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The Abolition of Slavery in History (English Version)

The Abolition of Slavery by Jews and Christians

First: Abstract of this article

The point of this article is, that every permanent abolition of slavery was brought about by Jewish or Christian groups or individiuals and that, therefore, with the vanishing of Christian faith, slavery returns.

This article follows the historical path of the abolition of slavery from the Jewish prohibition to buy other Jews for more than seven years and the command to free them after 7 years, which was never retaken, and the command to endow the freed after seven years with all that he or she needed,

to the prohibition of taking Christians as slaves by the pope about 1000 CE, which was also never retaken.

Further it depicts the evasion of this papal prohibition from 1444 CE by (catholic) portugese laymen, merchants, by purchasing black non-Christians in local African slave markets or, not so often, by hunting them by themselves in Africa.

Then this article describes the efforts made by a part of the catholic clergy und by the king of Spain, to end the enslavement of Indians in America by means of the <New Laws> (“Leyes Nuevas”), which were abrogated because of the successfull uprising of catholic slaveholders against the Spanish crown and against its New Laws about 1542 CE, while the papal prohibition to enslave Christians was still observed in Europe.

It can therefore be said, that members of the Catholic church finished slavery in Europe, but reenacted it in America, without there ever getting rid of it anymore.

Further the article describes the path of the abolition of Slavery up to the British and American Evangelicals, who succeded from 1807 CE on to enact the abolition of slavery within the whole British Empire and later within the United States of America, and to prevent the overseas slave trade of the other states by means of the British Navy. Pope Gregory XVI. in the end in the follow-up of the successful activity of the anti-slavery-societes with issued a general prohibition of slavery in 1835 CE.

The article then depicts the path of abolition of slavery in the territories of all states with a Christian majority during the 19th Century.

It then follows the abolition of slavery in the non-Christian countries during the 20th Century, coming under Christian influence.

Finally the NAZIS’s attempt to reintroduce slavery is discussed, wwho made the attempt to murder all Jews, in order to destroy the roots of the anti-slavery movement.

Furthermore it is pointed out, it’s to be assumed, while the majority [more than 56%] of the Lutherans in Germany voted for Hitler, supporting his slavemaking wars, whereas in the catholic church the amount of Hitler’s party’s share of the poll was well below even 25%. Therefore it is not correct to say, that the protestant churches in general refused slavery more than the roman-catholic church, rather it’s necessary to distinguish the protestant churches und currents.

It is also pointed out the revival of a tremendous amount of slavery in West-Africa after the ending of their  colonization by states which were influenced by Christianity.  


End of the abstract of this article.



The Article itself:


The prohibition of the enslavement of Jews in the Old Testament (about 1250 BCE):


The first Jewish-Christian prohibition of slavery can be found in the bible together with the first version of the Ten Commandements as soon as in the book Exodus (Chapter 21, verse 2 and verse 20), which had its origin in about 1250 BCE and is the eldest prohibition of slavery at all. It rules that Jews could be bought for a maximum of seven years only and had to be released after that amount of time. Furthermore the bibel/thora prescribes in Deuteronomium (15, verse 12-15 and verse 18f), to provide the ex-slave with all essentials (in order to enable him or her to survive in freedom). In the Thora/Old Testament the Third Book of Moses (Moses 3, 25:44.) forbids the enslavement of Jews completely. If any Jew becomes impoverished and therefore sells himself to another Jew, the latter has to treat him like a wage worker and has to set him free even of this relation in the next jubilee year, [which was celebrated every 7 years]. In verse 46 it is as well explicitly forbidden to use violence against the Jews who have sold them like this.

On the contrary the prohibition of slavery among the citizens of Athens in the times of Solon (640-560 BCE) was according to my knowledge not a prohibition in the strict sense of the word, because indeed citizens of Athens were not to be made slaves, but they were often deprived of their citizenship, and then could be made slaves (!), for example as a punishment by a court[1], or if they were made captives in a war against another city or state and subsequently redeemd by an Athenian, to whom they could not pay pack the money afforded for this purpose,[2] within the 5th century BCE the ransom being about 200 drachmas and therefore higher as the average price for a slave.[3]

[For comparison: An armour of a heavily armed Athenian warrior cost 50-100 drachmas, a slave 160-180 drachmas.[4] An Athenian citizen, who could not pay the price of a slave, therefore could easily become a slave if taken as a captive, without being able to free himself.] And furthermore all the foreigners who lived in Athens without being citizens ( called “Metöken”) were automatically sold into slavery, if they could not afford to pay their taxes.[5] Apart from that, Athenian citizens could be deprived of their citizenship, for example if they sold themselves, a procedure for which there are many examples, but none which showed, that the citizenship of an Athenian was protecting from slavery.]



The prohibition of slavery in the Old Testament is applied to all Christians by the pope from about 1000 CE onwhich means, it, is expanded to them:


Probably together with Matthew 5, 17-18 (the Old Testament is not depreciated by Jesus Christ, but stays valid, as can be recognized from the explicit mentioning there, until the end of days, Deuteronomium 15, 12-18  [=Moses Book 5, 15, 12-18] lead at about 1000 CE, that is so to say with a delay of 1.500 years compared with the Jews, to the prohibition of the enslavement of Christians in general by the pope, which is only the final application of this part of the bible to all Christians, who, according to the Catholic church, are the (new) people of Israel. (This prohibition in fact is in force until today [2007/2013].)



European merchants circumvent the papal prohibition of the enslavement of Christians, buying black non-Christians from the already existing African slavemarkets or, more seldom, by hunting black Nonchristians in Africa themselves from 1444 CE on:


The Papal prohibition of the enslavement of Christians from about 1000 CE stayed [and stays] valid, while, since the beginning of the renaissance (!), many merchants were reorientating themselves from mediaeval Christian ideas towards ideals of the antiquity, including slaveholding. The result was: From 1444 CE on European merchants from Portugal (Catholics) were the first to avoid this Papal prohibition, about 90% by buying black Nonchristians from traditional black-African slavemarkets, which already existed in Africa, about 10% by hunting for black non-Christian slaves in Africa themselves. Merchants from Spain, Denmark and England followed up to their example. It is extimated that about 12 Million black slaves made in this manner were brought from Africa to America, of which only 10 Million arrived alife.[6] (In other words: An average of 16% died en route, because of the cruel methods of transport.[7])



The results of the efforts within the Catholic Church to prohibit the enslavement of Indians in the Spanish colonies in America:


a.)    The prohibition of the enslavement of Indians by influence of the Roman Catholic Church:

1542 CE bishop Bartholomé de las Casas, who had made efforts for this since 1514 CE, achieved the prohibition of the enslavement of all indians[8] by Charles V., emperor of the Holy Roman Empire – the great Catholic opponent of Martin Luther – by means of the so called New Laws (“Leyes Nuevas”) in Spanish colonies in America, called <New Spain>.[9] As later (1780-1804 CE) in the Northern States of the USA (the Union),[10] a gradual abolition of slavery was precsribed: The offspring of the slaves were stipulated to be born free, slavery therefore would become extinct.[11] [Freed] Indians would have the same rights as the Spaniards.[12] [To set up new districts with slavery, “Encomiendas”, would have been therefore forbidden. Existing “Encomiendas” would become extinct with the death of their proprietor or of his slaves.[13] Since 1544[14] bishop of Chiapas, [today a a federal state of Mexiko], Las Casas lead the implementation of the New Laws/Leyes Nuevas.[15] In order to achieve this prohibition of the enslavement of Indians bishop Las Casas afore had suggested to replace the Indian slaves with black slaves from Africa,[16] [because their chance of survival was big compared with that of the Indian slaves, who died, wherever they were enslaved, after a short time]. Las Casas was >successful< with this concept: In 1517 the Spaniards were allowed to bring slaves from Africa to America.[17] Las Casas regretted his proposal very soon,[18] namely after he had seen the consequences of the enslavement of Blacks,[19] [and therefore he later tried to extend the prohibition of the enslavement of Indians to Blacks, but was not successful with this effort.] But the “Leyes Nuevas”, [which had been effected by him[20]] in 1542 AD were not withdrawn, but suspended partially, because the slaveholders (“Encomenderos”) in Peru revolted[21] against the Leyes Nuevas,[22] declared the new Spanish viceroy, who had been expected by the Spanish court to enforce the Leyes Nuevas/New Laws, to be deposed; vanquished and killed him.[23] The slaveholders within the other Spanish areas outside of Peru also threatened to revolt.[24] The consequence was: The crown of Spain withdrew partially the <New Laws>/Leyes Nuevas,[25] and had them changed by Pedro de la Gasca,[26] 1547 AD.[27] Within the same year the opponents of Las Casas forced him to return [from America] to Spain.[28] [The <New Laws>/Leyes Nuevas were maintained apparently only with respect to the prohibition to create new areas (Encomiendas) of slavery with Indian slaves. However it was allowed to inherit existing areas of slavery (Encomiendas) und to keep the children of the Indian slaves there as slaves. Therefore the existing areas of slavery (Encomiendas) in New Spain were forbidden not until 1720 CE, though]

b.)    pope Urban VIII. Had excommunicated already in 1639 AD every catholic who enslaved Indians,[29] by which measure the prohibition of slavery became valid already that year for every faithfulCatholic.

c.)     Though under influence of the catholic church Portugal forbade the enslavement of Indiansin 1570 CE,concerning its colony Brasil als late as in 1758 CE.[30]



The Prohibition of all slavery within the British Empire is achieved 1807 CE by the British anti-slavery-movement which is initiated and led by British Evangelicals:The anti-slavery movement which was at last successful started in Great Britain with a petition for the abolition of slavery by the English Quakers in 1783 CE.[31] [The “Quakers” are a “evangelical”, or synonymously “fundamentalist”, Christian church, which recognizes the validitiy of the bible only and only verbatim.]The anti-slavery movement, which has thus come into existence, in England was finally successfully because of the “Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade”, founded by the Evangelical member of parliament William Wilberforce in 1787 CE, who, as a member of the British parliament, brought about the prohibition of the slave trade in the British West Indies in 1807 march 25th,[32] which cut the line of supply for  newly made slaves from Africa into the New World [as a first step to the general abolition of slavery].

From 1821 CE on Wilberforce and the Evangelicals who were with him concentrated their efforts to bring about the abolition of slavery in the rest of the British Empire in general, which was finally achieved by a parliamentary ally of Wilberforce, to whom Wilberforce in 1825 CE at the age 66 had handed over the leadership of the parliamentary antislavery movement: M. P. Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton succeeded in 1833 CE in the British parliament with his draft bill for the abolition of slavery in the whole British Empire[33] - Quakers and Evangelicals contributed the most to this prohibition (!)[34] Together they had 35-40 seats in the house of commons of the Parliament [of Great Britain, which was Anglikan and Presbyterian in the majority] where they were very active as a [vociferous] minority of the house, because theypersonally regarded the abolition of slavery as battle which they were ordered to fight by god.[35]The success of the Quakers and Evangelical Britons, the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire,soon  lead to the foundation of the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) in the United States of America within December of the same Year 1833 CE.

[Most of the leading personalities of the AASS were motivated by the Second Great Awakening, a religious mass movement in the United States of America from about 1800 to 1840 AD], for example the first president (1833-1840) of the AASS, Arthur Tappan, whom Charles Finney personally had converted,[36] one of the most famous of the Evangelical preachers in the [Second] Great Awakening.[37] Led by Arthur Tappan the AASS demanded the immediate abolition of slavery without compensation of the slaveholders, enlisting with this parole 250.000 members until as soon as 1838 AD.[38] Members of the AASS who didn’t oppose the use of governmental force [war] to end slavery, Evangelicals of all colors, accompanying Arthur Tappans brother Lewis Tappan (who had also been converted to Christianity by Charles Finney[39]), around 1840 CEsplit from the AASS and formed the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (AFASS), which [first of such societies in the United States of America] not any longer refused the application of political force [war] against slavery.[40] The AFAS is the organizational origin of the efforts of the Republican Party, to abolish slavery by federal laws, which succeeded at last in the in the civil war (1861-1865 CE), which was begun by (4 of) the slaveholding states as a preventive war against the abolition of slavery. Back then  it was therefore called “War of the States”.The newly organized A.F.A.S. directly brought about the formation of the abolitionist Liberty Party already also in the year of 1840 CE.[41] Then the Liberty Party dissolved in 1848 CE in favor of the also abolitionist “Free Soil Party”.[42] ThenThe Free Soil Party wasCE absorbed  in 1854 CE into the today still existing abolitionist Republican Party[43], the party of the president of the United States [at last 2001-2009[44] AD]. To mention: When the War of Secession/War of the States/Civil War started (in 1861), all governors of all slaveholding states within the USA were Democrats. And the majority of the Democrats in the Northern states (Union) at this time also are in favour  of slavery.[45]

Pope Gregory XVI.rejects all enslavement of all men in general in1835 CE:

Two years after the success of the movement for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, which had been initiated and most of the time also had been led by Evangelicals in England [and perhaps as a reaction upon it!] Pope Gregory followed suit and declared in 1835 CE as first of the Popes (and therefore for the whole of the Catholic Church) in his scripture In Supremo himself as in public opposition against the enslavement of men (of all races and religions).[46]


The consequence: Because of the Evangelical and later also the Catholic anti-slavery efforts slavery becomes forbidden in all Christian territories of all denominations at the latest during the course of the 19th century :

The predominant Religions in America, the Evangelicals in northern America and the Catholics in Latin America tied themselves down to the abolition of all slavery. An enforcement of this obligation took place in the United States of America in 1861-1865 CE during the “war of the states” or war of seccession, (today often misleadingly called “civil war”), by the efforts of the Union, which was strongly influenced by the Evangelicals (1861-1865 AD) and in Latin America during the course of the 19th century, partially sooner partially later than within the United States of America. (Cuba[47] and Brasil[48] were the last states in America to forbid slavery when they did so in 1888 CE.)


In territories not ruled by Christians slavery as an institution supported by the government continued to exist until the beginning of the 1980s (the last country to abolish it was Mauretania in 1980) and unfortunately exist again:

In non-Christian territories slavery officially existed much longer than up to 1888 CE, for example:

a.)    In Korea for example slavery existed officially until 1894,[49] but in fact until 1930.[50]

b.)    In Islamic states slavery existed even longer, for example on the Arabian Peninsula [Saudi Arabia] until 1962.[51] But it`s to be mentioned that slavery in Islamic territories was moderated by Mohammed[52] [partially sooner as in Christian countries], prohibiting all kinds of slavery apart from slaves working in the house, which is generally (as for example in ancient democratic Athens[53]) believed to be the mildest form of slavery, first because of the permanently human  contact [between owner and slaves] , and secondly because Mohammed also demanded to treat slaves well.) Apart from that in Islamic territories slaves were allowed to marry[54] and to free them was religiosly commendable for the owner and because of that took place often, [whereas  in the southern (i. e. the slaveholding) states of of the USA the percentage of liberated slaves until the war of secession steadly declined from at it’s heigt 13.7% (in 1830 CE) to 11% (in 1860 CE).[55]

c.)     In West African countries, where already the European merchands of modern times bought  slaves  on the traditional african slave markets, today again about 200.000 children a year are kidnapped, sold als slaves and used as such.[56]

National Socialism (the NAZIS) strove for the enslavement of at least whole Russia, allied with the so called German Christians (“Deutsche Christen”), a movement within the sole big protestant church of Germany (Deutsche Evangelische Kirche, DEK) which pushed through to al large extent the official abolition of the Old Testament in the 1930’s, [and so the prohibitions against slavery in it].

Conclusion:  Jews, Christians and the Abolition of Slavery:

Because of the facts given in this article, the leading role of Jews and Christian churches, especially the “fundamentalist” Evangelicals, during in the abolition of slavery in history is obvious: Only in Jewish and Christian territories or under the influence of Jews or Christians permanent abolition of slavery in history was brought about. In the face of this given interrelation even a remark by Karl Marx in the first volume of “The Capital” on Moses and the prophetes becomes plain for everybody, without of having to become a Marxist( or of being due to do so):  “Akkumuliert [Kapital]! Das sind Moses und die Propheten” (“Accumulate [capital]! That’s Moses and the prophetes”). [This phrase by the way shows that Marx was contrary to the Jewish religion, regarding it as just a provision to act as a capitalist, against which he of course repudiated]. The aboliton of <slavery as a form of society> and its replacement by <capitalism> merely was not brought about <behind the back of the producers>,  as Marxism says, but in the first instance by conscious efforts[partly in public] of believers in God  - within a tradition begun by Jews. Therefore it is only logical that the NAZIS [National Socialists], who, under Hitler, wanted to lead a war of enslavement against[among other people’s]  the Russian people, wanted to deny to the Jewish people the right to exist , because it is the source of the successful fight against slavery, which the NAZIS wanted to reintroduce.

[1] Hansen, Mogens Herman; Die Athenische Demokratie im Zeitalter des Demosthenes; Berlin 1995: 101.

[2] Hansen, Mogens Herman; Die Athenische Demokratie im Zeitalter des Demosthenes; Berlin 1995: 101.

[3] Hansen, Mogens Herman; Die Athenische Demokratie im Zeitalter des Demosthenes; Berlin 1995: 125.

[4] Ameling, Walter; „Landwirtschaft und Sklaverei im klassischen Attika; in: HZ 1998;  Bd. 266; Seite 281-315, hier: 299, und 300 Anmerkung 82.

[5] Bleicken: 86.

[6] Encarta (online); Artikel Atlantic Slave Trade; 761595721/Atlantic_Slave_Trade.html (04.02. 2006).

[7] Encarta (online); Artikel Atlantic Slave Trade;

[8] Encarta Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Las Casas, Bartolomé de.

[9] Encarta Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Las Casas, Bartolomé de. Und: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, Sonderausgabe 2006 (= der 3. Auflage); Spalte 654.

[10] Guggisberg 2002: 51 für 1. Pennsylvanien 1780 [mit 2. Maine, das zu dieser Zeit noch ein Teil von Pennsylvanien ist], 3. Massachussetts 1781, 4. Conneticut und 5. Rhode Island 1784, [6. New York 1799] und als letzter originaler Nordstaat 7. New Jersey 1804. Encarta. Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Abolitionisten, für Vermont schon 1777 (Vermont trat den USA erst nach deren Gründung bei, nämlich 1791, war aber der erste aller Staaten der USA, der Sklaverei verbot.

[11] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Las Casas, Bartolomé de.

[12] DER GROSSE BROCKHAUS kompaktausgabe; Bd. 13; Wiesbaden 1984: 6. Und: Encarta 2007: Las Casas; Bartolomé de.

[13] Wikipedia; Artikel New Laws (or Leyes Nuevas in Spanish); bei;; 18 Juli 2007.

[14] Encarta 2007: Las Casas; Bartolomé de.

[15] DER GROSSE BROCKHAUS kompaktausgabe; Bd. 13; Wiesbaden 1984: 6.

[16] Columbia University Press; Columbia Encyclopedia [online]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomé de.

[17] Franklin (dt.) 1983: 47.

[18] Columbia University Press; Columbia Encyclopedia [online]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomé de.

[19] Wikipedia; Artikel Bartolomé de Las Casas; bei

[20] Encarta 2007: Las Casas, Bartolomé de.

[21]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomè de.

[22] Wikipedia; Artikel Pedro de la Gasca; ; 18.07 2007.

[23] Wikipedia; Artikel Balsco Nunez Vela; ; 18. 07. 2007.

[24]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomè de.

[25]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomè de.

[26]; Artikel Las Casas, Bartolomè de.

[27] Wikipedia; Artikel Pedro de la Gasca; ; 18.07 2007.

[28] DER GROSSE BROCKHAUS kompaktausgabe; Bd. 13; Wiesbaden 1984: 6.

[29] Genovese 1930/1976: 177.

[30] Meyers Grosses Taschenlexikon; Bd 21; 2003: 6909.

[31] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Slavery.

[32] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Wilberforce, William.

[33] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Wilberforce, William.

[34] Wikipedia; Artikel Die Beendigung des Sklavenhandels http://de.wikipedia.oreg/wiki/Atlantischer Sklavenhandel#Die Beendigung des Sklavenhandels. 10.02. 2006.

[35] Columbia Encyclopedia  [online]: 04.02. 2006.

[36] Columbia Encyclopedia  [online]: 04.02. 2006.

[37] So Frau Gienow-Hecht in ihrer Vorlesung zur Amerikanischen Geschichte an der J.W.Goethe Universität, am 10. Januar 2006.

[38] Columbia Encyclopedia  [online]:  04.02. 2006.

[39] Columbia Encyclopedia Online: (04.02. 2006).

[41] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: American Anti-Slavery Society.

[42] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Liberty Party.

[43] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Free-Soil Party.

[44] List of Presidents of the United States; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia; page last modified on 25 July 2013, at 18:42; URL:; (Access 27 July 2013 at 16:29).

[45] Franklin, John Hope;[German Edition] dt. 1983: 243.

[46] Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche; (Sonderausgabe 2006 =3. Auflage); Artikel Sklave; Spalte 658.

[48] Adams, Willi Paul; Die USA vor 1900; Oldenbourg Grundriss der Geschichte, Bd. 28; München 1999: 80.

[49] Encarta Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Abolitionisten

[50] Encyclopedia Britannica 2005: Slavery.

[51] Encarta Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Abolitionisten.

[52] DER GROSSE BROCKHAUS kompaktausgabe; Bd 20; Wiesbaden 1984: 179.

[53] BLEICKEN, Jochen: 92.

[54] DER GROSSE BROCKHAUS kompaktausgabe; Bd 20; Wiesbaden 1984: 179.

[55] Adams, Wiilli Paul [u. a. Hg.]; Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika; Frankfurt am Main 1977: 501.

[56] Encarta Enzyklopädie Professional 2003: Sklaverei.