Slavery is alive and well in today’s world, and the CS crew pulls no punches. Slaves regaining their freedom in Aztec society, British slaves on the Barbary Coast, Somaly Mam’s escape from Cambodia, forced child labour on African cocoa farms, and of course a look at the Atlantic slave trade & slave ships. Also, a quick timeline of emancipation throughout the world.

Music: “Slave Ship” by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets

Images

Links

MOVIES

Amistad
Toren: 8/10
Kevin: 5/10
Joe: 8/10

Taken
Kevin: 7/10

Traffic
Toren: 7/10
Kevin: 7/10

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Toren: 6/10
Joe: 4/10

Spartacus
Kevin: 8/10
Joe: 7/10

Ben Hur
Kevin: 10/10

Born into Brothels
Kevin: 7/10

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Showing 28 comments
  • banks!

    What a huge topic to distill. Interesting show.

    An interesting point is that there was slavery before whitey came to ‘North America’, at least in the Pacific Northwest. The Haida indians used to make slaves of people they conquered. They were slaved for life as were any of their descendants.

    • Jon

      Totally! I read a book in primary school about a kid that got kidnapped by the Haida and was forced to be a slave…I’m still kind of interested how that book made it into a primary school library and why I was made to read it…I think it has to do with the half native “this is your people” thing the school was trying to force on me when really I’m just a white guy with a tan.

  • Rico

    got to love mondays! More Soda!

  • Rico

    got to love mondays! More Soda!

  • Fred

    You guys got your Upper Canada and Lower Canada mixed up. Upper Canada is the one higher *up*stream along the St. Lawrence River, even though it appears lower on a map with north at the top.

    • Toren

      Serves them right for making it so confusing.

    • dr b

      Aw, I came here to be outraged about this.

  • Unspeakable Amorphous Blob

    Great episode gals, On our (your) lesser two evils, I’d rather the guillotine because if I die, I don’t want to have been killed along with fifty other slaves.

  • Unspeakable Amorphous Blob

    And, an “interesting” thing is that amistad means friendship in Spanish…

  • Unspeakable Amorphous Blob

    And, an “interesting” thing is that amistad means friendship in Spanish…

  • seaotter

    The emancipation proclamation (1862) freed the slaves in the rebel states. The union states with slaves along with Tennessee, New Orleans, and the counties that would later become West Virginia were excluded. Secretary of State William H. Seward commented, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

  • Phoenix

    Another little interesting slavery tidbit would be the alleged child-indenture practices of SeaOrg, the floating Scientology upper-echelon super-yacht… children serving on SeaOrg are signed, like many other Scientologists, to billion-year contracts, and there has been a fair bit of testimony regarding corporal punishment and abuse of these kids, basically child slaves.

  • spookyparadigm

    I gotta stop being the Mesoamerica guy, but …

    two caustic soda worthy bits on slavery (the second one is “better”)

    First, one element of Aztec slavery, really Postclassic (and probably earlier) Mesoamerican slavery in general. You guys mentioned sacrifice as a punishment for escape. But sale of slaves for sacrifice was a bit more common than that. Especially children, mostly male, to the rain god (Tlaloc for the Aztec, Chac for the Maya) during droughts. Their tears were considered sympathetic magic to bring rain, and they might be thrown into a natural well, as at Chichen Itza.

    But the real Caustic Soda example is when the Spaniards got there. In the 1520s and 1530s, the Spaniards turned Nicaragua into a charnel house of slaving, more than pretty much anywhere else. This may be because the Aztecs were already used to going there to slave, but this isn’t certain. But the slaving expeditions there approach the Atlantic trade in horrors. Spanish slaving raids would go in, capture hundreds or thousands of prisoners, and in many cases, 90% would die before they got back to a city to be sold to Mexico or the Caribbean (btw, the reason why enslaved Africans ended up being such a big part of the population of the Caribbean was because the smaller-scale populations in the first-contact Caribbean were far more devastated by violence, disease, and exploitation than the rest of the Americas, being virtually destroyed or swamped out by the middle of the 16th century, 60 years after contact). These overland expeditions, or entradas in Nicaragua were beyond horrifying. Slaves would be branded, often several times. On the face.

    But the thing that sticks out in my mind?

    They chained the slaves together at the neck, and made them walk. If someone got sick or tired and slowed down the slave train, yup, that’s right. Head chopped off with a sword, body pulled out of the neck manacle, back up to speed.

  • spookyparadigm

    I gotta stop being the Mesoamerica guy, but …

    two caustic soda worthy bits on slavery (the second one is “better”)

    First, one element of Aztec slavery, really Postclassic (and probably earlier) Mesoamerican slavery in general. You guys mentioned sacrifice as a punishment for escape. But sale of slaves for sacrifice was a bit more common than that. Especially children, mostly male, to the rain god (Tlaloc for the Aztec, Chac for the Maya) during droughts. Their tears were considered sympathetic magic to bring rain, and they might be thrown into a natural well, as at Chichen Itza.

    But the real Caustic Soda example is when the Spaniards got there. In the 1520s and 1530s, the Spaniards turned Nicaragua into a charnel house of slaving, more than pretty much anywhere else. This may be because the Aztecs were already used to going there to slave, but this isn’t certain. But the slaving expeditions there approach the Atlantic trade in horrors. Spanish slaving raids would go in, capture hundreds or thousands of prisoners, and in many cases, 90% would die before they got back to a city to be sold to Mexico or the Caribbean (btw, the reason why enslaved Africans ended up being such a big part of the population of the Caribbean was because the smaller-scale populations in the first-contact Caribbean were far more devastated by violence, disease, and exploitation than the rest of the Americas, being virtually destroyed or swamped out by the middle of the 16th century, 60 years after contact). These overland expeditions, or entradas in Nicaragua were beyond horrifying. Slaves would be branded, often several times. On the face.

    But the thing that sticks out in my mind?

    They chained the slaves together at the neck, and made them walk. If someone got sick or tired and slowed down the slave train, yup, that’s right. Head chopped off with a sword, body pulled out of the neck manacle, back up to speed.

  • castewar

    History Is Interesting #105 – Once freed, slaves were allowed to have surnames. Those without, choose their own, creating the unusual situation where 90% of the 200K Washington’s in America are African-American.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/washington-blackest-name-america_n_825884.html

  • castewar

    History Is Interesting #105 – Once freed, slaves were allowed to have surnames. Those without, choose their own, creating the unusual situation where 90% of the 200K Washington’s in America are African-American.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/washington-blackest-name-america_n_825884.html

  • castewar

    More links;
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/middle-passage-film-graphic_n_827124.html
    Debate over 9 year olds seeing an explicit movie on slavery.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/us/13judge.html?_r=2
    Two judges have been charged with accepting kickbacks for handing out excessive sentences in order to provide privatized juvenile penal centers with inmates.

  • MissionBrown

    Seems like Cadbury are trying to be on the up and up with their ethically made chocolate

    http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/restaurants-and-bars/sweet-taste-of-success-20110418-1dl9q.html

  • Derek

    A show you might not have come across is a British undercover cop drama called Murphy’s Law with James Nesbitt in it (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408403/). It’s powerful telly, especially the 5th season (only 3 episodes – they make short ones over in the UK) which is about a cop getting caught up in the sex slave trade coming into the UK from Northern Europe. Not easy to watch but very, very good. And horrible.

  • Derek

    A show you might not have come across is a British undercover cop drama called Murphy’s Law with James Nesbitt in it (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408403/). It’s powerful telly, especially the 5th season (only 3 episodes – they make short ones over in the UK) which is about a cop getting caught up in the sex slave trade coming into the UK from Northern Europe. Not easy to watch but very, very good. And horrible.

  • JustVisiting

    Check out this article:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_stillman
    About the modern version of indentured servitude, just as you guys described it (paying recruiting fee under pretense of lucrative opportunity, arriving at your destination and having your passport taken away, etc.), on US military bases in the middle east. Crazy stuff.

  • Cherry

    First, one element of Aztec slavery, really Postclassic (and probably earlier) Mesoamerican slavery in general. You guys mentioned sacrifice as a punishment for escape. But sale of slaves for sacrifice was a bit more common than that. Especially children, mostly male, to the rain god (Tlaloc for the Aztec, Chac for the Maya) during droughts. Their tears were considered sympathetic magic to bring rain, and they might be thrown into a natural well, as at Chichen Itza.

  • Cherry

    First, one element of Aztec slavery, really Postclassic (and probably earlier) Mesoamerican slavery in general. You guys mentioned sacrifice as a punishment for escape. But sale of slaves for sacrifice was a bit more common than that. Especially children, mostly male, to the rain god (Tlaloc for the Aztec, Chac for the Maya) during droughts. Their tears were considered sympathetic magic to bring rain, and they might be thrown into a natural well, as at Chichen Itza.

  • LeadCuresCancer

    For lesser of two evils I would take being thrown overboard in the hopes that I could drag one of the slavers down with me.

    I was disappointed that you did not touch on slavery in places like Rome or Greece and instead focused on more modern slavery events. Although it was astounding to hear of slavery in this day and age I would have liked to know a little bit more about societies which were based off of slave labour.

  • maitreyi1978

    Somaly Mam’s story has been debunked.

  • maitreyi1978

    Somaly Mam’s story has been debunked.