SLAVERY has existed since times Ancient
The ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Germanics all used slaves to build up their cities and agriculture. For Rome, conquests by war and expansion turned captured prisoners into their foreign slaves.
The Middle Eastern slave traders of Rome--the Moors, the Mongols, the Khazars, the Ottoman Turks, and many others--actively traded in white slaves. To some extent, white nations themselves have betrayed their own in accepting white slaves as a part of their society. Such a trade existed in England in the 16th and 17th centuries where gangs of slave catchers operated against the lowest social classes, very often kidnapping children on the street for indenture to farmers in the colony of Virginia.
The expansion of Whites into Africa, Asia, and America brought forth greater desire for slave labor. From 1530 to 1870, ten million Blacks were sold to the New World with about half of them to the Caribbean islands and the Guianas; 38 percent to Brazil; and 6 percent to mainland Spanish America. The vast majority of the black slaves purchased by white slave traders were sold into slavery by fellow black tribesmen who had captured prisoners while warring with other tribes, or sometimes they would sell people of their own tribe that they deemed unworthy to stay with them.
The Portuguese were the first to start importing large numbers of Blacks from their colonies in Africa in 1444 to work on their plantations. By 1460, they were importing over 1,000 black slaves a year from trading posts established by black peddlers on the African coast. By the end of the 19th century, 12 percent of Portugal's population was black. A significant number of black slaves had had children with white Portuguese people, thus creating the mixed race of a number of Portuguese today. By the time of the 20th century and as a result of multiple factors, Portugal became one of the most underdeveloped states on the European continent.
After Portugal, Spain followed suit and began to import slaves from their African colonies right up to the 20th century, but they imported far fewer Black slaves than did Portugal. England, France, Holland, and Denmark also decided it to their advantage to enter the slave trade competition as well. Spanish colonies in South and Latin America were supplied with African slaves through a British company which had won an exclusive contract in 1713.
Spanish colonists used native Indian tribes to work their mines and farm projects in South America at first; but the physicality required was too much for the Indians, and large numbers died from disease, exhaustion, and poor treatment. Spain then decided to import Blacks from Africa to fulfill their South American labor needs. These black slaves and their descendants physically mixed with the remains of the South American Indians and with some Spanish colonists.
The French had occupied large parts of northern and western Africa and enslaved the labor that they needed. Black slaves were also imported into France where a small degree of intermingling with the white French population took place. In 1848, slavery was abolished in that country.
Holland had imported muslim Malays to work as domestic slaves who were in time absorbed by the white Dutch population. The Dutch abolished slavery in their colonies in 1863.
Between 1519 and 1650, Mexico imported about 120,000 Black slaves, or slightly fewer than 1,000 per year. From 1650 to 1810, Mexico received an additional 80,000 Blacks, a rate of 500 slaves per year. Chile imported about 6,000, about one-third of whom arrived before 1615. Argentina and Bolivia together imported about 100,000 Blacks over the same time period.
Once they had obtained independence, the majority of the new republics of South America and Latin America abolished slavery during the 19th Century. Only in Brazil was slavery not formally abolished until 1888.
The land of America was not immune to the evils of slavery. As the history of man continued in years to march forward and the time came when European nations discovered the new world of America, they brought with them their prejudices, fears, habits, and other sprouts of growth that are part of humanity. America inherited its share of those problems from around the globe. Through its establishment as a Republic and in reflection upon itself in an effort to treat each individual fairly, this country realized errors and moved to turn the tide toward correcting them. Though the nation didn't start on day one to create evils, they did exist within our borders. The founders and their descendants contained amongst them the most brilliant of men who made efforts to ultimately be on the right side of God and His will for the freedom of man with inalienable rights.
The black slave population favored the British to win the American Revolution, and thousands of them sought freedom by taking refuge behind British lines. An armed Black unit--the Ethiopian Regiment--was raised by the British to fight the Americans. When the British army evacuated Charleston and Savannah, more than 10,000 former slaves went with them. Some Blacks settled in Nova Scotia; others moved to Sierra Leone in West Africa. On the American side, some Blacks took the opportunity to trade wartime loyalty to the American rebels for eventual freedom: between 1782 and 1790, American Virginia plantation owners freed almost 10,000 slaves as a result of such deals.
Black slaves did have legal rights in early America, such as support in age or sickness, a right to religious instruction, and the right to bring lawsuits and appear in court in certain cases. Violent behavior on the part of slave owners towards slaves was considered wrong and low-class and was prohibited by law.Number of Blacks Increase in AmericaWith the inclusion of female Black slaves, there came a significant population boom for the blacks. Their high fertility coupled with our medicine increased their infant survival rates well above what it was in Africa. According to the 1800 census, there were 893,602 black slaves in America. By 1860, the black population in America was counted at 3,953,760. By 1950, it had reached over 20,000,000.
WHEN AMERICA HAD SLAVES
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Were black people in America regarded as three-fifths of a person? No, black people were whole people but since they did not vote at all and did not pay taxes, the vote represented by the population of slaves (not free blacks) was counted as 3/5 of a vote. (Indians who did not pay taxes didn't even get that.) It was politics, nothing to do with a black slave being only part of a person. If the north would have had its way, the vote of each slave (who weren't allowed to vote anyway) would be wholly or 5/5 non-existent.
Why did they count as 3/5? The South was more sparsely populated than the North. This meant the North had an advantage in congressional representation. Therefore, the South insisted that slaves are part of the population and should count as votes to give their views more weight.
So, despite the fact that slaves weren't voters, a political compromise was reached allowing the southern states to count slaves within their borders for the sole purpose of increasing their congressional representation.
However, it didn't seem right to the north to give non-voting people who didn't pay taxes a one-for-one exchange; thus, a compromise was implemented. It allowed southern states to count each slave as 3/5 of a vote.
Counting non-voters as having 3/5 of a vote was not a true representation of the population, but it was not as inflated as it would have been if each slave counted as a full vote. The slave states still got over-represented in the Congress, just not as much.
The non-slave states would just as soon there not be any slaves at all; but failing that, they agreed to the compromise in order to hold the country together. Neither side was strong enough to withstand another war or to break away as its own country.
Article 1, Section two of the Constitution reads:The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States . . . Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
One Step Forward
The American Constitution gave Congress the power to ban the importation of new black slaves, which it did beginning 1808. It was a first step. The next steps forward would surely cause a war, and no one looked forward to that.
War did come. The Civil War, which pitted White against White and brother against brother and at great loss of life to the white man for the rights of Blacks, brought an end altogether to the cruel foolishness of slavery in America
Blacks Had Slaves
As slaves in America were freed during the 18th century, they found themselves unable to make a living, particularly in the North. They often turned to crime causing some states to restrict the entry of Blacks into their areas. The southern Blacks fared better than those in the North as there were more opportunities for their type of labor. In New Orleans, for example, 753 Blacks owned slaves according to the 1830 census.
Throughout the early 1800's and as consciousness was raised--mostly by those of courage in Christian values such as the Quakers-- there was an ever-increasing amount of freed slaves; and many of them came to the Americas from England and offered themselves as an alternative to slave labor. There were also some 50,000 free Blacks who settled in the British and French West Indies.
In the New Granada provinces of what today are Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, the free Black population in 1789 was 420,000, whereas the Black slaves were numbered at only 20,000. Free Blacks also outnumbered Black slaves in Peru, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. However, in Cuba, Saint-Domingue, and Jamaica, black slaves outnumbered free Blacks.
"Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion has drawn indelible lines of distinction between them." from Thomas Jefferson's biography
As a man living amongst new racial tensions, Lincoln wished the repatriation of all Blacks out of America to Africa. He told a black delegation it would be better for all of us if they should return to Africa and start a free Black colony there:"You and I are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other races. Whether it be right or wrong, I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living amongst us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.
"Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on equality with the White race. On this broad continent, not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of ours. Go where you are treated the best, and the ban is still upon you. I cannot alter it if I would.
"I need not recount to you the effects upon White men, growing out of the institution of slavery. See our present condition - the country engaged in war! - our White men cutting one another's throats, none knowing how far it will extend; and then consider what we know to be the truth. But for your race among us there would be no war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other. It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated." (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Rutgers University Press, 1953, #V).From His Emancipation Proclamation Speech"I have urged the colonization of the Negroes, and shall continue. My emancipation Proclamation was linked with this plan. There is no room for two distinct races of White men in America, much less for two distinct races of Whites and Blacks.
"I can conceive of no greater calamity that the assimilation of the Negro into our social and political life as our equal. Within twenty years we can peacefully colonize the Negro and give him our language, literature, religion, and system of government under conditions in which he can rise to the full measure of manhood. This he can never do here. We can never attain the ideal union our fathers dreamed, with millions of an alien, inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible nor desirable."
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 put the colonization policy off to the side as other political issues seemed more important at the time. His idea never became legislation but instead Blacks were granted full U.S. citizenship in 1869 by an amendment to the Constitution.LiberiaBy 1822, the American Colonization Society had established Liberia as a former North American Black slave settlement in Africa. They used an almost word for word copy of the American Constitution as the founding charter of that state. Monrovia, the Capital city, was named after President James Monroe who sponsored the project.
Liberia is the oldest independent Black state in Africa, and it is prone to the Third World chaos so typically found in Africa. Even though Liberia started out with all the opportunities and physical assets of the United States, it rapidly descended into Third World status.Blacks Repatriated From EnglandBy 1772 in England, there were 15,000 Black slaves who had been imported into that country.
In 1787, a society for the abolition of the slave trade was formed and a policy of repatriation was started. (This was the second one in Britain's history--the first had taken place under Queen Elizabeth I.) A large transfer took place in 1787 to West Africa where the town of Saint George's Bay (Sierra Leone) was created as refuge for the "London Black poor."
The emancipated slaves were however unable to sustain the town, and by 1790, it had collapsed. The British then tried a new repatriation settlement in 1792 at Sierra Leone and called it Freetown. This time a number of Whites moved to the town with a large number of former Black slaves, and the town has survived to the present day.Blacks Repatriated from AmericaThe success of the Freetown settlement served as a beacon to many Blacks and Whites in North America. In 1815, a small group of free North American Blacks was transported to Sierra Leone where they supplemented the British Sierra Leone settlement. Further repatriation ventures were undertaken in the 1850's.HAITI
The Caribbean island of Haiti had been a center of Spanish activity during the early sixteenth century, the time of explorer Hernando Cortez. The majority of Spaniards left Haiti and had moved on to the South American mainland, while a small number of them stayed behind. The locals, subject to the Spanish force of arms, slavery, and diseases from Europe, became insignificant in numbers.
The western part of the Haitian island was settled by French traders in 1697 and renamed Saint-Domingue: the eastern portion remained under Spanish control, known as Santo Domingo , now the Dominican Republic
The island had a population of some 40,000 Whites, mostly French, some Dutch, German, and Spanish as of 1789. Also developed was a mixed-race of about 27,000, many of whom were freemen and property owners themselves. The 450,000 black slaves outnumbered the freemen and were able to engulf not only the Whites but the mixed race population as well. Racial tensions flurried, but the island itself grew in wealth. Its rich soil and ideal climate produced more sugar, coffee, and cotton than all of the other colonies in North America put together, supplying half of the European needs.
Racial flames of the island were ignited ever brighter from the spark of the French Revolution of 1789. Through a series of events, it was decided by decree that Blacks and mixed races in Haiti were to be denied the right to vote. The black population became frenzied, seized a shipment of weapons, attacked Whites and burned down plantations. The mixed race people first sided with the Whites, then with the Blacks, but soon enough learned that neither side wanted or accepted them.
The island, still in chaos, found itself visited by a detachment of 20,000 French troops in 1802 sent by Napoleon. Black insurgents were hunted down and the leaders of the Black rebellion surrendered, pledging allegiance to the new French government.
A twist of fate changed the dynamics when yellow fever attacked the French troops later that year, at one stage killing as many as 160 per day, causing 4/5 of the French troops to die from the disease. The Blacks, seeing the ravages of the disease amongst the French troops relaunched their racial rebellion, and the security situation on the island had once again descended into near anarchy, with Whites and mixed race persons being targeted at random by Black rebels.
The French troops had had it with the rebellious war and, as it turns out, they had the power to bring it to an end in their favor. This time they set about to kill all Black inhabitants, including women, over the age of 12 years as they would always be potential rebels. Female Blacks had proved themselves to be even more vicious and cruel to captured Whites than what the men had been. As the French set about at this task, Blacks and Whites were killing each other and committing atrocities at random and reaction, until the French had completed their mission.
Then France found itself at war with Britain as the French colonial possession came under attack from the British navy. The English fleet blockaded the island, not only cutting off supplies to the French garrison from France, but also aiding the Black rebels on the island with guns and ammunition. Black rebels led a number of vicious attacks on isolated French garrisons on some coastal towns, during which all the White inhabitants were put to death. By November of 1803, the French surrendered to the English Fleet off the coast.
With the surrender of the French, the Black rebels immediately set about slaughtering those Whites unfortunate enough not to have left the island (renamed Haiti in December 1803) and declared a Republic - the second in the Western Hemisphere after the United States of America and the first independent Black ruled nation in the Caribbean.
Having disposed of the Whites on the island, the Blacks and mixed race population then turned on each other in yet another race war, ending with the virtual annihilation of the mixed race peoples. The same year, Whites who had left the island were invited back to help rebuild the economy, which had been utterly destroyed as a result of the thirteen years of race war. A surprisingly large number of Whites took up the offer.
Scarcely had the new year of 1805 begun when the racial hatred felt by the Black population once again rose up against the Whites. Whites were once again all slaughtered, the last one being on March 18, 1805.
Haiti is today a shambles of poverty, lawlessness, and chaos, despite being a Republic only 35 years younger than the United States of America.