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Slavery & Human Trafficking

Throughout history and across continents, slavery was used as a way to obtain cheap labor by depriving human beings of their personal liberty and creating a dependent labor force that was legally viewed as the "property" of the slaveholder, despite the obvious and grievous violation of human rights that this practice represented. The abolition movement in western Europe and the Americas began in the late 18th century and was chiefly responsible for creating the emotional climate necessary for ending the transatlantic slave trade. Over the next two centuries, more and more nations around the world abolished slavery, and after World War II the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights proclaimed the immorality and the illegality of slavery. Although slavery no longer exists as legal phenomenon recognized by a political authority or government, human trafficking—a form of modern-day slavery that involves the illegal transport of individuals by force or deception for the purpose of labor, sexual exploitation, or financial gain—is a growing international phenomenon that affects people of all ages.

Slavery & Human Trafficking Encyclopedia Articles

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American Civil War
American Civil War, four-year war (1861–65) between the United States and 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. The secession of the Southern states (in chronological order, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana,...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Gettysburg, Battle of
John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun, American political leader who was a congressman, the secretary of war, the seventh vice president (1825–32), a senator, and the secretary of state of the United States. He championed states’ rights and slavery and was a symbol of the Old South. Calhoun was born to Patrick Calhoun,...
Biography
Calhoun, John
Human trafficking
Human trafficking, form of modern-day slavery involving the illegal transport of individuals by force or deception for the purpose of labour, sexual exploitation, or activities in which others benefit financially. Human trafficking is a global problem affecting people of all ages. It is estimated...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
A child soldier stands at the front line of combat in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in November 2008.
Slave rebellions
Slave rebellions, in the history of the Americas, periodic acts of violent resistance by black slaves during nearly three centuries of chattel slavery. Such resistance signified continual deep-rooted discontent with the condition of bondage and, in some places, such as the United States, resulted...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Cinqué, Joseph
Slavery
Slavery, condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel, and was deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons. There is no consensus on what a slave was or on how the institution of slavery should be defined....
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
slavery
Dred Scott decision
Dred Scott decision, legal case in which the U.S. Supreme Court on March 6, 1857, ruled (7–2) that a slave (Dred Scott) who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) was not thereby entitled to his freedom; that African Americans were not and could never be citizens...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Scott, Dred
Bartolomé de Las Casas
Bartolomé de Las Casas, early Spanish historian and Dominican missionary who was the first to expose the oppression of indigenous peoples by Europeans in the Americas and to call for the abolition of slavery there. His several works include Historia de las Indias (first printed in 1875). A prolific...
Biography
Las Casas, Bartolomé de
Fugitive slave
Fugitive slave, any individual who escaped from slavery in the period before and including the American Civil War. In general they fled to Canada or to free states in the North, though Florida (for a time under Spanish control) was also a place of refuge. (See Black Seminoles.) From the very...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Osler, John: fugitive slaves
Toussaint Louverture
Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution (1787–99). He emancipated the slaves and negotiated for the French colony on Hispaniola, Saint-Domingue (later Haiti), to be governed, briefly, by black former slaves as a French protectorate. Toussaint...
Biography
Toussaint Louverture, 1805.
Solomon Northup
Solomon Northup, American farmer, labourer, and musician whose experience of being kidnapped and sold into slavery was the basis for his book Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, from a Cotton...
Biography
Northup, Solomon: image from Twelve Years a Slave (1853)
Third Servile War
Third Servile War, (73–71 bce) slave rebellion against Rome led by the gladiator Spartacus. Spartacus was a Thracian who had served in the Roman army but seems to have deserted. He was captured and subsequently sold as a slave. Destined for the arena, in 73 bce he, with a band of his fellow...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Spartacus
Comfort women
Comfort women, a euphemism for women who provided sexual services to Japanese Imperial Army troops during Japan’s militaristic period that ended with World War II and who generally lived under conditions of sexual slavery. Estimates of the number of women involved typically range up to 200,000, but...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Haitian Revolution
Haitian Revolution, series of conflicts between 1791 and 1804 between Haitian slaves, colonists, the armies of the British and French colonizers, and a number of other parties. Through the struggle, the Haitian people ultimately won independence from France and thereby became the first country to...
Encyclopedia / Slavery & Human Trafficking
Haitian Revolution

Slavery & Human Trafficking Encyclopedia Articles

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