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Compare & Contrast Russian Serfdom Essay

In the dark ages of 1450 to 1750, a devastating time period, Russian slavery & Caribbean slavery became popular. Although Russian serfdom & Caribbean slavery are similar in regard to how they were punished, the laborious work, & the little rights they received. They’re different in regard to their location, ways in which they’re owned & their payment for work.

To start, the three similarities between Russian serfdom & Caribbean slavery are: the ways the slaves were punished, the laborious work, & the little rights they received. Both Russian slaves & Caribbean slaves were punished the same way, corporal punishment. Slaves in both regions were whipped & beaten. Rougher means of punishment was also implemented, such as starvation, sexual abuse, & hanging. Slaves would face this punishment when acting out, such as trying to flee, or back talking the master or landowner. Sometimes, the slave was punished for small things such as: not eating or answering questions fast enough.

The laborious work was similar as well, both types of slaves worked long hours in fields or in factories. Typically 18 hours of work or from sun rise to sun set. Both Caribbean slaves & Russian slaves were free farmers. They planted, grew, & harvested all different things, typically cotton & sugar. These slaves had little to no rights. As mentioned above, they were constantly beaten, not respected, & had no freedom whatsoever. They often went days at a time not eating then had to work hard in the fields, but when they’d try to take a break, they would be whipped.

Three differences between Russian serfdom & Caribbean slavery are: their location, ways in which they were owned, & their payment for work. Russian slaves hailed from Europe, particularly Russia while Caribbean slaves hailed from islands between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, particularly the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, & Cuba. While both produced similar products, they were in totally different regions of the world. They ways in which Russian & Caribbean slaves were different in the sense that Russian slavery was like Russian serfdom.

Russian serfdom is based on land, & whoever bought the plot was the slave’s master while Caribbean slavery was being owned by a master, who chooses & buys the slave. Another difference in Russian slavery & Caribbean slavery is the payment the slaves were awarded with for their work. Russian slaves were granted the protection from invaders, due to the master owning the land. Typically masters were either rich, royal or both, granting them the ability to have people guard their land. While Caribbean slaves were rewarded pretty much nothing other than being able to have one third of whatever crop they grew & harvested. They were not paid nor granted protection.

Based on analysis, Russian & Caribbean slavery are similar & different due to what needed to be produced. Their differences are due to the way they were owned & amount of protection. Caribbean slaves produced sugar as did Russian slaves, but Caribbean sugar seemed to be more popular & was often exported because of the region of the Caribbean. Rich fertile soil & good growing conditions needed to have workers that were chosen for the hard work, while Russian slaves producing a little bit of everything needed versatile workers that could do a little bit of everything.

This leads to protection, everyone in the Caribbean was trying to produce sugar, and the masters didn’t feel the need to have protection of the slaves, because all of the other slaves owned by other masters were busy doing the same thing. Meanwhile in Russia, the master of the land felt the need to protect their versatile workers & their crops. The reason for the similarity in the products they produce was oddly region. The fact that both Russia & the Caribbean slaves were able to produce the same products was due to the fact that both regions had very fertile soil, & good weather conditions during certain times of the year.


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