[Marxism] Fwd: The Forgotten Slaves - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 12 06:42:24 MST 2016

Still, huge gaps in our understanding remain. In his beautifully written 
(and National Book Award-nominated) The Other Slavery: The Uncovered 
Story of Indian Enslavement in America, Andrés Reséndez offers a 
tour-de-force account of the enslavement of Indians in the New World, 
and in the process broadens our definitions of slavery. Part of the 
challenge of the subject is that Indian servitude took many forms, 
making victims hard to identify in the records. Reséndez, a professor at 
the University of California at Davis, offers a capacious but defensible 
definition, including peonage; rebels sentenced to servitude; orphans 
and vagrants bound to service; victims of the mita (a forced labor quota 
imposed on Indian villages); and ostensibly free wage laborers whose 
employers never paid them.

Using this definition, Reséndez estimates the number of Indian slaves in 
the Americas at between 2.5 million and 5 million — fewer than the 
approximately 12.5 million Africans enslaved between the 15th century 
and the late 19th century, but a staggering number nonetheless. 
Moreover, he argues that population loss due to enslavement was in fact 
much greater in the Americas than in Africa. Slavery, not merely 
epidemic disease, was the primary cause of the high mortality rates of 
70 percent to 90 percent that some Indian societies experienced.

full: http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Forgotten-Slaves/238604

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