NecronLord wrote:I suspect you are thinking about prerequisite in a different way from me?
Maybe. What I was thinking of is how you can be treated as a slave legally and how people will treat you.
In the South, being black was enough. People assumed you were a slave because you were black. The same is not the case in Spain, where being black was not enough - one had to actually be a slave to be treated as a slave, no matter whether you were black, yellow or white/arabic. For example, you had to actually be owned by somebody. People who sold you had to present proof of ownership.
In the south - well, 12 years a slave and all that.
I would say being of an 'impure' racial group in the Spanish Empire was a prerequisite for being enslaved; the statistics you presented earlier, the 271,000 enslaved africans in New Spain in 1800; what was the number of enslaved Españoles at the same time?
I do not know, but I would wager it being zero due to all the white slaves who had existed being spanish muslim converts (but considered moors) and those were forcibly converted in 1610 and/or set free.
From everything I've ever seen on the topic it has seemed to me that being of a "lesser caste" was required to be a slave in the Spanish Empire,
Well, I would approach it a bit differently. I would say you could belong to a lesser caste and be a slave, but there was no reason to assume you automatically were a slave because you were of a lesser caste.
That's what I mean when I say 'being black/indian/arab/etc' at different points was a prerequisite for slavery in the Spanish Empire; it was largely something that happened to them. The justification was obviously, on religious/penal grounds, not on racialist grounds a-la the Confederacy, but from everything I know on the topic, it was racial slavery nonetheless.
I can sorta agree with that, but to me the intentions behind it makes it different and "less worse" so to say. The Spanish were willing to accept blacks as free members of society and free blacks were the norm, while slavery was the exception. OTOH it is very hard to find any well-integrated black community in the south - with intermarriages, political and military roles - while it is easy to do so in the Spanish Empire.
So it happened obviously to arabs (because they were enemies and muslims), blacks (because they were muslims, heathens or were sold to the Spanish), asians (because of a host of reasons) and indians (because they were enemies and got conquered) and earlier on white muslims (during the reconquista). The end result may have been racial slavery, but the objective was not to enslave members of a particular race or to prove racial superiority per se (though undoubtedly the latter happened).
To me the spanish thought process is more like "I need good and cheap labour, somebody is selling me arabs/indians/asians/blacks and I can use them. Maybe I will marry one of them or set them free if they work well." In short, racism was a byproduct, not the intended outcome from the start. The Anglo-American southern slavery was more like "I need labour, he is black, he is my slave". Note that indian slaves are almost unheard of in comparison in the south. Slavery there was focused on one race (unlike in Spain), intermarriage was forbidden/frowned upon and very few owners ever set their slaves free.