Slavery had its origin in most people from the conquests of peoples in ancient times. There was also servitude for people living in extreme poverty in a situation of personal urgency, due to the payment of contracted debts, sale of children, sexual exploitation, child labor and forced marriage. The meaning of slavery is the state of a slave person, property of another called master. The rise of some towns in remote times such as Rome, Athens and several surrounding conglomerates was due in part to the slave labor force. When making the transition from the era of slavery to feudalism, that inhuman practice of slavery had a decrease as a result of the crisis of the third century. The disappearance of it was slow, but progressive, as the masters ruled out the employment of people in that depressing social situation as a source of work.
According to historical testimonies, the antecedents of slavery come from Mesopotamia, in the Sumerian era (3,500 BC). It was in ancient Egypt, in certain periods there was a relative slave population. In ancient Rome, the validity of slavery was regulated by establishing the manumission system, as a way of freeing servants according to certain established conditions. The increase in this social phenomenon existed between the 5th and 1st centuries BC. In the infrahuman restrictions they suffered were: they had no room to sleep, little or no food, cruel punishments, they ate the leftovers of their masters, they were beaten, subjected to torture, burned alive, could not marry or exercise paternity, among others.
Following the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine I, The Great in the 3rd century AD, as Christianity advanced, the lot of submissives gradually improved. Over the years they perfected their human dealings. At the end of the fifteenth century, slavery in the European Continent was greatly reduced by virtue of the scarcity of individuals in precarious states of health. From the ideological point of view, philosophers and institutions strongly supported the abolition of slavery. Thus, in the 18th century, there were characters such as the Frenchman Voltaire, the abbots Guillermo Raynal and Gregoire of the Society of Friends of Blacks, who supported the elimination of this social aberration. Likewise, in Rome in the 19th century they practiced a campaign against slavery. Similarly in England, the religious sects the Quakers and the Methodists strove to put an end to it. Among the first countries to eliminate it are Denmark, in 1792, Great Britain in 1807, and the United States after the civil war ended in 1865.
The process of conquering America by a few European countries, gave the expansion of development plans, which produced the employment of cheap labor. At first, the natives of the American Continent were enslaved. However, due to the efforts of the friar Bartolomé de las Casas and the School of Salamanca in defense of humane treatment for the indigenous, it caused countries like Spain to undertake the need for slaves in Africa. Such proceeding resulted in the black trade.
Slavery in Venezuela increased as colonization progressed. Overseas conquerors bought black slaves in Africa and distributed them in the American countries. In the emancipation of America, actions were taken to completely eradicate slavery. It began in several countries like this: in Haiti in 1803, Mexico in 1810 and in Venezuela during the independence era, both the patriotic forces and the Spanish offered freedom to slaves in order for them to join their armies. This humanitarian decision extended a long process in that period. The first to initiate and decree his release was El Libertador Simón Bolívar. Despite being a person descended from a wealthy family and of good social position, he surprised the public opinion. He began by freeing his serfs from his haciendas in San Mateo. The remnant that he continued with them, he released after the Battle of Carabobo. In his role as ruler he issued various decrees to free them. In this sense, he proceeded in 1816 in Villa del Norte in Nueva Esparta, expressing:… “There will be no more slaves in Venezuela than those who want to be…”. At Carúpano in 1816 he decreed absolute freedom from the servitude that had been maintained during the Spanish rule.
In 1817 in Caracas at the San Carlos Barracks he maintains “There will be no more slaves in Venezuela. All citizens will be equal before the law.” At the Congress of Angostura in 1819, he unveiled a proposal to give absolute freedom to all slaves. This praiseworthy aspiration of the Father of the Nation was not welcomed by the parliamentarians. At the Congress of Cucutá in 1821 he asked the congressmen for a radical anti-slavery declaration. A Law of Manumission was approved that did not prosper.
In Peru in 1826 he decreed the elimination of the cacicazgo and ordered the distribution of land to the indigenous people. In 1826 before the Congress of Bolivia he said… “The infraction of all laws is slavery.” In conclusion Simón Bolívar was an idol to prescribe it, but he did not achieve it, due to the great political interests. Finally, in the government of José Gregorio Monagas, he sanctioned the Law that had been approved by the Congress of the Republic, on March 24, 1854. Since then, slavery has not been compulsory in Venezuela.
By commemorating this date in favor of repressed people, we hope and advocate that there be no examples of this cruel humiliation in the world. Praise those free from any burden to limit their freedom. Alejo Garcia S.