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  • Writer's pictureEvan

Unveiling Parallels: The Nexus Between Economic Prosperity and Agricultural-Oriented Slave Trade in Neo-Babylon and the United States

Slavery has left an undeniable mark on human history, with societies throughout history exploiting vulnerable populations for economic gain. However, the ancient kingdom of Neo-Babylon (first established by King Nebuchadnezzar) and the United States demonstrate a rather uncanny parallel between the development of their economic prosperity in connection to their agricultural-oriented slave-trade (Revelations 18:13.)

Historical Context - Neo-Babylon

The Neo-Babylonian Empire, flourishing from 626 BCE to 539 BCE, characterized the pinnacle era for ancient Mesopotamian civilization. At its core, the economy was founded on agriculture: The labor of enslaved individuals played a vital role in cultivating crops, contributing to the surplus that sustained the ruling elite. The Neo-Babylonians, like many ancient societies, relied on forced labor to achieve economic prosperity. However, the fertile lands of Mesopotamia allowed for a particular need towards having a substantial workforce dedicated towards taking advantage of such labor-intensive resources. One can argue that draws comparison to the United States’ fertile soil of the south (and later the west, such as in case of California’s ‘Bread Basket’) acting as one of the main catalysts for the African American slave trade.  

Economic Foundations and Slave Labor

In Neo-Babylon, enslaved individuals had a high probability of working in agriculture, contributing to the production of food and other resources. The surplus generated by slave labor was essential for supporting the ruling classes, funding grand construction projects, and maintaining a luxurious lifestyle. The Neo-Babylonian economy, in many ways, thrived on the exploitation of a captive workforce. Equivocally, it wasn’t uncommon of Neo-Babylon culture to pride itself of the bondage from its slaves with art of individuals bound by restraints as they worked on building monuments and temples for their captors (highly reminiscent of American artwork of Africans arriving in chains to the United States.)

Chattel Slavery and Dehumanization

Both in Neo-Babylon and the United States, the practice of treating individuals as property was prevalent. Chattel slavery, characterized by the buying, selling, and inheritance of enslaved people, was a fundamental aspect of both societies. This dehumanization served to reinforce a hierarchical structure, where the enslaved were mere commodities, existing solely for the economic benefit of their owners.