Fascinating history lesson from a pseudonymous friend:
People often ask why Europeans profited so much from the slave trade but not the African princes who sold Men like cattle**?
The reason is that it took our princes more than two and a half centuries to accept developments in the theory of money and for these theories to proliferate. Thus, even as the world changed around them and the competition for slaves broke the Portuguese and then Spanish monopsony’s over the trade, the prevailing theories of money on the Guinea Coast barely felt a dent. The African princes preferred not coin or gold but exchanges in kind. They battered ivory, gold and humans for technology, fabrics and beverages. These exchanges obeyed certain ratios that endured for more than two centuries. Attempts to convert some of the more influential princes to coinage and the like failed. In any case it was not in the interest of the Europeans who subscribed to an entirely different theory of money to disabuse these princes of their traditions. (Here I must add that those Europeans who attempted to pay slave traders not in kind, i.e according to the established commodity ratios were often rebuffed or met with suspicion). In this manner, items that were almost worthless in Europe due to improvements in technology and production could still command very high “prices” in Africa because our princes preferred to batter.
If you are thinking that the Africans were thus cheated, you know nothing. In fact you re less than a fool. (Have you perhaps been reading too many marxists and afrocentrists?) The real looting and “underdevelopment” began the day the Europeans convinced Africans to accept fiat (i.e. to work and pay taxes in a coin controlled by Europeans).
** The alternative to slavery under some circumstances was human sacrifice.
Did blacks sell blacks?
I will give you a truly remarkable example.
In the 1930s the True Whig Party – a party composed almost exclusively of the descendants of freed American slaves – sold hundreds of Africans to the island of Fernando Po. They also voted to reinstitute the institution of forced (indentured) labour.
This was more than a century after the abolition of slavery in England.
Let that sink in.
”We think this trade must go on. That is the verdict of our oracle and the priests. They say that your country, however great, can never stop a trade ordained by God himself.”
”The slave trade is the ruling principle of my people. It is the source and the glory of their wealth…the mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph over an enemy reduced to slavery…”
“It would be a mistake to frighten the King of Kumasi and the Ashantis generally on the question of slavery. We cannot sweep away their customs and institutions all at once. Domestic slavery should not be troubled at present.”
First is by a Nigerian king.
The second by the king of Dahomey
The third is by a British colonial officer in Ghana
On the contentious issue of slavery.
1. All the established powers in west africa (dahomey, kong, ashanti) opposed the abolition of slavery
2. On top of bribing the notable slave owners in england to end slavery the british also paid a huge bribe to the sultan of zanzibar.
3. In the mean time slavery is still extant in some parts of weste africa including ghana
So tell me, who has the moral high ground?
Just a week ago this Monday, the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court ruled that the tribe may revoke the citizenship rights of black members. The case stemmed from a 2007 vote in which the Nation amended its constitution to allow the expulsion of the descendants of Cherokee-held slaves; this inspired a lawsuit by the “Freedmen,” as the black Cherokee are known. A district court found in favor of the Freedmen, but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling, arguing that the Cherokee alone have a right to determine who is and is not a fellow tribesman. The result is that these erstwhile Cherokees, approximately 3,000 strong, will now be denied benefits that inclusion in the tribe affords, such as free healthcare and education, and voting and housing rights.
The Freedman had enjoyed Cherokee citizenship status ever since it was granted through a treaty with the U.S. government after the War Between the States. Previous to this, the Cherokees, along with tribes such as the Choctaw and Creeks, kept thousands of African slaves (additionally, some Indians allied themselves with the Confederacy during the war).
While these facts aren’t generally found in school textbooks, they should surprise no one. Slavery was once ubiquitous throughout the world, and North America’s indigenous people were no exception. For their embrace of the institution predated the white settlers’ arrival; moreover, this event presented new slaveholding opportunities: Some Indians made slaves of Europeans as well as Africans. (Read more)
The history of the African slave trade into the America’s is one that is well-documented as well as largely taught in American schools today.
However, as John Martin of the Montreal-based Center for Research and Globalization points out in his article ‘The Irish Slave Trade – The Forgotten ‘White’ Slaves,’ it was not just Africans who were traded as slaves.
Indeed, the Irish have a gruesome history as being traded as slaves as well and subjected to similar and sometimes worse treatment than their African contemporaries of the time.
Strangely though, the history of Irish and ‘white’ slavery is by and large ignored in the American educational curriculum today.
In his article, John Martin writes “The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70 percent of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.”
Read more articles on Irish history here
“Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.”
Martin writes how at the hands of the British, the Irish population plummeted due to the slave trade of the 17th century.
“During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, [Oliver] Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.”
Martin goes on to explain that for some reason, the Irish slaves are often remembered as ‘indentured servants.’ However, in most cases during the 17th and 18th centuries, they were no more than “human cattle.”
“…the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period,” writes Martin. “It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts.”
During the late 1600s, writes Martin, African slaves were far more expensive than their Irish counterparts – Africans would sell for around 50 sterling while Irish were often no more than 5 sterling.
Further, the treatment of Irish slaves was thought to be more cruel than that of African slaves. If an Irish slave was beaten by their owner, it wasn’t considered to be a crime. (Read more)
Headline from the left:
The Second Amendment was Ratified to Preserve Slavery