Slavery and the instability of "Empire"


Sep 25, 2022
It'd be interesting to have Slavery as a civic, but to show what it was originally meant for and the tradeoffs it takes, and this tradeoff ties into the fact that early Empires weren't as stable as modern countries are today.

Slavery in most places around the world wasn't about a specific caste system for people born in the same place, at least not in terms of its origins. Instead it originated as a way to move workers from one place to another without them having a say in it. Romans slaves came from conquered cities and nations, not from Rome, because it was perceived, and may well have been, a better economic decision to burn and smash a city and move its inhabitants than to leave a city intact even if you've "conquered" it.

Intact cities can rebel after all, and many often did. The "near" (middle) east was full of empires that were tentative at best, many cities were only "titularly" conquered, and ready to try and break free at a moments notice.

Having a city only be "conquered" stably based on your Civ's culture score, and favoring cities being prone to rebellion and instability in the early game would be both a really interesting mechanic and historically accurate. Slavery could be civic/policy/whatever that you can implement allowing you to burn cities instead and move most of their populations elsewhere. However "slave" Pop wouldn't be nearly as productive as normal pop, perhaps dragging on things like culture and etc. as well as slowly dwindling over time (Rome notably had ever fewer slaves as time wore on without conquering any new territory, however the lack updating their economic system to suite can be seen as a factor in bringing the Empire down). So if you are conquering cities you can't hold it's a potential benefit. But as time advances and capturing and holding cities and an ever bigger empire becomes more viable it becomes an ever worse choice.
Romans slaves
Slavery on ancient times was very attached with wars, where the slaves are people who was conquered at wars.
But isn't so wide spread, since monumental works as the pyramides of Egypt wasn't made by slaves.
Slavery as a civic
How a civic to slavery should work?
When I thought to have slavery on civ7, I thought to it be an unique ability of Dahomey civ, since was a country very linked with slavery, even be called by Europeans as the Slavery Coast.
And the only mechanic I was able to figure out was, they sell citizen of their own cities.
You also could sell population of a conquered city unitl it's raze down. Maybe razing cities more quickly then in civ5.
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