September 28, 2023

Pre-modern forms of slavery, in Africa and elsewhere, were not typically as brutal as chattel slavery. In the early modern period, a uniquely brutal, industrial form of slavery developed within the plantation economies of the Americas and Portuguese Atlantic islands. Together with West African states, these Atlantic colonies built an international system of human trafficking for the purpose of slavery that was, likewise, uniquely brutal and industrialized. All parties involved bear responsibility for these horrors.