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Was slavery ever able to survive without a slave trade? Why were slave families possible and what form did they take?

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  1. Most slave populations were not self-sustaining; they were usually facing a constant decrease
  2. Yet there is an important exception: the self-sustainability of the American slaves, with better health
  3. Furthermore, family life was sometimes possible for slaves or even encouraged

Slave trade seems to have existed in every slave system or slave society. Indeed, the transatlantic trade might be an exceptional phenomenon with its ten million victims in a few centuries but it is not the single one to have occurred in the History: "Long before the development of the transatlantic network enslaved persons were shipped by land and sea from the East Africa coast to India, and further East, to the island networks of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.? One can find for instance a slave trade by studying Spain between the XIth and XIIth centuries, the Aztec Empire or the Eastern European history. Slave trade was actually necessary. Even though slaves could often have their own family, the natural growth rates of these people could not enable them to be self-sustaining, especially in the hostile tropical regions.

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