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Slaves of One MasterGlobalization and Slavery in Arabia in the Age of Empire$
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Matthew S Hopper

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300192018

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300192018.001.0001

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Slavery, Dates, and Globalization

Slavery, Dates, and Globalization

(p.51) 2 Slavery, Dates, and Globalization
Slaves of One Master

Matthew S. Hopper

Yale University Press

This chapter addresses the development of two forms of dependence in nineteenth-century Arabia: dependence on global markets and dependence on slave labor. The chapter tells the story of how dates, a sticky, sweet fruit, became a delicacy in the United States and how the United States became the Gulf’s biggest foreign customer. Producers in the Gulf expanded their date output to meet growing American demand, which further drove a demand for slave labor, much of which came from East Africa. Slaves performed much of the backbreaking work of watering, tending, harvesting, and packing the dates that fed global markets in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The chapter explores the lives of enslaved Africans who labored in agriculture in the Gulf and places them in the context of global cash-crop production in the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   Dates, Date Industry, Date plantations, Slavery, Oman, Batinah

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