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Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition$
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Robert Harms, Bernard K Freamon, and David W. Blight

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300163872

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300163872.001.0001

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Slave Trading, Abolitionism, and “New Systems of Slavery” in the Nineteenth-Century Indian Ocean World

Slave Trading, Abolitionism, and “New Systems of Slavery” in the Nineteenth-Century Indian Ocean World

Chapter:
(p.183) 10 Slave Trading, Abolitionism, and “New Systems of Slavery” in the Nineteenth-Century Indian Ocean World
Source:
Indian Ocean Slavery in the Age of Abolition
Author(s):

Richard B. Allen

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300163872.003.0010

This chapter points out the difficulties in distinguishing “free” and “unfree” laborers in the Indian Ocean World during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It chronicles the development of a “new system of slavery” that led to the migration of millions of indentured African and Asian laborers throughout the region. It explores the origins of the indentured labor system and points out that there is a connection between pre-emancipation and post-emancipation labor systems, examining the structural links between such systems. The chapter discusses European slave trading in the region, providing estimates for slaves traded. It discusses efforts to emancipate slaves in Bencoolen and abolish slave trading in Bengal and it compares the activities of the Indian Ocean vice-admiralty courts with the Atlantic courts. It argues for a pan-oceanic perspective in the scholarship, pointing out that actions of Indian Ocean officials had impacts that resonated far beyond the region.

Keywords:   indentured labor system, free laborers, unfree laborers, Bencoolen, European slave trading

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