Template talk:Slavery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


The reference to China links towards a legitimate penal system. Even in The Netherlands we are familiar with work-for-punishment. Maybe it's a terribly huge amount of work but unfairness does not make slavery. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


I dont think this box is in the right place. Article of Baibars speaks about Baibars and his achievments. Samsam22 00:50, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Border color[edit]

How would people feel if we made the border some other color? The red is really glaring and incompatible with the general color scheme of Wikipedia. – Scartol · Talk 02:27, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Seeing no discussion in the past three days, I went ahead and changed it. If people feel strongly about the border color, let's discuss it here. – Scartol · Talk 16:32, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

History of Slavery in United States[edit]

Why does this template not include the article Slavery in the United States. I hope that is there is a reason other than bias?

Because nobody who knew about this article has added it.--SasiSasi (talk) 01:46, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Change to template[edit]

Have tried to improve the look of the template, and the categorisation. Still needs work and addition.--SasiSasi (talk) 01:49, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Nice work. :-) — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 04:02, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I used another template as "template". Not sure about the colours, but someone who knows more about that then me can change them.--SasiSasi (talk) 12:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Removed "Wage Slavery" link from template[edit]

The removed article is off-topic for this category. The current disambiguation page also distinguishes this Marxist analogy from the actual practice of slavery. StephenMacmanus (talk) 01:41, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

It is not a marxist analogy.Harrypotter (talk) 19:54, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Underware Railroad[edit]

What is this Underware Railroad in the template? I assume it's supposed to be Underground Railroad. JBH23 (talk) 00:56, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Terminology/New heading of template ["Slavery & Unfree labour"][edit]

I think the placement of unfree labour under the heading of slavery is dubious because it tends to imply that unfree labour is a form of slavery. Whereas, in fact, unfree labour is a broader and more generic term that includes slavery, along with less well known practices. Hence I have changed the heading of the template. Grant | Talk 05:15, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Unfree labor in title?[edit]

It doesn't seem right to include "unfree labor" in the title of the template. The title should be common & concise, following rules similar to WP:TITLE. Instead, a link to the article Unfree labor could be in the body of the template, in a new section such as "associated topics" or "related topics". But it just looks odd in the title. Thoughts? --Noleander (talk) 13:41, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

I implemented this change. --Noleander (talk) 19:10, 18 May 2012 (UTC)


Is there any way to collapse this? It's longer than some articles. Mannanan51 (talk) 06:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

The recent and oblivious Americanisation of the sidebar[edit]

I agree with the editor above - the slavery sidebar has gotten huge recently with a dump of parochial US history topics onto the global sidebar by one editor. This is an international sidebar. You wouldn't know it at the moment, with little headings saying "Jefferson" and "Adams".

This template is so disgusting right now. This is how wikipedia used to look like 10 years ago. Make a "Slavery in the US" sidebar for the American topics.

One link for slavery in India (as it should be) - about millions of slaves in debt bondage at present - vs around 20 articles in the template about the pre-1865 US experience, including:

It's time for a US slavery sidebar, so these US topics can have a home off of the international sidebar. Thank you. Takomosh (talk) 09:27, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

The pages listed are pages to slavery articles on Wikipedia. If there were ten pages on slavery in India - past and present - then these should be included as well. The template has become an inclusive map to the history of slavery, a history which countries learned to adjust as freedom and liberty issues arose throughout the world. As the poster under this section has posted, some people don't believe slavery still exists, and a template focusing on slavery should cover it all so that people looking up slavery issues on Wikipedia have as full an overview as possible. Randy Kryn 17:37 28 August, 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with both editors above. The slavery sidebar is too big and creating a U.S. specific sidebar would be appropriate. AbstractIllusions (talk) 17:15, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

While I'm not sure I agree regarding the size of the template in number of links or whether the scope in certain sections has drifted from the ideal, I did agree that it is too long. I've implemented Template:Sidebar with collapsible lists as a result. --Izno (talk) 05:04, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

A collapsed template should hopefully cover the U.S. objections. I think one reason the U.S. has more pages is that it was created declaring itself the beacon of freedom and liberty, while still containing slavery, and an almost-countrywide major "modern" war emerged which had to be fought over the issue to resolve the obvious oversight. Hence more pages (and because it was such a recent war in human history - the history of liberty in America is itself on a very tight time-scale, more or less just since 1765 or so). I'm not a fan of collapsed templates, like this has now become, because a person really has to want to want to see it to click on the expanding tools, while if it is open the panorama is there in front of them to explore. I didn't think the list is overly long, but I come from a time when people could read more than a few hundred characters at a time. The dumbing down of the world is not easy to watch. Couldn't we have just removed that handcuff picture, which would have downsized it quite a bit? Thanks. Randy Kryn 13:00 29 August, 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks Izno for the collapsing. Any advice on how to edit the template now? When I hit the 'E' that I usually use it takes me instead to the source code for "Template:Sidebar with collapsible lists", rather than the code to edit the template itself. Thank you in advance. AbstractIllusions (talk) 14:55, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Contemporary collapse[edit]

I'm unsure of the utility and value of the "contemporary" part of the sidebar and would suggest it be removed. Some of the entries are better as 'Types' of Contemporary slavery (i.e. the second 'India' entry), some are referring to human trafficking which is often slavery-related but not in all instances, and others (i.e. Mali) direct to articles which combine historical and contemporary. Any thoughts on redistributing and removing some entries so as to remove the 'Contemporary' part of the sidebar. AbstractIllusions (talk) 17:13, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Contemporary slavery exists as a real problem for those involved and for the human race. Slavery hasn't ended, and has just changed names and tactics. Covering these topics on the template seems not only informative, but crucial in an overall look (which is what a template is) at a subject - a subject which in this case is ongoing. Just my six cents. Randy Kryn 17:40 28 August, 2014 (UTC)
As a very active editor on pages related to slavery in Western Africa, I'm well aware of the continued existence of slavery. The problem is not content, but organizational. This organization (throwing together articles about practices dating back 1000 years, with human trafficking articles, with specific forms of slavery [which has a separate heading) does not help people learn about the continued usage of slavery--it confuses the issues. AbstractIllusions (talk) 22:36, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
My apologies for not knowing your work, and thanks for bringing correct knowledge to a valuable subject. Now that the page is collapsed like a pancake that should hopefully be enough for your objections. I still see slavery as slavery, no matter when or where it has or is occurring, and that's what the template covers to a discerning mind (see my comments below about page views). Thanks. Randy Kryn 13:05 29 August, 2014 (UTC)
(This may have been better in the above section, with two conversations going on.) Can you please add the coding for an expanded option, as on the 'Slavery' page and maybe a few other pages the full template is fine and beneficial. I spent well over a month and at least 2,000 edits connecting up all the slavery pages via the templates, the 'See also's, and through links, and at the end of that time every slavery page had increased their views by from 50 percent to several hundred percent. Visible templates work because people looking at a subject may scan them, see the variety of pages offered, and go to one or a few which catches their eye. This doesn't occur with a closed template, which people have to work to see. Please check the page views in a week or so, compared to both the page views this past week as well as page views a year or two years ago in the same time period. If the page views lose lots of clicks, maybe we can reconsider expanding the template back to its full size, possibly losing the handcuffs. Thanks. Randy Kryn 14:44 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Point of view[edit]

From the above two discussions, and the time frames of responses, it is possible (I'm not saying it is, but that it's possible) that my viewpoint is being ignored, that the template was fine as is, so I'll explain further if you'd indulge me (I may have not fully explained enough in my last answers). The reason I say this is not only from a personal point of view, but from the numbers. The Wikipedia stats which have an amazing feature to record page views. I love that feature. Anyway, both during my slavery edit run and a bit after I kept track of the page view numbers (I spent well over a month, don't know how long, have never made a list of any kind). I probably closed in on 2,000 edits on the slavery pages in that edit-run. The vast majority of those, although I did some good writing and article expansion as well, were used to connect as many of the slavery pages as I could find through expanding and distributing templates. This template under discussion on most the pages, the others ('Slave narrative' and 'Underground Railroad', which are mostly if not totally specific to the United States and Canada, and those are the pages I put them on) on many pages. Quite a few "See also" connections were also worked on, I don't know how many edits for each. As I did this - and this is the important thing - each day I watched the page hits on many specific slavery related pages. They kept going up, on the main articles as much as 30 percent, and on some other pages, hundreds of percent (as much as 300-500 percent). Please check some pages for the page views in that period, and I don't know the dates I did this slavery run (which I started after seeing the film 12 Years a Slave. I made a of edits on the film page, got caught up in the timeline and article flow, finally began to focus on the Slavery template and how much it was both missing - although it was a great job, a very good job, extremely nice work - and the quality and number of pages which were missing both on the template and the presence on their pages of the template. So I connected them. In a full and exposed template. Please check the view numbers from a comparable period a year ago if you would. So maybe please don't remove any more pages from the template for the next week and a half or so, let's let it rest this way - all compacted and scrunched - and see if the page views compare with not only a year ago, but this week compared to next week. And school is starting, so lots of these pages should take a lot of views. We provide, with a template, a map for students and others, that's how I see a template, and the numbers say that you guys are maybe talking of tampering with a very successful template, putting personal points-of-view into it which the numbers seem to disprove. Please check them if it seems exaggerated. The simplest way is probably to look a year ago at say, July, compared with this July. I haven't done this, so I don't know what they'd look like. I just know the increase which occurred while working on my edit-run - without, if I may say, one complaint from anyone, something like 2,000 edits and what some editors could have called template-spam and never did, and I think we've all been proven correct, at least from one point of view. Forgive this block of print, but this is all pretty equal data and I just went Kerouac on it. So let's give it a week, the template as is, and check the numbers of just the template collapse alone? Sounds fair to me, which is why I'm throwing it out there, so thanks for wading through this block of print. And thanks for letting me talk about this stuff, which I seldom do. In summary I guess I'm saying that lots of people and readers haven't minded the template at all so far, and have actually had the curiosity and intelligence to not get bogged down in it, which I count as a nice report concerning the meme that the present generation has been dumbed down. I thought the template was doing just fine, and the topics were separated into their own sections and all. Is there a problem with timeline flow? Thanks. Randy Kryn 18:48 29 August, 2014 (UTC)

  • There's a lot of issues here. So I'll be simple: 1. No deadline on wikipedia--give it some time and we can go back if there is consensus to do so. No pressing need to fix it immediately or even quickly. You aren't being ignored--but your viewpoint doesn't need to be recognized either with multiple editors disagreeing with it. 2. I do not agree with your 'Numbers' criteria for determining if we should go back. I think other issues like aesthetics, cohesion, and education are more important than numbers. 3. It is great that you thought the template was just fine--three other editors disagreed (four actually). If you want wider community involvement in the discussion, you can certainly ask for it, but you shouldn't ignore the objections that have been raised. 4. Objections: The long-form template is heavily U.S.-weighted, not aesthetically pleasing, aligns poorly in articles without long leads and with multiple other images, is poorly organized, and in my opinion is bad for educational value. Even if numbers are up, that is a poor criteria for deciding how we should edit. AbstractIllusions (talk) 03:19, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Very good objections. But what you folks were talking of doing was removing all the contemporary pages, a large portion of the U.S. pages (pages which educate about the end of slavery, not very long ago, on an entire continent and within a modern society. As long as they're under their own sub-sections they seem to be useful), and keeping the collapsible form without even an expandable option. I think the template is aesthetically pleasing, but that's from looking at it and fitting things into it. It should have a collapsible function, probably exactly as it is now with the new collapsible, to be used on pages where it is too long. Why not keep it open on longer pages and collapse it on shorter? Any ideas for improvements in organization? We now have an inclusive list of slavery pages on Wikipedia, so we should be able to make it flow well but still keep everything intact. Do you think it should flow more chronologically or with the use of more subsections (in history that would be good)? From the view numbers this may actually be a good page which has been successful so far, even though not everyone likes it, and any improvements on showing knowledge-flow can only help the enhancements. So instead of large deletions, can we go for improvements for awhile? An idea though, for the editor who wants to pull together a 'Slavery in the United States' template, please go for it, but not to replace the data in this one, keeping alive two birds with one stone - but as a bottom template and not a side-template? That would look good, and give readers an entire new avenue of finding pages they'd like to explore. Great idea. This is the only side-template I've worked on for a good deal of time, and I've learned a bit more about how it augments the bottom templates, and vica versa. Thanks. Randy Kryn 14:22 30 August, 2014 (UTC)
This discussion would be easier if you stopped constructing straw men of other people's arguments. What was suggested by myself and other editors was 1. Reorganizing the Contemporary Slavery section so that articles are under the right headings (two India pages remains just bad form). 2. Creating a second U.S. slavery page to focus the templates. While the Slavery general template page would retain much U.S. content, there is no possible justification for the views of a relatively minor U.S. President (John Adams) on the main Slavery template. I stand behind both of those arguments. I have never suggested "removing all the contemporary pages" (despite the multiple times you have said I wanted to do that and said that I was doing that because I deny the continued existence of slavery...which is still offensive) nor removing the experience of a single nation with slavery without creating an additional template to host those articles. Finally, the point of a template is to be a curated artifact selecting articles to lead readers to good places (or to organize links which would be repetitive)--in contrast, categories are there to be comprehensive. A fully inclusive template is not an ideal; indeed it may be a good sign of a topic in disrepair (as slavery certainly remains). AbstractIllusions (talk) 19:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • To avoid talking abstractly about it--I went ahead and Boldly edited the template to show exactly what I was talking about. Part of BRD process, please revert and discuss if you don't like it. Deleted two articles for tangential relationship to slavery: Human Rights in DRC and Feudalism in Pakistan. AbstractIllusions (talk) 19:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Alright, some reorganization has happened. Contemporary was cut and the articles were shifted to other headings. Then I reorganized those areas to make them clearly grouped. Then, per request by Randy Kryn, the code to allow expandable sections is possible. To expand the entire template simply put {{Slavery |expanded=all}} instead of the regular template. We can always go back and the U.S.-centric nature of the template remains unaddressed in these edits. AbstractIllusions (talk) 15:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
On a quick look it seems like very good work, and easier to navigate. I'll give it a complete look at some point soon. The "v" view link on the template doesn't link back to it, I'm not an expert on coding, but found this after putting the template on a page. I still think all the U.S. pages are fine, as long as they are clearly grouped in subsections and advance the historic flow. The formation, history, and ending of chattel slavery in the U.S. brought it to a historic crescendo - and not very long ago either, I've got socks older than emancipation (or so it's been hinted) - and the abundance of pages concerning the U.S. and slavery may, in this case, be appropriate. Thanks for getting my attention back into the topic. Randy Kryn 12:57 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Should be fixed. I'm no expert on coding either, but when I reinserted the Slavery template into my sandbox, it worked so that the V sent it to view. If it isn't working on a page for you (my understanding is certainly wrong here), it is probably a small problem and just making the page refresh its connection to the template should work (add a space before the template, for example). Hope that helps. AbstractIllusions (talk) 14:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Where do subjects belong?[edit]

@Jarble:@Randy Kryn: - So, we need to get some first principles agreed for the organization of the template. Namely: where does a topic belong? The recent additions by Jarble duplicate topics that are already on the template in other places (Blackbirding is under Historical and Contemporary Africa is under Regions already). I actually like the new placement by Jarble, but think it is worthy of discussion. A proposed system for deciding where to place an article (please criticize/fix): 1. If the article is about a specific 'form of slavery'--it goes under Contemporary or Historic. 2. If the article is about slavery in a specific region, whether historical (Greece) or contemporary (Africa now) then it goes into the Regions section. 3. Opposition, Related, seem straight forward. This would mean that a lot of articles in the Historic section get moved to the Regions section. (I guess an alternative is don't sweat duplication and put articles on the template wherever they fit). Fixes? AbstractIllusions (talk) 14:04, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Personally I think your edits and work so far have been very good, and add value to the template, so please do as you think will be best. As long as the pages remain somewhere, I'm a happy camper. If I knew the criteria for those barnstars you'd have a few new ones floating around (barnstar light, barnstar bright...). Randy Kryn 14:52 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks of course. I just really can't figure a good way to do this now...Is Slavery in Ancient Greece best in the 'Regions' or the 'Historical' headings (or both). Anyway. AbstractIllusions (talk) 17:22, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
On that one it seems the topic is self-named, 'Ancient' Greece, so historical may be the way to go. But someone's history is someone else's family scrapbook. Has Greece had slaves since the ancient days? I haven't studied that one. Randy Kryn 19:09 4 September 2014 (UTC)


According to the Conscription article, defining the conscription as slavery seems to be just the viewpoint of libertarians, anarchists and radicals, not an universal viewpoint. Certainly it is not shared by the Supreme Court; and none of the international treaties against slavery seem to have ever been concerned about the countries with conscription (which, if it was slavery, would be a state-sponsored slavery, not a crime of outlaw individuals). It is listed under Contemporary slavery, but that article does not mention conscription, and in fact it doesn't seem to fit with the description of modern slavery described there.

I removed the article from the template for that reason. It was restored, claiming that "The article mentions slavery in two headings--that qualifies it in the template", but that rationale seems to ignore how is it being mentioned. Including the conscription in the article would promote the minority viewpoint of small groups. --Cambalachero (talk) 16:30, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Why does it matter 'how' it is being mentioned? The template isn't a definitive list of slavery practices (other contested types of slavery are included on the list--many that I personally do not consider slavery). It is a set of articles that would be interesting to someone learning about slavery. But most importantly, there is a discussion of conscription in Suzanne Myers 1996 review piece "Contemporary Forms of Slavery". There is an international treaty that specifically equates conscription of children with slavery (ILO #182). While conscription might not always be a form of slavery in every country, it sometimes is and thus its inclusion is justified. Hopefully the conscription article will properly reflect these distinctions--but its inclusion in the template is 100% justified. AbstractIllusions (talk) 06:33, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I'd also direct you to the first discussion of 'Slavery' in the Conscription article which does not say that it is a position of "libertarians, anarchists and radicals" but that 'Military slavery' is a practice that has been used in various societies throughout history. So, to respond to your challenge: how it is discussed in the article is as a form of historical slavery. It is incorrect to say that the wikipedia article dismisses conscription as ever a form of slavery. Maybe, we find that its inclusion as a Contemporary form of slavery is unwarranted as military slavery has largely become fringe to a few countries and societies--but, regardless, the wikipedia article, RSs, and legal agreements all justify the inclusion of conscription somewhere in the template. AbstractIllusions (talk) 06:45, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Slavery stub?[edit]

Is there a good stub template for slavery-related articles? I guess I'm just going to use US-hist-stub, but it seems sort of generic and I thought folks following this template might have a better idea. Thanks! —Luis (talk) 22:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)