Skip to comments.The Founding Father of modern Conservatism called the British hypocrites about slavery
Posted on 07/15/2019 4:18:23 PM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
In his speech on Conciliation with America, Edmund Burke said the following to the House of Commons:
Slaves as these unfortunate black people are, and dull as all men are from slavery, must they not a little suspect the offer of freedom from that very nation which has sold them to their present masters?--from that nation, one of whose causes of quarrel with those masters is their refusal to deal any more in that inhuman traffic? An offer of freedom from England would come rather oddly, shipped to them in an African vessel which is refused an entry into the ports of Virginia or Carolina with a cargo of three hundred Angola negroes.
Now, there may be some issue raised as to if Burke really is the Founder of modern Conservatism, that's a title given to him by (I think) Kirk and repeated by many, many others. If that's the primary response to this, you missed the forest and the trees. Keep in mind, Burke isn't just stating that Britain brought them across the sea. Burke is also stating another crucial fact - The future Americans (then British subjects) were fighting back and trying their best to prevent future shipments. What does Burke mean when he talks about "refused an entry into the ports of Virginia or Carolina"?
According to some estimates, less than 300,000 slaves were brought to America after Independence was declared. More than double that were brought here per the wishes of Parliament and/or the King. That represents some roughly 5% total of human traffic. As horrible as this is, let's understand the full scope of what was done.
According to the same estimates with less numbers omitted, Britain shipped out over 3 million souls from Africa. What percentage is that? These estimates state that in total roughly 12 million were trafficked including what was done by Portugal, Spain, France, and others. Over 3 million is at least 25%.
Is Edmund Burke correct on his call of hypocrisy? If so, then the question is this: Is slavery really America's original sin? At 25%, is it more correct to say that slavery Britain's original sin?
Why should America get the blame when our forefathers repeatedly and desperately tried to tell the King "NO"?
Our Leftists narrative is that the USA was responsible for SLAVERY!!1!, ignoring the facts illustrated in this article, ignoring the fact that Muslim slave raids were the scourge of Europe for hundreds of years. This only ended in the 19th Century - with much American help towards that in the late 1700s, in Americas first wars post-Indepedence, the Barbary Wars against Muslim slavers.
That our domestic Left ignores this reality because they are not interested in historical truth, they are interested in using Critical Theory to weaken and destroy American ideals.
You seem to have omitted London’s two emancipation proclamations made during the Revolution- Dunmore’s and Philipsburg.. And Britain abolishing its Atlantic slave trade in 1807, and abolishing slavery in its colonies in 1833.
I also omitted that Pennsylvania passed its emancipation act in 1780; that New York passed it’s emancipation act in 1799, and New Jersey in 1804.
Your point? I wanted to keep it small, focused on what Burke said. Do you take some issue with the point that it would in fact carry some oddity, especially after transporting over 3 million across the sea?
Oh, geez, pick your battles wisely.
Also, Brits make great hay out of stopping the slave trade. But they always forget to mention their defacto giant slave nation of India and their enslavement of areas in China.
The term coolie came from the British slave trade in “indentured” workers. It was anything but a free and fair exchange.
Abolishing the slave trade in 1807 you say? That would be quite interesting to American sailors forced into servitude on British ships by impressment until we kicked their ass in 1812.
I enjoy reading British history, but while they may have ended slavery earlier than here, the Empire made a ton of money by treating the people whose countries they occupied just as bad as slaves. And when problems arose within those other countries, like India, the British packed their bags and ran. And for a country that likes to throw around the fact that they ended slavery in the early 1800’s, they had their share of race problems through the years, and they’ve yet to elect a person of color as Prime Minister. For all their high and mighty airs, there is still a class system in Great Britain.
Also you say slavery was abolished in the British colonies in 1833. But even that was British sophistry. They called India a possession of the British East India Company rather than a “colony”. Slavery was abolished in the possessions of the East India Company by the Indian Slavery Act, 1843.
Brits have always been quite willing to force people into servitude and keep them impoverished. Sometimes they changed the term for what they were doing, but the differences to the slave were purely academic, at best.
I must have missed the part were men were bought and sold under impressment. Perhaps you’d be good enough to show us such an example.
Calling impressment “slavery” makes as much sense as calling our military draft slavery. You didn’t burn your Impressment Card, did you?
A number of nations, including the British, Americans, coastal Europeans and Africans were involved in the Atlantic slave trade. None should have allowed it, but they did. The Middle Passage was terrible. Eventually though, it was ended. Nowadays though, American blacks are the most prosperous group of black people in the world. Which make this whole reparations thing ridiculous. As for Edmund Burke, he defended the American colonists and sought reconciliation, speaking on their behalf in the Parliament.
“Do you take some issue with the point that it would in fact carry some oddity, especially after transporting over 3 million across the sea?”
It has the same oddity as our Declaration of Independence citing the right of all men to liberty at a time when we practiced slavery.
Historical virtue signaling is a fool’s game that comes back to bite those who try to play it. It ends up in statue smashing and flag banning.
A foreign nation stops you on a ship. Forces you at gunpoint onto their ship and forces you into work. That’s slavery sport.
Play word games if you want. Defend the Brits if you are one of those types. But please don’t pretend the Brits abhorred slavery. In our amendment we called it involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime.
That is what slavery was defined as in 1865. It was still fresh on their minds then.
Historical virtue signaling is a fools game that comes back to bite those who try to play it. It ends up in statue smashing and flag banning.
Like today, for example.
Impressment is involuntary military service. Slavery includes ownership of human beings. You appear to be one of the very few not to know the difference.
“Impressment, colloquially “the press” or the “press gang”, is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice.”
George Washington famously forced some uncooperative farmer to act as his guide during the Battle of Trenton. I’m unaware that Washington then made him go live at Mount Vernon with the rest of the slaves. Or maybe he sold him. Or maybe he wasn’t a slave at all, he was just impressed for one night. So there you go, sport, you can surely find it defined in the dictionary, that big book of word games.
“Like today, for example.”
Not so neat as you put it. According to British law, once British always British. In the years before the war with them in 1812, the Royal Navy lost lots of sailors to the American service. We paid better, our ships were easier to work, and American Captains resorted to the cat considerable less often than Royal Navy captains.
When A British ship stopped an America ship they were looking for British citizens that had deserted the Royal Navy. The search criteria was look for those sailors that had welts on their backs, sure signs of a cat. Those are the sailors that they took off our ships. They didn’t just stop any American ship and grab any American sailor for their ships. The were looking for deserters from the Royal Navy.
British making slavery illegal while using whole colony’s populations essentially slave labor was the norm.
Any thoughts on whether or not the loss of the American colonies hastened the British abolition of slavery?
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