Archive for March, 2019:

US and World Slavery History 101

Written on Mar 8th, 2019 by Randy Harod Add / See Member Comments (0)

Slavery in the US began while our colonies were under British rule–so the 1619 project is a historically incorrect farce condemnation of today’s Americans and our great history.  
Both France and Britain effectively ended their slavery in 1848 and the independent USA just 17 years later in 1865.  This is remarkable since slavery still thrives in many other places today, including Africa. The African slave trade was started by Portugal in 1444.  Between 11 and 12 million African slaves were delivered to the New World between 1501 and 1866, with about 305,000 (less than 3 percent) imported by the freed USA, and over 3,200,000 worldwide by Britain and 5,800,000 by Portugal/Brazil.

The first black slave in colonial America was owned by a free black man in 1654 in Virginia where the British court ruled that a runaway indentured servant was now owned, and other black men could own black slaves too, but no white man could. In 1670 British colonial Virginia law ruled free whites, blacks, and Indians could own black slaves.  Fearing an uprising, in 1669, Virginia ordered the sending of all freed slaves back to Africa, but many sold themselves to white masters so they would not have to go.  By 1830, there were 3,775 black families living in the south who owned black slaves.  By 1860, there were about 3,000 black slaves owned by black households in New Orleans alone.  In 1777, after winning the Revolutionary War that freed the colonies from Britain, the independent Republic of Vermont became the first US sovereign state to abolish slavery.  Ratification of the US Constitution included a prevision that no new slaves could be “imported” into the US after 1787. This was a mutual agreement to by the North and the South to give time for the South to adjust its agricultural economy to survive without slaves.

In 1833 Britain ordered the gradual abolition of slavery in all British colonies by 1853.   France’s ban on slave trading went into effect in 1826 and it abolished slavery in 1848. In 1858 Portugal abolished slavery, but the slaves were subject to a 20-year “apprenticeship” until 1878. In 1861 the Netherlands abolished slavery in its colonies.

In 1857 the US Supreme Court ruled that state courts cannot issue rulings that contradict the decisions of federal courts–meaning slavery was still legal until Congress passed a new law forbidding it–in this case overturning the unconstitutionality ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 freeing runaway slaves . In 1861, the Confederate South did not try to take over the Union, but left it. It exercised the legal protections in joining the United States of America that allowed them to leave the new Republic and secede because the Federal Government violated the terms by claiming slavery was illegal (without a new law being passed) and was charging high taxes only to the South’s cotton foreign exports to fund the Federal Government. South Carolina attacked Fort Sumter because it was their fort, and Union soldiers were rushed there illegally to seize it and force the issue of not allowing the South to secede as was its right to do. In 1862 the Union’s Republican President Abraham Lincoln’s Executive Order proclaimed emancipation of slaves without a new law. The 13th Amendment banning slavery in the USA was passed in the 1865 congress after the Confederacy lost the war. 

In 1888, twenty-three years later, Brazil abolished slavery.  In 1926 the League of Nations adopted a resolution abolishing slavery.  In 1948 the United Nations adopted an article stating “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”   However, in 2013 the UN and world rights organizations claim that over 27 million people are still in slavery through servitude without pay that they cannot flee, of which about 70% are women and children. 

So isn’t it time we stop bashing America for slavery that was abolished after 600,000 American lives were lost in the Civil War to end it, a mere 5 to 17 years after the Old World leaders abolished their slavery in 1848-1861? Why aren’t all “political activists” fighting to end actual world slavery still existing today? Why aren’t they fighting the Democrats in the US to grant school vouchers so all our Blacks get a competitive education and using our police to provide them safety from Black on Black crime?

We Americans should not allow ourselves to be shamed over our history or to ignore the significantly larger history of slavery worldwide. This includes that free blacks that sold themselves as indentured servants for 7 years for passage to America often got 40 acres and a mule at the end of their servitude in the South as part of their deal so they could support themselves as free men. That was a contract, not reparations.

It pays to know real history versus media hate-mongering to keep racism alive for political reasons most of us abandoned decades ago.       

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