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The Legal Understanding of SlaveryFrom the Historical to the Contemporary$
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Jean Allain

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660469

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660469.001.0001

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The Definition of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Thinking *

The Definition of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Thinking *

Not the True Roman Slavery

(p.61) 4 The Definition of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Thinking*
The Legal Understanding of Slavery

John W. Cairns

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the definition of slavery during the 18th century. It first takes a look at the various definitions of slavery during the Roman, early modern, and modern periods. Next, it discusses some 18th-century cases on slavery and studies slavery in terms of ownership and of powers that a person exercises over another. The latter part of the chapter focuses on the opinions of judges on slavery and the nature of slavery, as well as modern law on slavery. It also studies the concept of de facto slavery and the efforts to identify colonial slavery with Roman slavery.

Keywords:   18th-century slavery, powers, judicial opinions, modern law, nature of slavery, de facto slavery, colonial slavery, Roman slavery

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