Labor Systems in World History

Flashcard maker : Brenda Gannon
European Feudalism
Economic and political relationships between landlords and peasant labor on large self-sufficient agricultural estates; also known as manorialism. Peasant laborers serve lord in exchange for the right to farm the land. In exchange for their loyal labor they are protected from raiders. Estate owners provide judicial system. (600-1750 CE)
Atlantic Slave Trade
Started with prisoner-taking raids in Africa. Grew into ethnic/race based trade on massive scale. Enslaved people were beasts of burden to be bought and sold like livestock; most often used in plantation agriculture gang-labor systems. (1450-1850 CE)
Arab Slave Trade
Resulted from military conquest, debt, crimes or selling children. Small scale trade. Became ethnic/race based after 1200 CE. (800-1950 CE)
Ancient & Classical Slave Labor
House servants and agricultural workers captured in war. Majority women servants and concubines. Up to 40% of Greece and Rome population enslaved. (8000 BCE- 600 CE)
Indentured Servitude (First Stage)
Poor Europeans. Four to seven years of labor in exchange for ship passages to western hemisphere, small amount of land, a few tools, and some clothing. (1450-1800 CE)
Indigenous people divided up among Spanish settlers and forced to provide labor for mines and plantations, food, textiles, other goods. (1450-1750 CE)
Mit’a Labor System
Common people give a certain amount of labor annually to the state (or political and religious elites) for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, temples, palaces, irrigation projects, public works. (Inca: 1100-1550) (Spanish: 1550-1850)
Russian Serfdom
Based on earlier European manorial system of feudalism. Half peasants/agricultural laborers tied to land. High proportion of labor provided to land/estate owners. Lived in villages. Same ethnic group as estate/land owners. Could be sold and punished severely. Freed in 1861, became communal farmers. (1000-1861 CE)
Internal African Slave Trade
Resulted from raids, warfare, crime. Often accepted as member of kin group (extended family) to give elites more status. Children often freed. Same general ethnic group as owners. (600-1914 CE)
Indentured Labor (Second Stage)
Established after Western Hemisphere slave trade outlawed by British and other Europeans. Much cheaper sea transportation increases demand for this labor. Five to seven years labor in exchange for sea passage, small salaries, clothing, housing, and medical care. Recruits poor from East and South Asia to Western Hemisphere and European peripheries. (1800-1914 CE)
Industrial Labor
Wage labor in factories in urban settings. Long hours and poor working conditions. Workers form trade or labor unions to advance and protect interests. (1800-Present)
Japanese Feudalism
Peasants higher status than merchants. Peasants tied to land, work on roads, canals, irrigation, serve in militias. Provide food and taxes to daimyos in exchange for protection. Based on personal honor and loyalty, reinforced by Confucianism, ended during Meiji reforms. (600-1914 CE)
Plantation Agriculture
Production system based on a large estate owned by an individual, family, or corporation and organized to produce a cash crop. Almost all plantations were established within the tropics, rely on cheap labor, and replaces subsistence farming. (1600-Present)
Mining Labor
Typically gang-labor in dangerous working conditions. Prominent position in labor movement for worker’s rights in modern times.
Wage Labor
Workers sold their labor for a wage to buy food, clothing, and shelter, on large plantations, mining operations, or in urban factories, unlike subsistence farmers who produced many of their own material goods and met their basic needs by farming. 1800-Present
Corvee Labor
Coerced labor; common form of labor in colonial period.

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