Slavery on the Barbary Coast

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The Slave Market of Algiers in the early 17th Century. Marche aux esclaves d alger gravure.jpg
The Slave Market of Algiers in the early 17th Century.

Slavery on the Barbary Coast (see Barbary slave trade) was a form of unfree labour which existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Barbary Coast area of North Africa.

Contents

According to Robert Davis, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and The Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries. [1] [2] However, these numbers have been challenged by other historians, such as David Earle, author of The Corsairs of Malta and Barbary and The Pirate Wars. [3]

From bases on the Barbary coast, North Africa, the Barbary pirates raided ships traveling through the Mediterranean and along the northern and western coasts of Africa, plundering their cargo and enslaving the people they captured. From at least 1500, the pirates also conducted raids along seaside towns of Italy, Spain, France, England, the Netherlands and as far away as Iceland, capturing men, women and children. On some occasions, settlements such as Baltimore, Ireland were abandoned following the raid, only being resettled many years later. Between 1609 and 1616, England alone had 466 merchant ships lost to Barbary pirates. [4]

Barbary Wars

Commercial ships from the United States of America were subject to pirate attacks. In 1783, the United States made peace with, and gained recognition from, the British monarchy. In 1784, the first American ship was seized by pirates from Morocco. By late 1793, a dozen American ships had been captured, goods stripped and everyone enslaved. After some serious debate, the US created the United States Navy in March 1794. [5]

This new military presence helped to stiffen American resolve to resist the continuation of tribute payments, leading to the two Barbary Wars along the North African coast: the First Barbary War from 1801 to 1805 [5] and the Second Barbary War in 1815. Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states had amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues in 1800. [6] It was not until 1815 that naval victories ended tribute payments by the United States. Some European nations continued annual payments until the 1830s. [7] The white slave trade and markets in the Mediterranean declined and eventually disappeared after the European occupations. [8]

Slave narratives

Because of the large numbers of Britons captured by the Barbary States and in other venues, captivity was the other side of exploration and empire Captivity narratives originated as a literary form in the seventeenth century. They were widely published and read, preceding those of colonists captured by American Indians in North America. [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Atlantic slave trade Slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th to the 19th centuries

The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans, or by half-European "merchant princes" to Western European slave traders, who brought them to the Americas. Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade. The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states that, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.

Piracy Act of robbery or criminal violence at sea

Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, while the dedicated ships that pirates use are called pirate ships. The earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. Narrow channels which funnel shipping into predictable routes have long created opportunities for piracy, as well as for privateering and commerce raiding. Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, Madagascar, the Gulf of Aden, and the English Channel, whose geographic structures facilitated pirate attacks. A land-based parallel is the ambushing of travelers by bandits and brigands in highways and mountain passes. Privateering uses similar methods to piracy, but the captain acts under orders of the state authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation, making it a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.

First Barbary War War between United States and the Barbary states, 1801-1806

The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitanian War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barbary States". Three of these were autonomous, but nominally provinces of the Ottoman Empire: Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis. The fourth was the independent Sultanate of Morocco.

Barbary Wars conflicts fought over the issue of Barbary piracy

The Barbary Wars were a series of two wars fought by the United States and Sweden against the Barbary states of North Africa in the early 19th century. Sweden had been at war with the Tripolitans since 1800 and was joined by the newly-independent US. The First Barbary War extended from 10 May 1801 to 10 June 1805, with the Second Barbary War lasting only three days, ending on 19 June 1815.

Second Barbary War

The Second Barbary War (1815) or the U.S.–Algerian War was fought between the United States and the North African Barbary Coast states of Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers. The war ended when the United States Senate ratified Commodore Stephen Decatur’s Algerian treaty on December 5, 1815. However, Dey Omar Agha of Algeria repudiated the US treaty, refused to accept the terms of peace that had been ratified by the Congress of Vienna, and threatened the lives of all Christian inhabitants of Algiers. William Shaler was the US commissioner in Algiers who had negotiated alongside Decatur, but he fled aboard British vessels during the Bombardment of Algiers (1816). He negotiated a new treaty in 1816 which was not ratified by the Senate until February 11, 1822, because of an oversight.

Treaty of Tripoli

The Treaty of Tripoli was signed in 1796. It was the first treaty between the United States of America and Tripoli to secure commercial shipping rights and protect American ships in the Mediterranean Sea from local Barbary pirates.

William Eaton (soldier)

William Eaton was a United States Army officer and the diplomatic officer Consul General to Tunis (1797–1803). He played an important diplomatic and military role in the First Barbary War between the United States and Tripoli (1801–1805). He led the first foreign United States military victory at the Battle of Derne by capturing the Tripoli subject city of Derne in support of the restoration of the pasha, Hamet Caramelli. William Eaton also gave testimony at the treason trial of former Vice President Aaron Burr. He served one term in the General Court of Massachusetts. Eaton died on June 1, 1811 at the age of forty-seven.

Barbary Coast Coastal region of North Africa inhabited by Berber people

The terms Barbary Coast, Barbary, Berbery or Berber Coast were used in English-language sources from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer from a Eurocentric point of view to the coastal regions of North Africa, specifically the Ottoman borderlands consisting of the regencies in Tripoli, Algiers and Tunis as well as, sometimes, Morocco. The term was coined in reference to the Berbers.

Barbary pirates Pirates based in North Africa

The Barbary pirates, sometimes called Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, in reference to the Berbers. Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland, but they primarily operated in the western Mediterranean. In addition to seizing merchant ships, they engaged in Razzias, raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands, and Iceland. The main purpose of their attacks was slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Arab slavery market in North Africa and the Middle East. Slaves in Barbary could be of many ethnicities, and of many different religions, such as Christian, Jewish, or Muslim.

Blockade of Africa

The Blockade of Africa began in 1808 after the United Kingdom outlawed the Atlantic slave trade, making it illegal for British ships to transport slaves. The Royal Navy immediately established a presence off Africa to enforce the ban, called the West Africa Squadron. Although the ban initially applied only to British ships, Britain negotiated treaties with other countries to give the Royal Navy the right to intercept and search their ships for slaves. The 1807 Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves abolished the intercontinental slave trade in the United States but the ban was not widely enforced.

Mediterranean Squadron (United States)

The Mediterranean Squadron, also known as the Mediterranean Station, was part of the United States Navy in the 19th century that operated in the Mediterranean Sea. It was formed in response to the First and Second Barbary Wars. Between 1801 and 1818, the squadron was composed of a series of rotating squadrons. Later, squadrons were sent in the 1820s to the 1860s to suppress piracy, primarily in Greece and to engage in gunboat diplomacy. In 1865 the force was renamed the European Squadron.

White slavery Enslavement of people of European descent

White slavery refers to the chattel slavery of Europeans, whether by non-Europeans, or by other Europeans. Slaves of European origin were present in ancient Rome and the Ottoman Empire.

Golden Age of Piracy Maritime piracy from the 1650s to the 1730s

The Golden Age of Piracy is a common designation for the period between the 1650s and the 1730s, when maritime piracy was a significant factor in the histories of the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Indian Ocean states, North America, and West Africa.

History of slavery Aspect of history

The history of slavery spans many cultures, nationalities, and religions from ancient times to the present day. However, the social, economic, and legal positions of slaves have differed vastly in different systems of slavery in different times and places.

Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, commonly known as Reis Mourad the Younger, was a Dutch pirate in Morocco who converted to Islam after being captured by a Moorish state in 1618. He began serving as a pirate, one of the most famous of the 17th-century "Salé Rovers". Together with other corsairs, he helped establish the independent Republic of Salé at the city of that name, serving as the first President and Grand Admiral. He also served as Governor of Oualidia.

Slavery in Africa Slave trade and various forms of slavery in historical Africa

Slavery has historically been widespread in Africa. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of Africa in ancient times, as they were in much of the rest of the ancient world. When the trans-Saharan slave trade, Indian ocean slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the pre-existing local African slave systems began supplying captives for slave markets outside Africa.

Turkish Abductions

The Turkish Abductions were a series of slave raids by pirates from Northwest Africa that took place in Iceland in the summer of 1627. The pirates came from the cities of Algiers and Salé. They raided Grindavík, the East Fjords, and Vestmannaeyjar. About 50 people were killed and close to 400 people were captured and sold in the African slave market. A ransom was eventually paid, 9 to 18 years later, for the return of 50 individuals.

Slavery in Britain

Slavery in Great Britain existed prior to the Roman occupation and until the 12th century, when chattel slavery disappeared, at least for a time, following the Norman Conquest. Former indigenous slaves merged into the larger body of serfs in Britain and no longer were recognised separately in law or custom.

Barbary slave trade Slave markets in North Africa

The Barbary slave trade refers to slave markets on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which included the Ottoman provinces of Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania and the independent sultanate of Morocco, between the 16th and middle of the 18th century. The Ottoman provinces in North Africa were nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in reality they were mostly autonomous.

Slavery among Native Americans in the United States Native Americans owning, and being, slaves

Slavery among Native Americans in the United States includes slavery by and slavery of Native Americans roughly within what is currently the United States of America.

References

  1. Davis, Robert. Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800.
  2. "When Europeans were slaves: Research suggests white slavery was much more common than previously believed" Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine , Research News, Ohio State University
  3. Carroll, Rory; correspondent, Africa (2004-03-11). "New book reopens old arguments about slave raids on Europe". The Guardian. ISSN   0261-3077 . Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  4. Rees Davies, "British Slaves on the Barbary Coast", BBC, 1 July 2003
  5. 1 2 The Mariners' Museum: The Barbary Wars, 1801-1805
  6. Oren, Michael B. (2005-11-03). "The Middle East and the Making of the United States, 1776 to 1815" . Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  7. Richard Leiby, "Terrorists by Another Name: The Barbary Pirates", The Washington Post , October 15, 2001
  8. The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 3, AD 1420–AD 1804
  9. Linda Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600-1850, London: Jonathan Cape, 2002, pp. 9-11