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Involuntary migration in the early modern world, 1500-1800

Richardson, David


David Richardson


David Eltis

Stanley L. Engerman


Any investigation of involuntary migration in the early modern period must recognize that trafficking in human beings was an important feature of life in both the New and the Old Worlds in the period 1500-1800. This chapter focuses on involuntary migration in the lands bordering the Mediterranean and the Middle East and on slavery and the rise of serfdom in eastern Europe. It explores the factors shaping such migrations and, specifically, examines what determined that the transatlantic slave trade had eclipsed all other migrations by the eighteenth century. Compared to the coerced movement of people within the Old World, we have much firmer evidence on which to trace the magnitude and temporal and geographical patterns of the forced migration of Africans to the Americas between 1500 and 1800. It is important to see the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans in broader hemispheric context, even if our knowledge of other forced migrations is more circumscribed.


Richardson, D. (2011). Involuntary migration in the early modern world, 1500-1800. In D. Eltis, & S. L. Engerman (Eds.), The Cambridge World History of Slavery, Volume 3: AD 1420-AD 1804 (563-593). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2014
Journal The Cambridge world history of slavery. Volume 3, AD 1420-AD 1804
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Pages 563-593
Book Title The Cambridge World History of Slavery, Volume 3: AD 1420-AD 1804
Chapter Number 22
ISBN 9780511975400
Keywords Mediterranean islands; Transatlantic slave trade; Involuntary migration; Early modern world; Eastern Europe
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