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Who were the first slaves?

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Presentation on theme: "Who were the first slaves?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Who were the first slaves?
Origins of slavery

2 What is a slave? A slave is someone who is deprived of their freedom and forced to work for someone else without reward They are the property of the slave owner They can be bought and sold Slaves can be men, women, adults or children who were born to slave parents were considered slaves as soon as they were born.

3 Early slavery The earliest recorded slaves lived in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) around 3500 BC. Chinese rulers owned salves 3000 years ago and when they died their slaves were killed and buried with him to serve him in the after life. Slaves built the pyramids of Egypt, rowed Greek war ships and the Romans had slaves from all over Europe.

4 Africa In the Middle Ages European explorers discovered Africa and the Americas. Slavery had existed in Africa for generations with people from sub-Saharan Africa being taken to the Arabian countries to work. The Europeans (English, French, Danish, Dutch & Portuguese) saw an oppertunity to make money taking people from Africa and selling them into slavery in Europe and the “New World”

5 During the duration of the trans-Atlantic slave trade

6 St Helena

7 Transported from Africa
Local African raiders attacked village after village kidnapping men women & children. The captured slaves were marched to the coast being passed from one trader to another. Many died on the way all were terrified most had never left their tribal area and they had never seen the sea. They were then locked in pens or in forts until they were sold to the Europeans.

8 Voyages lasted 12 weeks or more

9 Horrific Ship Conditions
Slaves were branded with hot irons like cattle They were manacled and chained together Packed do tightly into the dark hold that they often could not sit down. The hold stank as the people had to go to the toilet, be sea sick etc where they stood. Many caught diseases like dysentery and smallpox. Some committed suicide. Millions died on the ships.

10 Leg Irons An iron was locked on to each leg of the slaves often linking them together for the whole voyage. This stopped the people escaping – even if the ship sank or was attacked by pirates Anyone who tried to escape was flogged.

11 A Contemporary Description
...About 8 o’clock in the morning the Negroes are generally brought upon deck. Their irons being examined, a long chain, which is locked to a ring-bolt, fixed in the deck, is run through the rings of the shackles of the men and then locked to another ring-bolt fixed also in the deck. By this means fifty or sixty and sometimes more are fastened to one chain, in order to prevent them from rising or endeavouring to escape... An Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa, Alexander Falconbridge, 1788

12 The New world Slaves were pre-sold by merchants or publicly auctioned and may be bought or sold many times during their lives. Families were often split up, children were taken from their parents. They were humiliated by having their teeth, muscles and private parts of their bodies publicly examined. They were then usually branded with their owner’s mark.

13 Ritual Humiliation The first priority of the owner was to break the spirit and identity of their new purchase. African names were replaced with European ones. Made to do hard labour for long hours each day. Often they were bullied and beaten sometimes dying as a result. Living conditions were overcrowded and food was limited and education was not allowed.

14 Work The type of work Clearing land Cooking
Planting cotton, coffee, sugar Cleaning Childcare Quarrying Maintenance Harvesting Cattle care Mining Milling Cotton picking

15 Human? Slaves were chattels – they belonged to their owner just like a cup or plate except resented because they had to be fed! The laws of Europe and the New World protected the owner not the slave. The Africans were thought of like animals (in fact often the owners treated their animals better). The “Civilised Europeans” had the right to do as they pleased with the savages.

16 Human Rights These are the basic principles of freedom & justice that most people would want in their lives. During the 18th Century leading European writers began to discuss human rights Their ideas about freedom were applied to the debate about slavery which had grown up following a series of slave “rebellions” around the world

17 Anti-Slavery Campagnes
Many people and in particular the Quakers ( a Christian movement dedicated to peace, justice & equality) were very concerned at the misery involved in the trades involving slaves. Slavery was made illegal in England in and Scotland in 1778. However it was still legal to own & trade slaves overseas.

18 William Wilberforce and others
William Wilberforce led the champagne for the abolition of the Slave Trade in Parliament. Freed slaves like Olaudah Equiano also spoke out powerfully to politicians and the public to help them understand what life as a slave was like The Slave Trade Act of 1807 ended the slave trade in the British colonies, but the condition of slavery was not abolished until 1833.

19 “As soon as ever I had arrived thus far in my investigations of the slave trade, I confess to you sir, so enormous, so dreadful, so irredeemable did its wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for the abolition. A trade founded on iniquity and carried on as it was, must be abolished, let the policy be what it might, let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest till I had effected its abolition.” William Wilberforce MP, speech to the House of Commons 12th May 1789

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21 USA It took the American Civil War and the addition of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to bring about an end to slavery in America in 186. In 1870 African Americans got the right to vote

22 St Helena By1673 over half the island’s population were slaves.
In 1818 following an incident where a slave owner was fined for severely whipping a young slave girl, Governor Hudson Lowe convened a meeting of inhabitants, urging the abolition of slavery on the Island. At first, all children born of a slave woman after Christmas Day were to be free, but considered as apprentices until the age of 18.  Masters also had to enforce the attendance of these free- born children at church and Sunday schools. The complete emancipation from slavery eventually happened in 1832 when the East India Company purchased the freedom of the last 614 slaves in private ownership.  

23 St Helena – Prize Slaves
St Helena was used as landing place for slaves who were captured by the Royal Navy during the suppression of the slave trade in the mid 19th century. In a 30 year period, around 26,000 freed slaves were brought to the island after being rescued from slave traders. However, the horrifying conditions aboard the ships meant that many did not survive their journey even after they had been freed. It is estimated that at least 5,000 people died and were buried on the island. Slaves brought to the island were put in internment camps and those who were to remain, became paid servants and labourers. 

24 Modern Day Slavery Slavery still affects the lives of over 27 million people world wide today That is more today than in 300 years of trans-Atlantic slavery These present day evils take many forms

25 Archeology From , an archaeological excavation was conducted at Rupert’s The dig found 325 individuals from single, multiple and mass graves. Most were placed in shallow graves without coffins only five had burial containers and these were all young people Some were tiny babies

26 Archeology Analysis shows that 83 per cent of the bodies were those of children, teenagers or young adults. It is thought that many on arrival of dehydration, dysentery and smallpox that they had developed before being freed. Scurvy was widespread on the skeletons. Several showed indications of violence. Two older children appear to have been shot.

27 Archeology Despite its horrific nature, the archaeology that these were people from a rich culture, with a strong sense of ethnic and personal identity.  There were numerous examples of dental modifications, achieved by chipping or carving of the front teeth.  A few had items of jewellery (beads and bracelets), despite the physical ‘stripping process’ that would have taken place after their capture, prior to embarkation on the slave ships

28 “Studies of slavery usually deal with unimaginable numbers, work on an impersonal level, and, in so doing, overlook the individual victims. In Rupert’s Valley, however, the archaeology brings us (quite literally) face-to-face with the human consequences of the slave trade.” Dr Andrew Pearson who carried out the dig on the Rupert’s Valley site

29 Slavery is a thing of the Past
No slavery still exists all over the world in many different forms Over 27 million people are estimated to farced to live a life of servitude TODAY That is more than the total number of slaves taken from Africa in 300 years

30 Bonded Labour People become bonded labourers by taking or being tricked into taking a loan for a very small amount of money. To repay the debt, many are forced to work long hours, 7 days a week, up to 365 days a year. They receive basic food and shelter as 'payment' for their work, but may never pay off the loan, which can be passed down for generations. It has been calculated that the number of debt bondage slaves was million at the end of 2006

31 Early & Forced Marriage
Early and forced marriage affects women and girls who are married without choice and are forced into lives of servitude. They are often beaten by their husbands, his other wives and their mother-in-law. Girls who fight back or run away are often killed by their fathers or brothers to protect the family honor.

32 From the BBC UK police recorded at least 2,823 so-called honour attacks last year, figures from 39 out of 52 forces show. A freedom of information request by the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (Ikwro) revealed that nearly 500 of these were in London. Among the 12 forces also able to provide figures from 2009, there was an overall 47% rise in such incidents. 'Mutilations' Such attacks can include acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings and in some cases, murder.

33 Forced Labour Forced labour affects people who are illegally recruited by individuals, governments or political parties and forced to work - usually under threat of violence or other penalties. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that at least 12.3 million people are victims of forced labour worldwide

34 Trafficing Trafficking involves the transport and/or trade of people; women, children and men from one area to another for the purpose of forcing them into slavery conditions. They may be forced into Prostitution Sweat shop labour Drug/arms smuggling Fighting in wars as conscripts

35 Child Labour The Worst forms of child labour affects an estimated 126 million children (as defined by ILO) around the world in work that is harmful to their health and welfare The ILO also estimates there were 153 million child labourers aged 5-14 worldwide in 2008.

36 Almost 14% of children are working illegally in the eyes of international law. In sub-Saharan Africa, this proportion rises to 25%. Countries with a particularly high incidence of child labour include Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Yemen.  The global total includes 115 million children under 18 engaged in hazardous work, such as handling chemicals, carrying heavy loads, mining, quarrying or enduring long hours. Almost 70% of child labour is unpaid work within extended family networks. Most occurs in developing countries, with about 60% of child workers engaged in agriculture and fisheries. Other occupations include domestic service, factory production and backstreet workshops.  The most distressing category of child labour relates to those children caught up in criminal activities such as prostitution, military enrolment, slavery (such as bonded labour), or trafficking (which involves the removal of a child from its home, often involving deception and payment, for a wide range of exploitative purposes). 


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