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What are some differences between serfs and slaves?

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I'm assuming you mean the difference between a feudal serf in Europe (between the Roman Era and the mid 19th century) and a chantal slave in the Western Hemisphere (16th - mid 19th century).. A serf is not owned by anyone, although the word serf is based upon the Latin "servus", meaning slave. It is the land that is owned, and the serfs live on the land, work the land and contribute so much of their output to the coffers of the owner/lord. Initially many serfs were free to leave the land they worked on, although wherever they went (save cities), they would essentially move to someone else's land and contribute to that lord's coffers. This became troublesome during periods of migration to cities, and so serfs became "tied" to the land. This was beneficial to lords who could call on serfs to stand in as pikemen or archers in their lord's army. However they were not able to leave the land they lived and worked on. Many serfs were born and died on the same plot of land. A slave is ... more
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