Slave rebellion

  • a slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past. a desire for freedom and the dream of successful rebellion are often the greatest objects of song, art, and culture amongst the enslaved population. many of the events, however, are often violently opposed and suppressed by slaveholders.

    the most successful slave rebellion in history was the 18th-century haitian revolution, led by toussaint louverture and later jean-jacques dessalines who won the war against their french colonial rulers, which founded the country formerly known as saint domingue. other famous historic slave rebellions have been led by the roman slave spartacus (c. 73–71 bc), as well as the thrall (scandinavian slave) tunni, who rebelled against the swedish monarch ongentheow, a rebellion that needed danish assistance to be quelled. in the ninth century, the poet-prophet ali bin muhammad led imported east african slaves in iraq during the zanj rebellion against the abbasid caliphate; nanny of the maroons was an 18th-century leader who rebelled against the british in jamaica; and the quilombo dos palmares of brazil flourished under ganazumba (ganga zumba). the 1811 german coast uprising in the territory of orleans was the largest rebellion in the continental united states; denmark vesey rebelled in south carolina, and madison washington during the creole case in the 19th century united states.

    ancient sparta had a special type of serf called helots who were often treated harshly, leading them to rebel.[1] according to herodotus (ix, 28–29), helots were seven times as numerous as spartans. every autumn, according to plutarch (life of lycurgus, 28, 3–7), the spartan ephors would pro forma declare war on the helot population so that any spartan citizen could kill a helot without fear of blood or guilt in order to keep them in line (crypteia).

    in the roman empire, though the heterogeneous nature of the slave population worked against a strong sense of solidarity, slave revolts did occur and were severely punished.[2] the most famous slave rebellion in europe was led by spartacus in roman italy, the third servile war. this war resulted in the 6000 surviving rebel slaves being crucified along the main roads leading into rome.[3] this was the third in a series of unrelated servile wars fought by slaves against the romans.

    the english peasants' revolt of 1381 led to calls for the reform of feudalism in england and an increase in rights for serfs. the peasants' revolt was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval europe. richard ii agreed to reforms including fair rents and the abolition of serfdom. following the collapse of the revolt, the king's concessions were quickly revoked, but the rebellion is significant because it marked the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval england.[4]

    in russia, the slaves were usually classified as kholops. a kholop's master had unlimited power over his life. slavery remained a major institution in russia until 1723, when peter the great converted the household slaves into house serfs. russian agricultural slaves were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.[5] during the 16th and 17th centuries, runaway serfs and kholops known as cossacks, ("outlaws") formed autonomous communities in the southern steppes. there were numerous rebellions against slavery and serfdom, most often in conjunction with cossack uprisings, such as the uprisings of ivan bolotnikov (1606–1607), stenka razin (1667–1671),[6] kondraty bulavin (1707–1709), and yemelyan pugachev (1773–1775), often involving hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions.[7] between the end of the pugachev rebellion and the beginning of the 19th century, there were hundreds of outbreaks across russia.[8]

    numerous african slave rebellions and insurrections took place in north america during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. there is documented evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving 10 or more slaves. three of the best known in the united states during the 19th century are the revolts by gabriel prosser in the richmond, virginia area in 1800, denmark vesey in charleston, south carolina, in 1822, and nat turner in southampton county, virginia, in 1831. slave resistance in the antebellum south did not gain the attention of academic historians until the 1940s, when historian herbert aptheker started publishing the first serious scholarly work on the subject. aptheker stressed how rebellions were rooted in the exploitative conditions of the southern slave system. he traversed libraries and archives throughout the south, managing to uncover roughly 250 similar instances.

  • middle east
  • europe and the mediterranean
  • são tomé and príncipe
  • south america and the caribbean
  • north america
  • africa
  • slave ship revolts
  • bibliography
  • see also
  • references and notes
  • external links

A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery or have practiced slavery in the past. A desire for freedom and the dream of successful rebellion are often the greatest objects of song, art, and culture amongst the enslaved population. Many of the events, however, are often violently opposed and suppressed by slaveholders.

The most successful slave rebellion in history was the 18th-century Haitian Revolution, led by Toussaint Louverture and later Jean-Jacques Dessalines who won the war against their French colonial rulers, which founded the country formerly known as Saint Domingue. Other famous historic slave rebellions have been led by the Roman slave Spartacus (c. 73–71 BC), as well as the thrall (Scandinavian slave) Tunni, who rebelled against the Swedish monarch Ongentheow, a rebellion that needed Danish assistance to be quelled. In the ninth century, the poet-prophet Ali bin Muhammad led imported East African slaves in Iraq during the Zanj Rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate; Nanny of the Maroons was an 18th-century leader who rebelled against the British in Jamaica; and the Quilombo dos Palmares of Brazil flourished under Ganazumba (Ganga Zumba). The 1811 German Coast Uprising in the Territory of Orleans was the largest rebellion in the continental United States; Denmark Vesey rebelled in South Carolina, and Madison Washington during the Creole case in the 19th century United States.

Ancient Sparta had a special type of serf called helots who were often treated harshly, leading them to rebel.[1] According to Herodotus (IX, 28–29), helots were seven times as numerous as Spartans. Every autumn, according to Plutarch (Life of Lycurgus, 28, 3–7), the Spartan ephors would pro forma declare war on the helot population so that any Spartan citizen could kill a helot without fear of blood or guilt in order to keep them in line (crypteia).

In the Roman Empire, though the heterogeneous nature of the slave population worked against a strong sense of solidarity, slave revolts did occur and were severely punished.[2] The most famous slave rebellion in Europe was led by Spartacus in Roman Italy, the Third Servile War. This war resulted in the 6000 surviving rebel slaves being crucified along the main roads leading into Rome.[3] This was the third in a series of unrelated Servile Wars fought by slaves against the Romans.

The English peasants' revolt of 1381 led to calls for the reform of feudalism in England and an increase in rights for serfs. The Peasants' Revolt was one of a number of popular revolts in late medieval Europe. Richard II agreed to reforms including fair rents and the abolition of serfdom. Following the collapse of the revolt, the king's concessions were quickly revoked, but the rebellion is significant because it marked the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England.[4]

In Russia, the slaves were usually classified as kholops. A kholop's master had unlimited power over his life. Slavery remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter the Great converted the household slaves into house serfs. Russian agricultural slaves were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.[5] During the 16th and 17th centuries, runaway serfs and kholops known as Cossacks, ("outlaws") formed autonomous communities in the southern steppes. There were numerous rebellions against slavery and serfdom, most often in conjunction with Cossack uprisings, such as the uprisings of Ivan Bolotnikov (1606–1607), Stenka Razin (1667–1671),[6] Kondraty Bulavin (1707–1709), and Yemelyan Pugachev (1773–1775), often involving hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions.[7] Between the end of the Pugachev rebellion and the beginning of the 19th century, there were hundreds of outbreaks across Russia.[8]

Numerous African slave rebellions and insurrections took place in North America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There is documented evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving 10 or more slaves. Three of the best known in the United States during the 19th century are the revolts by Gabriel Prosser in the Richmond, Virginia area in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822, and Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831. Slave resistance in the antebellum South did not gain the attention of academic historians until the 1940s, when historian Herbert Aptheker started publishing the first serious scholarly work on the subject. Aptheker stressed how rebellions were rooted in the exploitative conditions of the southern slave system. He traversed libraries and archives throughout the South, managing to uncover roughly 250 similar instances.

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