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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is written by an international panel of historians and social scientists, and sheds light specifically on the changes which the legal abolition of the slave trade brought about - directly and indirectly - in the labor relations of different regions and continents. The historical perspective taken by the authors is mainly a socio-economic one. The book intends to contribute to an historical perspective which transcends such limitations, without however pretending to construct anything like a complete reappraisal of world history or a new theoretical synthesis; that would obviously require far more research as well as the cooperation of many specialists from different disciplines. The Arab slave trade encountered serious problems only when Britain consolidated its rule in the Sudan and East Africa at the end of the 19th century.

Keywords: Arab slave trade; labor relations; legal abolition



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