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