Saturday, July 9, 2011

Yes , Ethiopia Traded slaves .

Historically, Ethiopians had exploited slaves as domestics or as farm laborers, frequently under gang conditions, or to proclaim wealth and status. As long as Ethiopia was autarkic, the available agricultural surplus could support the mass of slaves. The intrusion of the world economy in the late nineteenth century and the subsequent growth of cash crops in southern Ethiopia transformed the situation. During the 1920s, Ethiopian agriculture, especially in coffee, became increasingly profitable,
rendering the exploitation of slaves uneconomic in terms of opportunity costs. Moreover, feudal lords suddenly became interested in transforming rights over gabbars into rights over land. They entered into economic alliances with each other and the Asian traders who mediated capitalism in Ethiopia. In short, the feudal nobility transformed itself into an oligarchy more interested in profit than pageantry.

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