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Building Slavery in the Atlantic World: Atlantic Connections and the Changing Institution of Slavery in Cabo Verde, Fifteenth-Sixteenth Centuries

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalSlavery and abolition
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2011
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print30 Mar 2011
PublishedJun 2011

King's Authors

Abstract

This paper analyses the early institutionalisation of slavery in the Cabo Verde islands. It is shown that initially slavery in Cabo Verde borrowed heavily from existing practices and ideologies in Iberia, in which slavery was legitimated through religious discrimination. However, the pivotal early role of the archipelago in the transatlantic slave trade meant that practices changed according to Atlantic factors. The frequent exchanges between Cabo Verde and the West African coast thereby created a mechanism for Atlantic factors to influence institutions within Africa itself. Both West Africa and the early Atlantic world were deeply interconnected even at this early period, and neither can be studied in isolation from the other.

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