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Epilogue

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Paul E. Lovejoy
Affiliation:
York University, Toronto
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Summary

The transformations in slavery that have been examined in this book have highlighted the centrality of historical change in Africa. It has been argued that the transformations were in response to external influence, both from the Atlantic world and from the countries of Islam, as well as the internal dynamics of African societies. In emphasizing “transformations,” this study has demonstrated the pervasiveness of slavery in African history and the significance of the transition that occurred under colonialism. As argued, the idea of this centrality can be encapsulated in the concept of “mode of production” that places enslavement, the trade in slaves, and the use of slaves in productive activities in articulation with each other. The significance of ending institutionalized enslavement and trade under colonialism is thereby highlighted. Slavery was not abolished outright but rather allowed to disappear gradually through the criminalization of enslavement and trafficking in humans, but not the emancipation of slaves. Those born under colonial rule were declared to be born free. Hence slavery was undermined as an institution; the “mode of production” linking enslavement, slave trading, and the use of slaves was broken. Although colonial officials referred to the “natural” death of the institution, slavery did not end.

Historically, intercontinental slavery was transformative in the countries and places that received enslaved Africans, both the Americas and the Islamic world. In the Atlantic world, slavery became the basis of a labor system associated with European expansion and colonization. It can be said that slavery was a means of peopling new lands that were being developed as colonies of European imperialism. In this sense, enslavement and transport brought Africans into a colonial world, albeit in almost all cases outside of Africa. The transformations of slavery in Africa evolved as a form of colonialism, in which enslaved Africans become the population of the European colonies of the Americas.

Type
Chapter
Information
Transformations in Slavery
A History of Slavery in Africa
, pp. 281 - 284
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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  • Epilogue
  • Paul E. Lovejoy, York University, Toronto
  • Book: Transformations in Slavery
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139014946.017
Available formats
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  • Epilogue
  • Paul E. Lovejoy, York University, Toronto
  • Book: Transformations in Slavery
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139014946.017
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Epilogue
  • Paul E. Lovejoy, York University, Toronto
  • Book: Transformations in Slavery
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139014946.017
Available formats
×