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What is slave breeding?

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Quick Answer

Slave breeding is a controversial and debated topic about the sexual manipulation and enslavement practices of slaveholders aimed at increasing the number of new generation of slaves to increase the master's profits and fill the low labor rate. The practice involves coerced sexual relations between male and female slaves, between masters and female slaves and the trading of their children at the slave market for a high price.

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Full Answer

According to historians, the rate of slave-breeding practices increased after the termination of the Atlantic slave trade, a practice that involved the transport of West Africans to Western European slave traders who then traded the Africans to the Americas. After the termination of the slave contract, slaveholders tried to manipulate the local slave population by practicing slave breeding. Slaveholders forced well-built and healthy local female slaves to engage in sexual relations with young and able male slaves in order to produce strong and healthy children to be sold or traded for a price. In some accounts, historians disclosed that local female slaves also suffered sexual abuse by their masters and overseers, and that the masters often fathered the children of their female slaves.

Recorded narratives from fugitive slaves also presented that plantation owners encouraged local female slaves to give birth in exchange for freedom. Childbearing started at the young age of 13 and continued until the local female slaves gave birth to the expected number of children.

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