Plantation Slavery in Indian Ocean
When topics such as African history and slavery are brought to mind, many American’s have a predetermined belief or idea on the subject. Such ideas may include that there is not much of African history until European presence, that African’s did not do anything of significance until the arrival of Europeans. Then, there are some beliefs that slavery was only a matter of American history. Both ideas are incorrect, in that there is plenty of evidence that points towards significant achievements in Africa before the arrival of Europeans and that slavery was a major part of Indian Ocean history. Slavery had existed in the Indian Ocean world far before Europeans captured and enforced slaves to work in agriculture plantations in America. In fact, many countries in the Indian Ocean world used slaves for manual labor. Although the manual labor is similar to that of plantations in America there are great differences between the two. Manual labor may be the sole reason for wealth and prosperity of the countries in the Indian Ocean world. Some countries in the Indian Ocean world that were under development became prosperous and powerful due to the cruel and harsh labor of slaves. Slavery around the world dates back before the eighteenth century but slavery in the Indian Ocean world begins around the eighteenth century. According to Eduardo Medeiros in his article “Contribution of the Mozambican Diaspora in the Development of Cultural Identities on the Indian Ocean Islands” he states that, “Starting about 1720, thousands of Africans were kidnapped from their original social groups and transported to the more important islands of the Indian Ocean” (pg. 55). These slaves were transported by ships, in which they were typically stuffed into the ship with nothing to sleep on but the cold wood beneath their feet. Such treatment was bound to cause slaves to rebel or fight as Medeiros states, “’Rebellion was a constant danger to the slaver’ at...
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