Chapter

Opposing Arguments

Roy L. Brooks

in Atonement and Forgiveness

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780520239418
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939738 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520239418.003.0006
Opposing Arguments

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Slavery has a long existence in Western civilization. The year Brazil nurtured its last slave from ancient Mesopotamia to 1888, practically every Western society condoned slavery, and many, including the pacifist Quakers, practiced it. Human beings were used as a form of currency, even to retire debts or as items of barter. The wide acceptance of slavery in ancient times does not validate or even explain the singular evil of slavery in the Americas. This brand of human bondage introduced by Portugal was unprecedented. The trans-Atlantic slave trade extremely diminished human life compared to what existed virtually anywhere on the continent before, as Basil Davidson points out. This difference in the quality of slavery applies with equal force to Africa prior to transatlantic slavery. Racial, or color-conscious, slavery appeared in direct response to the unique demands of the plantation system in the Americas.

Keywords: Western civilization; Brazil; Mesopotamia; Quakers; Basil Davidson

Chapter.  10753 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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