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Slavery

Aunt Spiker

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You know - all I know about our slavery history is what I've learned so far in school and life - not much and purely an American focus - and then knowing a bit about far distant history as far as slavery goes.

Of course, we all know, that slavery still occurs in many areas, indeed.

But I learned (and found it quite interesting) that during the time in which we had slaves other countries actually had *more* slaves than us. African slavery is a well known and an obvious fact. But Brazil is one country that I had no clue was also in the Atlantic Economy ring.

Slavery in Brazil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

MKULTRABOY

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We just learned about the Hatian revolution... neet stuff.
 

Civil1z@tion

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Indeed, New World slavery began just about the instant the Spanish got off the boats. It started with Native Americans, but their lack of resistance to European diseases meant they died in droves. This actually led to the first (limited) anti-slavery movement by Spanish missionaries in the New World (who were concerned that the natives were dieing rather than forming the basis for a new, non-corrupt Christian society they envisioned). These men fought against Native slavery, but were actually in favor of African slavery as that got rid of the need to enslave their "innocent and noble" wards (they viewed the Natives rather paternally you might notice). Combine this with the poor economic performance of NA slaves and you got the start of the transatlantic slave trade and a shift in Europeans from a nearly slave-less culture of the Middle Ages to the slave-dependent early modern period.

As an interesting side note, the Dutch, who soon after the conquest of the New World became Spanish subjects under Charles I (or V depending on whether you go by his Spanish or his Imperial title) were the major sellers of these slaves. By the reign of Phillip II the Dutch had declared independence and the Spanish were getting slaves from their rebel subjects.

The history of the Atlantic slave trade is tragic, but also immensely interesting.
 

Diogenes

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You know - all I know about our slavery history is what I've learned so far in school and life - not much and purely an American focus - and then knowing a bit about far distant history as far as slavery goes.
Our public school system does a very poor job of placing slavery in its global context. Every society in history has taken slaves when they could, and in turn has been preyed upon by slavers when they were too weak to defend themselves.

It was the Western world, which now makes such a big deal out of guilt for the past transgressions of others, which led the movement to de-legitimize the practice (coincidentally, at about the beginning of the industrial revolution). Britain led the way, banning the slave trade from its African colonies about 200 years ago. That move toward moral righteousness drew local criticism from Africa because it totally destroyed the economies of their West African colonies, where the coastal tribes depended almost entirely on harvesting slaves from the interior and selling them to Europeans for transport to the New World.

I have read that, oddly enough, slavery was dying out here in America until Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin and created a sudden global demand for cotton.

You are correct that slavery is still tolerated in some parts of the world, mostly in Muslim countries, and is widely practiced elsewhere as a criminal enterprise known by the euphemism of "human trafficking" where the victims are generally young women.

For an excellent series of essays on slavery, and the place of minorities in society generally, I recommend Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell, who in my view is the most astute social observer alive.
 

Ned Racine

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How about just Two Generalized assumptions. One Few Americans today are in any way the recipients of any economic legacy from Slavery OR the Century of discrimination that followed. Also most of those generally to be considered White are descended from those arriving post 1865(???)
 

jambalaya

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Not to mention that we can thank the introduction of slavery in the U.S. to the the British, Spanish and other European colonies. It would have been nice when after we became a country we discontinued the practice immediately but that is a little unrealistic to have expected. Our European ancestors and the world just weren't that progressive.
 

OscarB63

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Few Americans today are in any way the recipients of any economic legacy from Slavery
I would disagree with this statement, though not in the way most would expect.

I feel that the overwhelming majority of black people living in the US today benefitted greatly from the legacy of slavery. For, if it were not for slavery, the vast majority of them would never have existed or would still be living in some 3rd world African country.

How many blacks alive today are the decendant of the mating of a slave and a slave owner? With the exception of those fresh off the plane or boat, even the "pure" blacks would not be Americans today if it were not for slavery.

So, even though slavery was a terrible injustice and the African slaves were treated horribly, the blacks in America today owe them and the slavers a debt of gratitude.
 

rivrrat

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They usually fail to tell students that the US never would have gotten slaves at all were it not for all the black Africans who rounded up the slaves from Africa and shipped them here.

I mean if you use a different analogy: You have a drug - > a drug dealer -> a drug user Who is it that we generally demonize? The drug dealer. In the case of slavery, the dealers were blacks. So, why is it that the whites get ALL of the ****? The issue was hardly just a white/black thing. Folks all around the spectrum were to blame.
 

OscarB63

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They usually fail to tell students that the US never would have gotten slaves at all were it not for all the black Africans who rounded up the slaves from Africa and shipped them here.

I mean if you use a different analogy: You have a drug - > a drug dealer -> a drug user Who is it that we generally demonize? The drug dealer. In the case of slavery, the dealers were blacks. So, why is it that the whites get ALL of the ****? The issue was hardly just a white/black thing. Folks all around the spectrum were to blame.
it just feeds into the bull**** "victim" mentality. the system is keeping them down, etc.. all that BS that keeps real racism alive and well and discourages blacks from doing anything to better themselves.

why try to make something of yourself when you can sit back and blame "whitey" for all your troubles?
 

Aunt Spiker

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Well - the Portuguese were actually the ones to connect with Africa - at first the 'thing' that Africans had that others wanted was gold (ivory was to a lesser degree - and pelts) . . . once those thing dried up as profit then the suggestion of slavery came around.
Slaves weren't taken *from* the initial coastal areas - those areas were the ones who sent slavers into Central Africa to capture people and make them slaves.

They weren't a unified continent - still aren't a unified continent (aka - they still don't get along) so to them they weren't 'enslaving our black brothers' they were merely 'enslaving their enemy or nemesis which also happened to be black.'

None the less - no one was innocent. . .

Nor is slavery *the* reason why African's are struggling to survive as a continent today (which is what my education has led me to believe). Much of their history (for example) has been lost mostly because it was oral-tradition and not actually written or preserved through carvings and other permanent means. Their history - though there is evidence of great, large civilizations, is lost and forgotten because it was never intended to be preserved *physically*

This shows an extremely self-centered focus in our school system which cues in purely on 'what *we* did' as opposed to "what everyone was doing"
No wonder why people from other countries think we're a bit culturally inhibited and unexposed - because we are. Someone shouldn't have to be an adult in college in order to learn that the British and Brazilians, also, had slaves.
 
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Ned Racine

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Slavery existed in the Central West African areas from Timbuktu to what is now Lake Chad area well before any Europeans went down the coast . Google Mansa Musa and his Haj by way of Cairo. This preceded Prince Henry the Navigator I believe.

ALSO to put a more contemporary angle on this with the Roots phenomenon - few remember(or want to remember) Alex Haley pleading No Contest to Plagerism in a NYC Federal Court c. 1981 taking into account his sketchy research etc. I only mention this BECAUSE the book and 2 Mini series in some simple minds did not exactly bring about any greater understanding or healing.
 
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