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Date: Feb 19, 2021

Changes in Enslavement Methods on Madagascar and Slavery in the Mascarenes (1725-1810) February 22, 2021: Next Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture Series by Rafaël Thiébaut, Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

February 22, 2021: Next Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture Series by Rafaël Thiébaut, Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

This paper explores how, over time, the growth of the Mascarene slave trade with Madagascar diversified the methods of enslavement on the Big Island. Traditionally, domestic slaves had a distinct social status, but the development of a plantation economy on the French Mascarene Islands led to an intensification of commercial relations, which in turn led to a separate category of so-called "slaves intended for export". Violence, state-organized or not, justice, self-selling, debts – the frontiers between free and unfree became blurred which ensured a better influx of slaves. These changes had important consequences for the political and economic life of the Malagasy people, making each individual a potential slave. Although this situation did not persist for long, the slave trade became nevertheless deeply woven into every aspect of Malagasy and Mascarene societies.

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