How Slaves and Servants were Obtained

One of the ways through which slaves were obtained by the land/slave owners was by buying them in the slave market. The slaves were taken to the market due to the lucrative African slave trade, after the successful establishment of slave trade routes. In most cases, slaves were captured from Africa and then transported across the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to the slave markets in Asia, Europe, and America. The Arab slave traders were very good in the slave trade business, which assisted them to reap huge financial benefits from the business.

The Arab traders could also collaborate with some Africans (some tribal leaders) to capture slaves. The slaves would then be transported through ships to various destinations. After arriving in the market, the slaves would be offered for sale to the various landowners or masters present in the market. The slaves would then be taken to the master’s land, where they would be expected to perform productively. Another way through which the land owners could obtain and own slaves was through the off springs of two parents who were slaves.

In the farms, the slaves were allowed to be married and have families of their own, hence they were allowed to have children of their own. The children that they bore were also considered as the slaves of the landowners who acted as masters. This meant that a landowner would have his slaves grow in number through the birth of many off springs from the adult slaves. The slave owners could also obtain and own slaves by enslaving the prisoners of war. Since competition for the ownership of territories was high during the 18th century, the leaders in many societies engaged in wars with each other.

Those who went to war and were defeated could be captured and treated as the prisoners of war. They could then be used as slaves by their captors. Offenders in the society could be used as slaves to punish them for their offences. Although this was not very common during the 18th century, some serious offenders could be forced to work as slaves in order to pay for their wrong doing. Those who had huge debts and were unable to pay them could also be coerced into slavery so as to clear their debts. The period within which one could serve as a slave depended on the debt.

Child abandonment also served as a source of owning slaves. Due to the poor social welfare and cultural factors, parents in the 18th century could in some cases abandon their children and the children who were abandoned by their parents could be taken up by some individuals who would raise them as slaves. The need to obtain favors such as food drinks, and transportation encouraged some people to work as indentured servants. The land-owners or slave owners could also sell slaves as a form of punishment to those who defied their masters’ orders.

For example, a slave owner could sell off slaves who were perceived as stubborn. In addition, the stubborn slaves could be punished by having their relatives sold off. This was considered as very painful to the offenders, who could then be expected to obey the rules of their masters, and as a lesson to the others who could be tempted to disobey. For example, a slave owner could sell off a sister, a child, or a brother to an offender so as to inflict emotional suffering to the offender.