9780745617299

Servitude in Modern Times

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780745617299

  • ISBN10:

    0745617298

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-11-02
  • Publisher: Polity Pr

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Summary

This book offers a comparative analysis of the major systems of servitude present in the world since 1500. Slavery, serfdom, debt bondage, indentured service and convict labour all provided labour and service through the legal subjection of one person to another, but remained very different. By comparison and contrast, this study seeks to establish their distinctive character. Servitude in Modern Times concentrates on the forms of servitude that figured in the process of early modernization: notably the white bonded labour, convict and indentured, used to settle North America; the slave systems of the Americas and the Ottoman Empire; and the serf regimes of central and eastern Europe. It also examines the servitude that survived the emancipations of the nineteenth century: the endurance of slavery and debt bondage in Africa and Asia; the extensive use of indentured service on colonial plantations; the forced labour provided by the concentration camps of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Traditional assumptions are challenged: M. L. Bush argues against the standard, neo-abolitionist view that the servile were powerless victims, proposing that, in most cases, they ingeniously succeeded in acquiring rights and liberties. He shows how servitude contributed to the modernizing process by compensating for the shortage of waged labour which was frequently encountered by early capitalism. In this respect the book challenges the progressiveness with which modernization has normally been depicted. Servitude in Modern Times will be of great interest to students and scholars in history, politics and sociology, as well as to a general public horrified by man's inhumanity to man.

Author Biography

M. L. Bush is Research Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University

Table of Contents

Preface viii
Part I The Forms of Legal Bondage
Servitude Comparatively Considered
3(3)
Modern Slavery
6(13)
Modern Serfdom
19(9)
Indentured Service
28(11)
Debt Bondage
39(7)
Penal Servitude
46(11)
Part II Emergence and Development
White Servitude in the Americas
57(12)
New World Slavery
69(48)
Spanish America
75(7)
Brazil
82(8)
The Caribbean
90(15)
North America
105(12)
European Serfdom
117(44)
Western Europe
122(3)
The Polish Commonwealth
125(9)
The Habsburg Monarchy
134(3)
Bohemia
137(5)
Hungary
142(9)
The Russian Empire
151(10)
Islamic Slavery
161(16)
Africa and Asia
161(3)
Military slavery
164(4)
The Ottoman system
168(9)
Part III Emancipation and After
Abolition in Europe and the Americas
177(23)
The rejection of serfdom and slavery compared
177(4)
The emancipation of the European serfs
181(5)
The termination of New World slavery
186(14)
The Survival of Servitude
200(36)
Instead of slavery
200(12)
The colonial accommodation
212(10)
In the totalitarian state
222(14)
Conclusion: The Significance of Modern Servitude 236(5)
A Bibliographical Essay 241(5)
Notes 246(36)
Index 282

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