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Guides: Slavery

Last Updated: Friday February 16 2007 10:19 GMT

How were slaves treated?

Slaves at market

It was a very hard life as a slave and very difficult to imagine now.

Whole families would be taken from their homes in Africa against their will and moved in dreadful cramped, diseased conditions on ships. Many died during the voyage.

The people would then be sold as slaves - separated from their family - and become the property of someone, just like you would own a bicycle or a car. They had no rights at all.

This would mean they might have to change their name to that of their owner, and work really hard for up to 18 hours a day in terrible conditions.

They had a poor diet and no care for their health, often walking for miles in the hot sun and living in rough huts and sleeping on a dirt floor.

Hard life

Masters would control their slaves by whipping them.

Once a slave started work on a plantation they usually only lived for about seven years because they were worked so hard. If the plantation was run by a church they usually died after three years.

Being a slave was a hard, miserable life.



Guide to Slavery


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