In most Western countries between the mid-17th and the end of the 19th centuries labor was similar to service, and wage conditions resembled those of domestic servants, with numerous constraints imposed on workers’ mobility. In colonies, workers’ mobility was even more constrained and gave rise to extreme forms of dependency not only under slavery, but also after it, as can be seen through the growth of indentured labor in the Indian Ocean and obligatory labor in Africa. In this lecture, Alessandro Stanziani argues that unfree labor and forms of labor coercion were perfectly compatible with market development and capitalism. Alessandro Stanziani is a professor at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and senior researcher at the Centre National des Recherches Scientifiques.
Sponsored by the Barnard Forum on Migration. For more information, visit barnard.edu/fom.