The Other Slavery Book Summary - The Other Slavery Book explained in key points

The Other Slavery summary

Andrés Reséndez

Brief summary

The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez is a historical exploration of the enslavement of indigenous people in the Americas, shedding light on an overlooked chapter of colonial history and its lasting impact on indigenous communities.

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    The Other Slavery
    Summary of key ideas

    The Enslavement of Native Americans

    In The Other Slavery, Andrés Reséndez recounts the often ignored history of the enslavement of Native Americans. He starts by illuminating that, even before the arrival of Europeans, native tribes were already practicing slavery, albeit in a different form. It was Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World that escalated the enslavement.

    This began with the Spaniards, who captured native people, subjected them to forced labor, sold them as slaves, and exported them to other parts of the world. Reséndez mentions how colonial officials gave the Spaniards the right to conscript locals for forced labor as part of the encomienda system, which further perpetuated enslavement.

    The Subjugation under Different Names

    Reséndez then explains how native Americans were subjugated under different guises besides outright slavery. This included forms like repartimiento, giving colonists the right to native labor; encomienda, allegedly a system of protection and conversion; and peonage, or debt slavery. He emphasizes how these so-called different systems, while not explicitly called slavery, had the same effect: the subjugation and forced labor of Native Americans.

    Reséndez also speaks about how the American government, denying the existence of Native American slavery, continued the practice through the guise of Indian apprenticeship. This allowed white settlers to take Native children under the premise of providing them with education and training, while essentially keeping them as slaves.

    Endurance and Resistance of the Enslaved

    The author then shifts the spotlight onto the resistance of the natives and their struggles for freedom. He touches upon how enslaved natives actively resisted their masters through means such as escaping, rebelling, and even suicide. He introduces us to the Pueblo Revolt, a significant uprising in 1680, where Pueblo Indians in modern New Mexico successfully overthrew Spanish rule for over a decade.

    Reséndez also describes the lives of individuals who survived enslavement, drawing attention to their resilience and spirit in the face of unimaginable hardships. He recounts tales of some enslaved Native Americans who managed to escape their servitude and return to their homelands, contributing to cultural survival.

    The Unresolved Legacy of Native American Slavery

    Wrapping up, Reséndez delves into the impact this vast system of Native American enslavement has left, its echoes felt even today. To highlight this, he examines the existing economic disparities and social challenges that many Native American communities continue to face.

    In conclusion, The Other Slavery precisely outlines the enslavement of Native Americans, a topic often overshadowed by the African slave trade. With detailed accounts and deep insights, Andrés Reséndez brings to light an important, albeit unpleasant, aspect of history, promoting understanding and empathy towards the trials of the Native Americans.

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    What is The Other Slavery about?

    The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez (2016) sheds light on the often forgotten history of Native American enslavement in the Americas. Reséndez offers a comprehensive account of this brutal practice, examining the devastating impact it had on indigenous populations. By uncovering this obscured history, the book challenges conventional narratives and prompts us to confront the enduring legacy of slavery in America.

    Who should read The Other Slavery?

    • History buffs curious about lesser-known aspects of slavery
    • Those interested in understanding the extent and impact of slavery throughout the Americas
    • Readers who appreciate a well-researched and thought-provoking analysis of a complex historical issue

    About the Author

    Andrés Reséndez is an historian and author known for his extensive research on the history of slavery in the Americas. He is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis, and has written several books on the topic. Reséndez's most notable work is The Other Slavery, which explores the enslavement of indigenous peoples in the Americas. His meticulous research and compelling storytelling shed light on an often overlooked aspect of history.

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