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 relied on Roman freemen, acting as tenant farmers, to provide labour; the status of these tenant farmers known as coloni eroded. Because the tax system implemented by Diocletian assessed taxes based both on land and on the inhabitants of that land, it became administratively inconvenient for peasants to leave the land where the census counted them. In 332 AD Emperor Constantine issued legislation that restricted the rights of the coloni and tied them to the land; some see these laws as the beginning of medieval serfdom in Europe. However, medieval serfdom 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, ushered in a long period during which no strong central government existed in most of Europe.
During this period, powerful feudal lords encouraged the establishment of serfdom as a source of agricultural labor. Serfdom, was an institution that reflected a common practice whereby great landlords ensured that others worked to feed them and were held down and economically, while doing so. 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 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 as it spread through much of the rest of Europe; this was one important cause for the deep differences between the societies and economies of eastern and western Europe. In Western Europe, the rise of powerful monarchs, an improving economy weakened the manorial system through the 13th and 14th centuries. Serfdom in Western Europe came 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 manor 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. Furthermore, the increasing use of money made tenant farming by serfs less profitable. 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 gradual establishment of new forms of land leases and increased personal liberties accommodated serf and peasant demands to some extent. An important factor in the decline of serfdom was industrial development—especially the Industrial Revolution. With the growing profitability of industry, farmers wanted to move to towns to receive higher wages than those they could earn working in the fields, while landowners invested in the more profitable industry; 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, 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, which stopped the eastward migration; the resulting high land-to-labour ratio - combined with Eastern Europe's vast, sparsely populated areas - gave the lords an incentive to bind the remaining peasantry to their land. With increased demand for agricultural produce in Western Europe during the era when Western Europe limited and abolished serfdom, serfdom remained in force throughout Eastern Europe during the 17th century so that nobility-owned estates could produce more agricultural products for the profitable export market; this pattern applied in Central and Eastern European countries, including Prussia, Hungary, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire.
This led to the slower industrial development and urbanisation of those regions. This process, referred to as "second serfdom" or "export-led serfdom", persisted until the mid-19th century and became repressive and limited serfs' rights. Before the 1861 abolition of serfdom in Russia, a landowner's estate was measured by the number of "souls" he owned, a practice made famous by Gogol's 1842 novel Dead Souls. Many of these countries abolished serfdom during the Napoleonic invasions of the early 19th century. Serfdom remained in force in most of Russia until the Emancipation reform of 1861, enacted on February 19, 1861, though in the Russian-controlled Baltic provinces it had been abolished at the beginning of the 19th century. According to the Russian census of 1857, Russia had 23.1 million private serfs. Russian serfdom was the most notable Eastern European institution, as it was never influenced by German law and migrations, serfdom and the mano
Barbary slave trade
The Barbary slave trade refers to the slave markets that were lucrative and vast on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which included the Ottoman provinces of Algeria and Tripolitania and the independent sultanate of Morocco, between the 16th and middle of the 18th century. The Ottoman provinces in North Africa were nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in reality they were autonomous; the North African slave markets were part of the Berber slave trade. Perpetrated on Europeans, within in-land routes to indigenous European inhabitants; these peoples were systematically preyed upon and turned into slaves, acquired by Barbary pirates during slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to the Netherlands, as far north as Iceland and in the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The Ottoman eastern Mediterranean was the scene of intense piracy; as late as the 18th century, piracy continued to be a "consistent threat to maritime traffic in the Aegean". For centuries, large vessels on the Mediterranean relied on galley slaves supplied by North African and Ottoman slave traders.
Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the White Slave Trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800. Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis and Tripoli alone, 700 Americans were held captive in this region as slaves between 1785 and 1815. However, to extrapolate his numbers, Davis assumes the number of European slaves captured by Barbary pirates were constant for a 250-year period, stating: "There are no records of how many men and children were enslaved, but it is possible to calculate the number of fresh captives that would have been needed to keep populations steady and replace those slaves who died, were ransomed, or converted to Islam. On this basis it is thought that around 8,500 new slaves were needed annually to replenish numbers - about 850,000 captives over the century from 1580 to 1680.
By extension, for the 250 years between 1530 and 1780, the figure could have been as high as 1,250,000." Davis' numbers have been challenged by other historians, such as David Earle, who cautions that true picture of Europeans slaves is clouded by the fact the corsairs seized non-Christian whites from eastern Europe and black people from west Africa. Middle East expert and researcher John Wright cautions that modern estimates are based on back-calculations from human observation. Since no official records were kept but the authorities of Ottoman or pre Ottoman sources, observations across the late 1500s and early 1600s observers, estimate that around 35,000 European slaves were held throughout this period on the Barbary Coast, across Tripoli, but in Algiers; the majority were sailors, taken with their ships. However, most of these captives were people from lands close to Africa Italy. From bases on the Barbary coast, North Africa, the Barbary pirates raided ships traveling through the Mediterranean and along the northern and western coasts of Africa, plundering their cargo and enslaving the people they captured.
From at least 1500, the pirates conducted raids along seaside towns of Italy, France, the Netherlands and as far away as Iceland, capturing men and children. On some occasions, settlements such as Baltimore, Ireland were abandoned following the raid, only being resettled many years later. Between 1609 and 1616, England alone had 466 merchant ships lost to Barbary pirates. While Barbary corsairs looted the cargo of ships they captured, their primary goal was to capture non-Muslim people for sale as slaves or for ransom; those who had family or friends who might ransom them were held captive, the most famous of these was the author Miguel de Cervantes, held for five years. Others were sold into various types of servitude. Captives who converted to Islam were freed, since enslavement of Muslims was prohibited. Sixteenth- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul's additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700. The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and ended in the 1800s, after a US Navy expedition under Commodore Edward Preble engaging gunboats and fortifications in Tripoli, 1804 and when after a British diplomatic mission led to some confused orders and a massacre.
It ended with the French conquest of Algeria. The Kingdom of Morocco had suppressed piracy and recognized the United States as an independent country in 1776; the slave trade had existed in North Africa since antiquity, with a supply of African slaves arriving through trans-Saharan trade routes. The towns on the North African coast were recorded in Roman times for their slave markets, this trend continued into the medieval age; the Barbary Coast increased in influence in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire took over as rulers of the area. Coupled with this was an influx of Sephardi Jews and Moorish refugees, newly expelled from Spain after the Reconquista. With Ottoman protection and a host of destitute immigrants, the coastline soon became reputed for pirac
History of slavery in the Muslim world
Slavery in the Muslim world first developed out of the slavery practices of pre-Islamic Arabia, was at times radically different, depending on social-political factors such as the Arab slave trade. Throughout Islamic history, slaves served in various social and economic roles, from powerful emirs to harshly treated manual laborers. Early on in Muslim history they were used in plantation labor similar to that in the Americas, but this was abandoned after harsh treatment led to destructive slave revolts, the most notable being the Zanj Rebellion of 869–883. Slaves were employed in irrigation and animal husbandry, but the most common uses were as soldiers and domestic workers. Many rulers relied on military slaves in huge standing armies, slaves in administration to such a degree that the slaves were sometimes in a position to seize power. Among black slaves, there were two females to every one male. Two rough estimates by scholars of the number of slaves held over twelve centuries in the Muslim world are 11.5 million and 14 million, while other estimates indicate a number between 12 to 15 million slaves prior to the 20th century.
Manumission of a Muslim slave was encouraged as a way of expiating sins. Many early converts to Islam, such as Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi, were former slaves. In theory, slavery in Islamic law does not have a racial or color component, although this has not always been the case in practice. In 1990, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam declared that "no one has the right to enslave" another human being. Many slaves were imported from outside the Muslim world. Bernard Lewis maintains that though slaves suffered on the way before reaching their destination, they received good treatment and some degree of acceptance as members of their owners' households; the Arab slave trade was most active in West Asia, North Africa, Southeast Africa. In the early 20th century, slavery was outlawed and suppressed in Muslim lands due to pressure exerted by Western nations such as Britain and France. Slavery in the Ottoman Empire was abolished in 1924 when the new Turkish Constitution disbanded the Imperial Harem and made the last concubines and eunuchs free citizens of the newly proclaimed republic.
Slavery in Iran was abolished in 1929. Among the last states to abolish slavery were Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from Britain. However, slavery claiming the sanction of Islam is documented at present in the predominantly Islamic countries of the Sahel, is practiced in territories controlled by Islamist rebel groups, as in Libya. Slavery was practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia, as well as in the rest of the ancient and early medieval world; the minority were European and Caucasus slaves of foreign extraction brought in by Arab caravaners stretching back to biblical times. Native Arab slaves had existed, a prime example being Zayd ibn Harithah to become Muhammad's adopted son. Arab slaves, however obtained as captives, were ransomed off amongst nomad tribes; the slave population increased by the custom of child abandonment, by the kidnapping, or the sale of small children. Whether enslavement for debt or the sale of children by their families was common is disputed.
Free persons could sell their offspring, or themselves, into slavery. Enslavement was possible as a consequence of committing certain offenses against the law, as in the Roman Empire. Two classes of slave existed: a purchased slave, a slave born in the master's home. Over the latter the master had complete rights of ownership, though these slaves were unlikely to be sold or disposed of by the master. Female slaves were at times forced into prostitution for the benefit of their masters, in accordance with Near Eastern customs; the historical accounts of the early years of Islam report that "slaves of non-Muslim masters... suffered brutal punishments. Sumayyah bint Khayyat is famous as the first martyr of Islam, having been killed with a spear by Abū Lahāb when she refused to give up her faith. Abu Bakr freed Bilal when his master, Umayya ibn Khalaf, placed a heavy rock on his chest in an attempt to force his conversion." W. Montgomery Watt points out that Muhammad's expansion of Pax Islamica to the Arabian peninsula reduced warfare and raiding, therefore cut off the sources of enslaving freemen.
According to Patrick Manning, the Islamic legislations against the abuse of the slaves convincingly limited the extent of enslavement in Arabian peninsula and to a lesser degree for the whole area of the whole Umayyad Caliphate where slavery existed since the most ancient times. According to Bernard Lewis, the growth of internal slave populations through natural increase was insufficient to maintain numbers right through to modern times, which contrasts markedly with rising slave populations in the New World, he writes that Liberation by freemen of their own offspring born by slave mothers was "the primary drain". Liberation of slaves as an act of piety, was a contributing factor. Other factors include: Castration: A fair proportion of male slaves were imported as eunuchs. Levy states that according to the Islamic traditions, such emasculation was objectionable. Jurists such as al-Baydawi considered castration to be mutilation, stipulating law enforcement to prevent it. However, in practice, emasculation was frequent.
In eighteenth century Mecca, the majority of eunuchs were in the service of the mosques. Moreover, the process of castration (which inc
Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of 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 associated with Britain. It was used by the Royal Navy in wartime, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice can be traced back to the time of Edward I of England; the Royal Navy impressed many merchant sailors, as well as some sailors from other European, 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. Impressment was criticized by those who believed it to be contrary to the British constitution. Though the public opposed conscription in general, impressment was upheld by the courts, as it was deemed vital to the strength of the navy and, by extension, to the survival of the British influence and realm.
Impressment was a Royal Navy practice, reflecting the size of the British fleet and its substantial manpower demands. While other European navies applied forced recruitment in times of war, this was done as an extension of the practice of formal conscription applied by most European armies from the Napoleonic Wars on; the U. S. Continental Navy applied a form of impressment during the American War of Independence; the impressment of seamen from American ships caused serious tensions between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War. One of the 27 colonial grievances directly highlights the practice, it was again a cause of tension leading up to the War of 1812. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1814, Britain ended the practice. Working 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, 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, it always withheld six months' pay to discourage desertion. Naval wages had been set in 1653, 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; the work for individual sailors was less than on merchant ships as the naval crew size was determined by the number needed to man guns, around four times the number of crew needed to sail the ship. While the food supplied by the Navy was plentiful and good by the standards of the day and governments estimated that 50% of the sailors on a given voyage would die due to scurvy; the main problem with recruitment, was a shortage of qualified seamen during wartime, when the Navy had to recruit an extra 20,000 to 40,000 men.
Privateers, the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy all competed for a small pool of ordinary and able seamen in wartime, all three groups were short-handed. The recruitment figures presented to Parliament for the years 1755–1757 list 70,566 men, of whom 33,243 were volunteers, 16,953 pressed men, while another 20,370 were listed as volunteers separately. Although there are no records that explain why volunteers were separated into two groups, it is these were pressed men who became "volunteers" to get the sign-up bonus, two months' wages in advance and a higher wage. 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 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, with slight difference between volunteers and pressed men.
The rate of desertion started high fell after a few months on board a ship, became negligible after a year — because Navy pay ran months or years in arrears, desertion might mean not only abandoning companions in the ship's company, but the loss of a large amount of money earned. 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, he noted that since 1793 more than 42,000 sailors had deserted; 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 but could leave to seek other employment when the ship was paid off. Impressment relied on the legal power of the King to call men to military service, as well as to recruit volunteers (who were paid a bounty upon joining, unlike presse
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.
Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like Internal Troops, Border Guards or non-combat rescue duties like Civil defence troops – none of, considered alternative to the military conscription. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops; 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. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people 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. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.
The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A n
Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, the word slavery may refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs. Slavery existed in many cultures since the time before written history. A person could capture, or purchase. Slavery was legal in most societies at some time in the past, but is now outlawed in all recognized countries; the last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania in 2007. There are an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide subject to some form of modern slavery.
The most common form of modern slave trade is referred to as human trafficking. In other areas, slavery continues through practices such as debt bondage, the most widespread form of slavery today, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, forced marriage; the English word slave comes from Old French sclave, from the Medieval Latin sclavus, from the Byzantine Greek σκλάβος, which, in turn, comes from the ethnonym Slav, because in some early Medieval wars many Slavs were captured and enslaved. 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. According to those proposing a change in terminology, including Andi Cumbo-Floyd, slave perpetuates the crime of slavery in language. Other historians prefer slave because the term is familiar and shorter, or because it reflects the inhumanity of slavery, with "person" implying a degree of autonomy that slavery does not allow for.
Indenture, otherwise known as bonded labour or debt bondage, is a form of unfree labour under which a person pledges himself or herself against a loan. The services required to repay the debt, their duration, may be undefined. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation, with children required to pay off their progenitors' debt, it is the most widespread form of slavery today. Debt bondage is most prevalent in South Asia. Chattel slavery called traditional slavery, is so named because people are treated as the chattel of the owner and are bought and sold as commodities. Under the chattel slave system, slave status was imposed on children of the enslaved at birth. Although it dominated many different societies throughout human history, this form of slavery has been formally abolished and is rare today; when it can be said to survive, it is not upheld by the legal system of any internationally recognized government. "Slavery" has been used to refer to a legal state of dependency to somebody else.
For example, in Persia, the situations and lives of such slaves could be better than those of common citizens. Forced labour, or unfree labour, is sometimes used to refer to when an individual is forced to work against their own will, under threat of violence or other punishment, but the generic term unfree labour is used to describe chattel slavery, as well as any other situation in which a person is obliged to work against their own will and a person's ability to work productively is under the complete control of another person; this may include institutions not classified as slavery, such as serfdom and penal labour. While some unfree labourers, such as serfs, have substantive, de jure legal or traditional rights, they have no ability to terminate the arrangements under which they work, are subject to forms of coercion and restrictions on their activities and movement outside their place of work. Human trafficking involves women and children forced into prostitution and is the fastest growing form of forced labour, with Thailand, India and Mexico having been identified as leading hotspots of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Examples of sexual slavery in military contexts, include detention in "rape camps" or "comfort stations," "comfort women", forced "marriages" to soldiers and other practices involving the treatment of women or men as chattel and, as such, violations of the peremptory norm prohibiting slavery. In 2007, Human Rights Watch estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 children served as soldiers in current conflicts. More girls under 16 work as domestic workers than any other category of child labor sent to cities by parents living in rural poverty such as in restaveks in Haiti. Forced marriages or early marriages are considered types of slavery. Forced marriage continues to be practiced in parts of the world including some parts of Asia and Africa and in immigrant communities in the West. Sacred prostitution is where girls and women are pledged to priests or those of higher castes, such as the practice of Devadasi in South Asia or fetish slaves in West Africa. Marriage by abduction occurs in many places in the world today, with a national average of 69% of marriages in
History of children in the military
Children in the military are children who are associated with military organizations, such as state armed forces and non-state armed groups. Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been involved in military campaigns. For example, thousands of children participated on all sides of the First World War and the Second World War. Children may be trained and used for combat, assigned to support roles such as porters or messengers, or used for tactical advantage as human shields or for political advantage in propaganda. Children are easy targets for military recruitment due to their greater susceptibility to influence compared to adults; some children are recruited by force while others choose to join up to escape poverty or because they expect military life to offer a rite of passage to maturity. Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been extensively involved in military campaigns; the earliest mentions of minors being involved in wars come from antiquity. It was customary for youths in the Mediterranean basin to serve as aides and armor bearers to adult warriors.
Examples of this practice can be found in the Bible, such as David's service to King Saul, in Hittite and ancient Egyptian art, in ancient Greek mythology and literature. In a practice dating back to antiquity, children were taken on a campaign, together with the rest of a military man's family, as part of the baggage; the Roman Empire made use of youths in war, though it was understood that it was unwise and cruel to use children in war, Plutarch implies that regulations required youths to be at least sixteen years of age. Despite this, several Roman legionaries were known to have enlisted aged 14 in the Imperial Roman army, such as Quintus Postunius Solus who completed 21 years of service in Legio XX Valeria Victrix, Caecilius Donatus who served 26 years in the Legio XX and died shortly before his honorable discharge. In medieval Europe young boys from about twelve years of age were used as military aides, though in theory their role in actual combat was limited; the so-called Children's Crusade in 1212 recruited thousands of children as untrained soldiers under the assumption that divine power would enable them to conquer the enemy, although none of the children entered combat.
According to the legend, they were instead sold into slavery. While most scholars no longer believe that the Children's Crusade consisted or mostly, of children, it nonetheless exemplifies an era in which entire families took part in a war effort. Young boys took part in battles during early modern warfare; when Napoleon was faced with invasion by a massive Allied force in 1814 he conscripted many teenagers for his armies. Orphans of the Imperial Guard fought in the Netherlands with Marshal MacDonald and were between the ages of 14 and 17. Many of the conscripts who reported to the ranks in 1814 were referred to as Marie Louises after the Empress Marie Louise of France; these soldiers were in their mid-teens. One of their more visible roles was as the ubiquitous "drummer boy". During the age of sail, young boys formed part of the crew of British Royal Navy ships and were responsible for many essential tasks including bringing powder and shot from the ship's magazine to the gun crews; these children were called "powder monkeys."
During the American Civil War a young boy, Bugler John Cook, served in the US Army at the age of 15 and received the Medal of Honor for his acts during the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history. Several other minors, including 11-year-old Willie Johnston, have received the Medal of Honor. By a law signed by Nicholas I of Russia in 1827 a disproportionate number of Jewish boys, known as the cantonists, were forced into military training establishments to serve in the army; the 25-year conscription term commenced at the age of 18, but boys as young as eight were taken to fulfill the quota. In the final stages of the Paraguayan War, children fought in the Battle of Acosta Ñu against the Allied forces of Brazil and Uruguay; the day is commemorated as a national holiday in Paraguay. During the Boshin War, the pro-shōgun Aizu Domain formed the Byakkotai, made up of the 16 to 17-year-old sons of Aizu samurai. During the Battle of Bonari Pass and the Battle of Aizu they fought the Satcho forces who supported the Imperial cause.
A detached unit of Byakkotai was cut off from the rest of the unit and retreated to Iimori Hill, which overlooked Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle. From there, they saw. 20 of the detached unit committed seppuku. He was saved by a local peasant; the youngest known soldier of World War I was Momčilo Gavrić, who joined the 6th Artillery Division of the Serbian Army at the age of 8, after Austro-Hungarian troops in August 1914 killed his parents and seven of his siblings. In the West, boys as young as 12 were caught up in the overwhelming tide of patriotism and in huge numbers enlisted for active service. Others enlisted to avoid dreary lives. Many were able to pass themselves off as older men, such as George Thomas Paget, who at 17 joined a Bantam battalion in the Welsh Regiment; the last surviving combat veteran of the War was Claude Choules, who enlisted in the Royal Navy at age 14 and saw his first action at the Battle of Jutland at 15. In the Gallipoli campaign, otherwise known as "Çanakkale", children as young as 15 fought in the trenches.
120 children fought with no known survivors. Many child soldiers foug