Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Slave society
(6,751 words)

1. Introduction

Societies in which slavery and the slave trade were of significance are generally classified as either “societies with slaves” or “slave societies.” There were only a few instances of the latter in the early modern period. Their defining characteristic was that their social structure and economy were founded on slavery, and had to be secured by means of the slave trade, slave reproduction, and various forms of coercion.

The systemic function of a slave society is most clearly apparent i…

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Bley, Helmut, Keil, Hartmut and König, Hans-Joachim, “Slave society”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027580>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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