. During the classical period, the Greeks frequently used ἀνδράποδον / andrapodon, as opposed to τετράποδον / tetrapodon, quadruped, or livestock. The most common word is δοῦλος / doulos, used in opposition to free man, the verb δουλεὐω can be used metaphorically for other forms of dominion, as of one city over another or parents over their children. Finally, the term οἰκέτης / oiketēs was used, meaning one who lives in house, other terms used were less precise and required context, θεράπων / therapōn – At the time of Homer, the word meant squire, during the classical age, it meant servant. ἀκόλουθος / akolouthos – literally, the follower or the one who accompanies, the diminutive ἀκολουθίσκος, used for page boys. παῖς / pais – literally child, used in the way as houseboy.
σῶμα / sōma – literally body, used in the context of emancipation, slaves were present through the Mycenaean civilization, as documented in numerous tablets unearthed in Pylos 140. Two legal categories can be distinguished and slaves of the god, slaves of the god are always mentioned by name and own their own land, their legal status is close to that of freemen. The nature and origin of their bond to the divinity is unclear, the names of common slaves show that some of them came from Kythera, Lemnos or Halicarnassus and were probably enslaved as a result of piracy. The tablets indicate that unions between slaves and freemen were common and that slaves could work and own land and it appears that the major division in Mycenaean civilization was not between a free individual and a slave but rather if the individual was in the palace. · There is no continuity between the Mycenaean era and the time of Homer, where social structures reflected those of the Greek dark ages, the terminology differs, the slave is no longer do-e-ro but dmōs.
In the Iliad, slaves are mainly women taken as booty of war, in the Odyssey, the slaves seem to be mostly women
Conscription, or drafting, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country. As of the early 21st century, many no longer conscript soldiers. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities, many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used a system of conscription called Ilkum, under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war.
During times of peace they were required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land. It is possible that this right was not to hold land per se, various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Later records show that Ilkum commitments could become regularly traded, in other places, people simply left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them, with the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. The levies raised in this way fought as infantry under local superiors, although the exact laws varied greatly depending on the country and the period, generally these levies were only obliged to fight for one to three months. Most were subsistence farmers, and it was in everyones interest to send the men home for harvest-time, the bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the landowning minor nobility.
These thegns were the aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie, the system of military slaves was widely used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mutasim in the 820s and 830s. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands, especially from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme