Freedom - Study Guide Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

Orlando Patterson
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By medieval times, the character of Europe has become rural serfdoms, making the transition from slavery to serfdom. The end of the Roman Empire does not end slavery. Slavery exists in France and Italy until 11 A.D. and the on-set of feudalism. Slavery is somewhat undermined by mass conversion to Christianity in the late 7 A.D., although the church never actively promotes the end of slavery. It basically negates slavery by emphasizing the spiritual equality of all people.

In the Middle Ages, the oppression of serfdom renews the interest in the quest for freedom. There are different periods of serfdom: convergent serfdom from 4-10 A.D, feudal serfdom from 11-14 A.D. and proprietary serfdom from 14-19 A.D. Patterson describes the elements of slavery as powerlessness, natal alienation and dishonor. In serfdom, at least one of these elements is missing. Free small farmers exist...

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This section contains 422 words
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