Slavery was not called by this name in particular, but the practices were similar. The conquest of the Roman Province Dacia in the early years of the first century a.d. enables a clear view on the way in which war prisoners were treated and how this mentality was passed from one generation to the next. In this sense, by the 10th century, in the eastern region of Europe, slaves were in fact poor peasants which had no income or means to support their families and were thus forced by circumstances to work for the master of the domain (Phillips, 1985). Therefore, the practices had changed from enslaving war prisoners to enslaving free men. This in turn enabled the society to transform and to increase the gaps between the levels of the society. Thus, it can be said that the feudal system is based on the initial slavery acts performed in the early days of society (Berstein and Milza, 1994).
Slavery can be seen from these points-of-view to represent a factor for social stratification. As seen above, it triggered major settlements in the societies it was present. In the Roman Empire, it had an important role in politics as it presented the first occasions for social upheaval. Also, it pressed on important questions such as equality among men and political rights. Even so, the Roman Empire was the one to best benefit from this practice as it enabled it to develop in terms of constructions, infrastructure, agriculture, economy.
Therefore, slavery was an important incentive and component of the success of the Empire.
For the African continent, given its seclusion from major events such as conquests and wars with the European continent, it is rather difficult to give an image of the early days of slavery on the continent. However, once the European routes to Africa were discovered, slavery became a trade coin and it enabled strong commercial ties between the West and the African continent. This aspect in turn created major reverberations in the societies that would later be affected by black slavery.
For East Europe, slavery was simply the beginning of a series of social transformations that would eventually cost centuries of servitude and social inequalities. In any situation, it was a trigger for a social stratification that determined the popular rebellions so present in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Overall, it can be concluded that slavery represented a crucial practice in the history of civilization. It marked a social practice, stratification, and in the end social history whose results were visible throughout the centuries.
Berstein, Serge, and Milza. Pierre. Histoire de lEurope. Paris: Hatier, 1994
Blake, William O. The history of slavery and the slave trade, ancient and modern. Columbus: J&H Miller, 1861
Braunstein, Florence, and Pepin, Jean Francois. Les Grandes Doctrines. Paris: Ellipses, 1998.
Jenkins, P. . A history of the United States. New York: Palgrave, 1997.
Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and social death: a comparative study. Harvard.