Children of Bondage A social History of the Slave Society at the Cape of Good Hope, 1652 - 1838 by Robert C.-H. Shell

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Paperback

ISBN 9781868142750

Pages: 501

The Dutch East India Company introduced the first slave into the Cape of Good Hope in 1653. In this historiography of Cape slavery, Shell examines the complex and highly stratified hierarchies that evolved in South Africa, and outlines how its multiracial system of slavery was distinct from the biracial system that arose in the New World. He argues that while frontier and class interests were significant factors in South Africa's racial and political philosophies, these influences were secondary manifestations of a more universal force, namely the family as the fundamental unit of subordination. He also explores the history of oceanic and domestic slave trades, sexual and gender relations within the slave hierarchy, religious and political identity among slaves, and the promises and realities of manumission.