Africans are not the only slaves in history. We mostly hear only about the African slave trade but slavery is much older than that. In fact, slavery existed in Africa among Africans long before African slaves were sent to the Americas.
For example, In Senegambia, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved. In early Islamic states of the western Sudan, including Ghana (750–1076), Mali (1235–1645), Segou (1712–1861), and Songhai (1275–1591), about a third of the population were enslaved.
Slavery is as old as civilization. History World.net says, “Slavery enters human history with civilization. Hunter-gatherers and primitive farmers have no use for a slave. … War is the main source of supply, and wars are frequent and brutal in early civilizations. When a town falls to a hostile army, it is normal to take into slavery those inhabitants who will make useful workers and to kill the rest.”
Although the West boasts of the benefits of democracy, there were slaves in the Greek and Roman republics thousands of years before the establishment of European colonies in the Americas.
If you study American history, you know that from 1861 – 1865, the United States fought its bloodiest war—a war to end slavery. At least 618,000 Americans died in that Civil War. Some experts claim 700,000 died. The cost of the war was more than $11 billion. In today’s dollars, that equals almost $155 billion.
The British Empire abolished slavery in 1833, and the British government paid about £20 million in compensation to the slave-owners that lost their “property”. In pounds, that £20 million would be about £1.5 billion today using the retail price index ($2,340,728,996.00 USD).
That sacrifice made by the United States (1865) and the British Empire (1833) in lives and money was made in vain because today in the 21st century slavery is far worse than it was then.
CNN reported, “The modern-day slavery expert explained to CNN that the current $90 rate for a human slave is actually at an historic low. Two hundred years ago, a slave cost about $40,000 in today’s money. The reason for this price slide: a massive boom in the world’s population, especially in developing countries, has increased the supply of ‘slaveable’ people.”
In 2010, Dan Rather, writing for the Huffington Post, said, “Over 300,000 U.S. Children Fall Prey to Sex Trafficking. … Child prostitution has become a national problem in this country.”
Continued on July 3, 2012 in Slavery is ALIVE – Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.
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