M'hamed Oualdi (Sciences Po)

Freeing the last Muslim slaves in Europe: Moroccan Sultan Muhammad Ibn Abdallah’s social and economic policy from the 1750s to the late 1780s

Venice State Archives, Savi alla mercanzia, box  712, Maroc - 1767-1779From the 1750s to the late 1780s, the sultan of Morocco, Muhammad Ibn Abdallah, implemented a policy to ransom a large number of enslaved Muslim men and women across Mediterranean Europe (from Spain to Italy). This policy became more and more ambitious to the point that the Moroccan sultan used significant funding to ransom an increasing number of captives. By 1777, he advocated for the liberation of all the women and the eldest across the Mediterranean, be they Christians or Muslims. The presentation will explore the rationale of such a policy and try to understand why such an ambitious policy has never been considered to write a global history of slavery and abolition.

This seminar took place on Wedneday April 10 2024.