Slavery, A World History Essay

Slavery, A World History Essay

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A labor system that had previously existed throughout history, in many instances and most countries is known as slavery. So what exactly is it? How did slavery begin? And what does it mean in our world today? These are complex questions that are often asked and, possibly, by understanding the forms it takes and the roles such slaves perform. What daily life is like for those enchained and what can be done to end this demeaning practice may help in answering those questions. It is known that slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought, sold and are forced to work. It is also known that slavery was established in the history and economy of most countries. Even though it prospered during some periods and abstained in others, human bondage for profit has unfortunately, never been completely removed. Author Milton Meltzer, in his book “Slavery, A World History” follows this practice from prehistoric hunting societies; through the development of slave trading in the United States prior to the Civil War, of which, it disturbingly reached a total of four million slaves. He continues through the forced labor applied under the Nazi establishment and in the Soviet prison camps. And he concludes with the broad practice of slavery in many of the countries today, examples include, women sold into prostitution in Thailand and the debt bondage that minors endure in Brazil.
Many are often shocked to learn that historians have considered slavery as a step forward in the development of civilization. From the earliest times, it was customary for primitive people to kill the warriors they defeated in battle. Hunting was the way of life in these societies and there was nothing left over to feed their captives, simply be...


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... although they were established nationally and internationally, long experience shows that official action alone will not eliminate slavery in many forms. Attitudes and customs are needed to change as well. Because these countries are concerned for their reputation, they have made slavery illegal without exception. Such countries may condone the existence of slavery because they either profit by it in some way or their government does not have the stamina to enforce the law. Regardless of this, such countries undoubtedly hate the publicity about slavery within their borders. Still, many are hopeful that slavery will be abolished throughout the world at some time in the near future.


Works Cited

abolition.e2bn.org. N.p, 2009. Web. 03 Apr.2014. .
Meltzer, Milton. Slavery, A World History. Updated ed. Chicago: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1993. Print.

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