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Why SS Africa became the main slave supplier?

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Topic: Why SS Africa became the main slave supplier?
Posted By: pinguin
Subject: Why SS Africa became the main slave supplier?
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 00:37
Consider the 15th century world. Slaves could be bought in several parts of the world: slavs from Eastern Europe, Moors, Arabs, Turks and other political enemies of Europe, prisoners of war from the local European wars.
Why then Subsaharan Africa become the main supplier of slaves? Wouldn't have been cheaper to bring Moors, Jews, Turks and others people in conflict to the Americas?

Another related question. Subsaharan Africa exported many goods to the Mediterranean in ancient times: salt, gold, ivory, skins, etc., but suddenly the export of slaves become the main source of revenue for the region. Why?





Replies:
Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 05:35
a) Slaves for the New World plantation were specifically required to be able to work in hot hukid conditions. Moreover only in Africa were local rulers willing to sell their subjects or prisoners as slaves so you didn't have to fight wars or anything. Also Africa was physically closer.
 
b) Slaves from Africa were continuously exported from atleast Roman times onward, especially to the Middle East. They didn't startbeing exported to America until people knew America was there. Seems rather obvious that they wouldn't be exporting slaves to the Americas before 1492 at the earliest.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 06:31

I second Graham and add that unlike SS African tribal chiefs, the Moors, Turks and others would probably retaliate in style. This was actually why the barbary pirates began in the first place.

 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 11:44
I actually believe that Pinguin did something that probably many of us have done in the past (except one) that is mean to say "the 1500's", which is the 16th century, and instead write "15th century!"

So, I will give him the benefit of the doubt!

Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 11:51
Nope. The explotation of Black African slaves by Europeans started ealy in the 15th centurym when Henry the Navigator started the exploration of the sea coasts of that continent.

Some events

1441

  • 1441: Start of European slave trading in Africa. The Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão capture 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) and take them to Portugal as slaves.

1444

  • 1444: Lançarote de Freitas, a tax-collector from the Portuguese town of Lagos, forms a company to trade with Africa.
  • 8 August 1444: de Freitas lands 235 kidnapped and enslaved Africans in Lagos, the first large group of African slaves brought to Europe.

1450

1452

  • 1452: Start of the 'sugar-slave complex'. Sugar is first planted in the Portuguese island of Madeira and, for the first time, African slaves are put to work on the sugar plantations.
  • 18 June 1452: Pope Nicholas V issues Dum Diversas, a bull authorising the Portuguese to reduce any non-Christians to the status of slaves.

1454

  • 8 January 1454: Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex, a bull granting the Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa. Nevertheless, Spanish traders begin to bring slaves from Africa to Spain.

1461

  • 1461: The first of the Portuguese trading forts, the castle at Arguin (modern Mauritania), is completed.

1462

  • 1462: The Portuguese colony on the Cape Verde Islands is founded, an important way-station in the slave trade.
  • 1462: Portuguese slave traders start to operate in Seville (Spain)

1470

  • 1470s: Despite Papal opposition, Spanish merchants begin to trade in large numbers of slaves in the 1470
So, slavery was already in place in the middle of the 15th century, a lot of time before that people was brought to the Americas.





Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 14:53
Stay away from Africa Penguin your knowledge of its geography is abysmal. Mauritania is still the Maghreb and Ras Nouadhibou is Cabo Branco. As expected you run across a web site and any acuity you might possess with respect to critical reading goes out the window! Naturally, you are also up to your own tricks and do not reveal the source for your antics with chronology. As for your liberty with usage, such as "sugar plantations" in Madeira, you really do not have even the slightest grasp of that island's colonization history between 1419 and 1450. Coflating traditional Mediterranean practices with what eventually became the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Blacks from the Gulf of Guinea and the Congo Basin is both artful and deceptive.  

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 22:06
pinguin, no-one denied that slaves were being taken out of sub-Saharan Africa before 1492. In fact al Jassas and I both specifically agreed they were. It wouldn't surprise me if Nubians were exported from ancient Egypt into the middle east. They were certainly captured and kept as slaves in Egypt itself.
 
So all that stuff about the Portuguese in the 15th century (while accurate enough, afaik) is basically irrelevant becaus it had been going on for a long time before that.


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 09 May 2011 at 23:46
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Naturally, you are also up to your own tricks and do not reveal the source for your antics with chronology.  
 
It seems that Pinguins source is this timeline:
 
http://www.brycchancarey.com/slavery/chrono2.htm - http://www.brycchancarey.com/slavery/chrono2.htm


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 00:22
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Stay away from Africa Penguin your knowledge of its geography is abysmal. Mauritania is still the Maghreb and Ras Nouadhibou is Cabo Branco. As expected you run across a web site and any acuity you might possess with respect to critical reading goes out the window! Naturally, you are also up to your own tricks and do not reveal the source for your antics with chronology. As for your liberty with usage, such as "sugar plantations" in Madeira, you really do not have even the slightest grasp of that island's colonization history between 1419 and 1450. Coflating traditional Mediterranean practices with what eventually became the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Blacks from the Gulf of Guinea and the Congo Basin is both artful and deceptive.  


If you are the expert in the topic, illuminate us with your impresive knowledge, please.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 00:25
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

pinguin, no-one denied that slaves were being taken out of sub-Saharan Africa before 1492. In fact al Jassas and I both specifically agreed they were. It wouldn't surprise me if Nubians were exported from ancient Egypt into the middle east. They were certainly captured and kept as slaves in Egypt itself.
 
So all that stuff about the Portuguese in the 15th century (while accurate enough, afaik) is basically irrelevant becaus it had been going on for a long time before that.


First, there is no evidence of Trans-Saharan slave trade in ancient times. In fact, when the Phoenicians working for Egypt reached subsaharan Africa for the first time, they were surprised to find black people Confused...
But you are right that the Trans-Saharan slave trade started in the Middle Ages with the Arabs, a lot time before the Europeans entered that business.

But the point is other. Why SS Africans, among all other peoples in the Old World, specialized in the commerce of people?


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 00:40
Your last point has already been fully answered. If you didn't like the answer (from me and al Jassas) then tell us why.
 
Black people had been known in Egypt pretty well for as long as we have records. For instance http://wysinger.homestead.com/nubians2.html - http://wysinger.homestead.com/nubians2.html  so whether any particular Phoenicians were surprised to come across them seems unlikely, and at best irrelevant.
 
They weren't necessarily slaves of course, but Egypt certainly took slaves as tribute from Kush and Meroe and if they weren't Nubian, they must have been conquered people from further south or possibly south-west.  
 
You overlook thatthe main way for slaves to come from sub Saharan Africa northwards is not by crossing the Sahara, but down the Nile, or over the Horn of Africa.
 
Nubians were not


-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 00:43
You are confusing things. Nubians and Ethiopians were known in the Ancient World, under the common label of Ethiopians, but they weren't slaves; at least not in mass. At most a Roman would met once in a while an Ethiopian traders.
But the large Trans-Saharan slave trade was developed by the Arabs, after they took control of the Maghreb.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 10:23
No one is confusing the factual here, Penguin, except you who somehow does not wish to read the historical documents with a critical eye. Had you bothered to read any of the Papal Bulls--either Ilius Qui (1442), Dum Diversus (1452) and Romanus Pontificus (1455)--you would note that in a sense they are papal absolution for Christian states to engage in an established practice with respect to the problematics of Islamic expansion and the defense of Christendom, hence Portugal and later Castille had sanction
to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery 
 
The quote from Romanus Pontificus clearly defines the exigencies involved, but to premise such as the principal reason for the Portuguese thrust into the Gulf of Guinea as the creation of a massive trade in Black slaves in the 15th century is not only erroneous but simply serves to misinform, first about the nature of Portuguese colonization in the Atlantic islands and second to the actual role of Sao Jorge da Mina de Ouro and other entrepots not established until very late in that century: post 1482. This entrepot and its fortifications were consolidated to protect the Portuguese traders in their search for the principal commodity sought: gold! In effect the Portuguese were disrupting the traditional route of the African kingdoms North through the Sahara and directing them South to their outposts. It was gold not slaves that drove the Portuguese who by the reign of D. Manuel were transporting some 25,000 ounces yearly. Perhaps you should brush up on the Capuccin archives in Rome so as to understand the proper timelines as well as the specific region where people rather than merchandise became the principal commodity as well as understand that even during the Dutch period (after 1637), the Europeans were principally "middlemen" to the African kingdoms of the interior. A change in this pattern does not surface with respect to the Portuguese until the 16th century, and especially after the 1560s with respect to O Reino do Kongo. By the way even after the Islamic intrusion into the Maghreb the principal commodity flowing North was gold or did you not know the principal impetus behind the Portuguese seizure of Ceuta in 1415?


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 10:43
By the way, Penguin, you should read the material on Lancarote de Freitas more carefully, specially the nature of the "slaves" seized in 1444. They were Berbers! It is now becoming increasingly embarrassing having to compare your efforts to the information encapsulized by even Wiki!
 
Read and be informed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lan%C3%A7arote_de_Freitas - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lan%C3%A7arote_de_Freitas
 
Perhaps you should read up on the books by George Winius, Bailey Diffie and John Vogt with respect to Elmina--
 
Foundations of the Portuguese Empire 1415-1580
Portuguese Rule on the Gold Coast 1469-1682


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 10 May 2011 at 13:11
Interesting oppinion, doc. I accept you know more than myself in THIS topic. That's why I opened the thread with questions. Please, let me know more.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 11 May 2011 at 05:55
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:




No one is confusing the factual here, Penguin, except you who somehow does not wish to read the historical documents with a critical eye. Had you bothered to read any of the Papal Bulls--either Ilius Qui (1442), Dum Diversus (1452) and Romanus Pontificus (1455)--you would note that in a sense they are papal absolution for Christian states to engage in an established practice with respect to the problematics of Islamic expansion and the defense of Christendom, hence Portugal and later Castille had sanction
to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens, and other
enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms,
principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods
whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual
slavery 
 
The quote from Romanus Pontificus clearly defines the exigencies involved, but to premise such as the principal reason for the Portuguese thrust into the Gulf of Guinea as the creation of a massive trade in Black slaves in the 15th century is not only erroneous but simply serves to misinform, first about the nature of Portuguese colonization in the Atlantic islands and second to the actual role of Sao Jorge da Mina de Ouro and other entrepots not established until very late in that century: post 1482. This entrepot and its fortifications were consolidated to protect the Portuguese traders in their search for the principal commodity sought: gold! In effect the Portuguese were disrupting the traditional route of the African kingdoms North through the Sahara and directing them South to their outposts. It was gold not slaves that drove the Portuguese who by the reign of D. Manuel were transporting some 25,000 ounces yearly. Perhaps you should brush up on the Capuccin archives in Rome so as to understand the proper timelines as well as the specific region where people rather than merchandise became the principal commodity as well as understand that even during the Dutch period (after 1637), the Europeans were principally "middlemen" to the African kingdoms of the interior. A change in this pattern does not surface with respect to the Portuguese until the 16th century, and especially after the 1560s with respect to O Reino do Kongo. By the way even after the Islamic intrusion into the Maghreb the principal commodity flowing North was gold or did you not know the principal impetus behind the Portuguese seizure of Ceuta in 1415?



The above post is great. I really appreciate the devices that the good Doctor is able to present us almost in a few minutes, etc..

But, if I may become some what controversial, in just what period, other than those ancient time periods of Roman or pre-Roman periods whereby, it was reported that "slaves" were used to row "galleys", into the seas and into battle. Heck, even Ben Hur, was a "galley slave!" I would presume to state that even the Phoenicians used slaves to row their Galleys? Were slaves used to row the galleys of the Heruli? How about the galleys of the so called Vikings?

NO, it seeems that most information concerning the use of slaves to row such ships, happened much nearer to our common era.

The "middle" and "Late" Middle ages might well describe the epogee of this practice?

Your views.

Ron

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 11 May 2011 at 06:58
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

But, if I may become some what controversial, in just what period, other than those ancient time periods of Roman or pre-Roman periods whereby, it was reported that "slaves" were used to row "galleys", into the seas and into battle. Heck, even Ben Hur, was a "galley slave!"
Ben Hur is set in the Roman period: not in 'other than those ancient time periods of Roman ...' 
Quote
I would presume to state that even the Phoenicians used slaves to row their Galleys? Were slaves used to row the galleys of the Heruli? How about the galleys of the so called Vikings?
The Vikings not. The Phoenicians on occasion, rather like the Romans and the Greeks. I don't know that the Heruli had any significant naval or commercial fleets. Much depends on whether you mean fighting vessels (in which case probably not) or commercial ones (in which case more likely). 
Quote
NO, it seeems that most information concerning the use of slaves to row such ships, happened much nearer to our common era.

The "middle" and "Late" Middle ages might well describe the epogee of this practice?
The apogee of the practice comes well after the middle ages, in the 16th-17th and even 18th centuries. France for instance only started sending felons to the galleys as slaves in the mid-17th century.
 
(I'm referring to the Mediterranean and other European waters here. I don't know about the practices in India/China, thogh I don't think the use of galley was particularly developed there.)



-------------
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 11 May 2011 at 12:38
Thanks for your support in the above response Graham! It is a most gracious pleasure to have you upon my side for a change!

Concerning Al Jasses', responses, he also holds a title quite next to you in my support, since he brings into the conversation the actions of those personages with whom he identifies as the "barbary pirates!"

I would suggest to all, that these people seemed to hold the entire Med. area within their hands for a multiple of hundreds of years.

What is always apparent in this area, at least to me, are those powers who mostly did the same thing hundreds of years earlier, or perhaps a thousand years or more!

But that is but me.

Regards,

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 04:20
The point has already been addressed by gcle and al-jassas, but just my twopence here:
 
In sub-saharan Africa, or more precisely the  west african coastal areas  and near-hinterland, not only were local rulers (such as  the Dahomey state and its predecessors) willing to sell slaves to European slave traders participating in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but these coastal states and tribal structures were not as organsied or as 'technologically advanced' (relatively speaking for the period) as to be able to confront them, as say the Barbary states and their sponsors the Ottoman Empire, and vice versa. Hence the flow of slaves in the Mediterannean was usually in the context of the spoils of war (e.g. galley slaves) , privateering and piracy, between relatively organised and hostile structures, whilst in sub-saharan Africa, the European traders could, to put it crudely get more 'bang for their buck'.
 
Also, black African slaves were seen as better workers for the sugar plantations in the hot climes of the Caribbean, the indigineous natives were either deemed unsuitable or had been exterminated by 'old world' viruses. Hence the drive to harvest slaves from the West African coast.
 


Posted By: Kirghiz
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 05:20
Cheaper and closer!


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 07:14
Also, a lot easier to control. Berbers and other foreigners could hide among the general population. For Africans was a lot more difficult to "pass".


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 07:20
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Also, black African slaves were seen as better workers for the sugar plantations in the hot climes of the Caribbean, the indigineous natives were either deemed unsuitable or had been exterminated by 'old world' viruses. Hence the drive to harvest slaves from the West African coast.


Wild fantasy. It is very clear, at least in the Hispanic colonies, that Africans were imported to spare from suffering to Natives. Las Casas proposed to introduce Africans for that reason, actually. The mortality of Africans in the Caribbean in the plantations was very high, but the supply of slaves was continuous.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 07:23
To answer Pinguin's second point about the trade's existence before modern times well the answer is in the good old demand/supply laws.
 
The capital costs to transfer SS slaves either across the desert or through the oceans to either the middle east or europe was high compared with the actual demand for both labour and domestic servants and especially in the latter catagory. An african slave was just as good for domestic service as a white or an Asian person and since there was ample supply for those slaves and at a much reduced cost the need to import slaves was nullified.
 
Then there was the labour side of things and here too things were not good for slave traders. In the middle east and europe there was a massive supply of cheap labour who were either indentured servants or acted as serfs. These people were practically slaves in all but name and remained in europe until the 1800s. Although slavery was cheaper in the long term certain legal and social problems made mass importation of slaves from SS Africa or from other places for that matter difficult. This was brutally demonstrated during the massive Zinj rebellion in Iraq in the first half of the 9th century. The mass importation of African slaves coupled with the fuedalisation of land (local farmers were tenants of the state no a fuedal lord) lead to a civil war that lasted for decades and was a direct result for the sharp decrease of the Arabian sea slave trade.
 
With the conquest of the America's a new reality forced itself upon the conquerors. Already the legal and moral justification for slavery was solidified with the papal bulls mention earlier by the good doctor. Spain/Portugal, the two countries that for over 100 years pioneered colonisation and were the model for the rest of europe for how to (and of course how not to) colonise the Americas, barely had enough resources to conquer the continent and keep the peace and not enough people or colonial subjects to actually exploit the riches especially after the severe outbreaks of diseases that killed millions and then the expulsion of the jews and then the moors which was additional reasons for people to stay put and not leave. African slaves were the best option. Already they have proven themselves elsewhere (East Africa and Portugal's gold coast holdings), they were cheap to get and cheap to transport and easier to control once they were in a foreign land than the natives of that land.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 08:22
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Also, black African slaves were seen as better workers for the sugar plantations in the hot climes of the Caribbean, the indigineous natives were either deemed unsuitable or had been exterminated by 'old world' viruses. Hence the drive to harvest slaves from the West African coast.


Wild fantasy. It is very clear, at least in the Hispanic colonies, that Africans were imported to spare from suffering to Natives. Las Casas proposed to introduce Africans for that reason, actually. The mortality of Africans in the Caribbean in the plantations was very high, but the supply of slaves was continuous.
Hardly fantasy. Refer to this extract from wiki on labour slavery in the Caribbean:
 
The Atlantic Slave Trade was the result of, among other things, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_shortage - labor shortage , itself in turn created by the desire of European colonists to exploit New World land and resources for capital profits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas - Native peoples were at first utilized as slave labor by Europeans, until a large number died from overwork and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World - Old World diseases. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade#cite_note-45 - [46]
 
 
It is undeniable therefore that the effect of viruses such as smallpox that decimated the native Carib Indians had a major effect on the labour pool that the colonists could rely on for working the plantations, hence it was one of the drivers for the sourcing of slaves from West Africa and the development of the trans-atlantic trade.
 
 


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 09:05
Tashfin, it is dangerous to homogenize History and its chronology by speaking in generalities that disrespect the physicial boundaries of time and push back in time phenomena that arose much later. In the Caribbean itself the notion of vast sugar plantations dependent upon large importation of slaves is a phenomenon of the 18th century. The principal role of the major islands held by the Spanish [e.g. Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Rico] was abastecimiento (that is to say supply) of the annual fleets and the defensive coast guard (Guarda Costa and Avisos). Consequently, the major economic activity was ranching and farming and that perspective prevailed well into the mid-18th century. After 1696 and the consolidation of Saint Domingue by the French, one may speak of plantations [both sugar and coffee] integrated to slave labor but as you can see we are once again discussing an 18th century phenomenon. Yes, there is the experience of Brazil, where sugar plantations were consolidated and expanded in the years after 1580 in association with production (and where the Dutch adapted to the pattern after 1630) but if we are going to address slave labor in the context of Spanish America, we have to address mining and not agriculture. Did you know that one of the principal factors that impeded the development of sugar as an export commodity prior to the middle years of the 17th century was a shortage of copper! Study the history of copper mining at Falun in Sweden so as to explain the ins-and-outs of this essential metal as a commodity required  for the production of sugar in huge quantities.  If one studies the economic decretals of the early 17th century Spanish Habsburg monarchy with respect to copper, you would be in for a surprise.

-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 09:06
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

[
It is undeniable therefore that the effect of viruses such as smallpox that decimated the native Carib Indians had a major effect on the labour pool that the colonists could rely on for working the plantations,


It was an infection indeed, a disease, which killed the natives. But that wasn't bacteria or virus. That infection was the Europeans Cry


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 09:42
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Tashfin, it is dangerous to homogenize History and its chronology by speaking in generalities that disrespect the physicial boundaries of time and push back in time phenomena that arose much later. In the Caribbean itself the notion of vast sugar plantations dependent upon large importation of slaves is a phenomenon of the 18th century. The principal role of the major islands held by the Spanish [e.g. Cuba, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Rico] was abastecimiento (that is to say supply) of the annual fleets and the defensive coast guard (Guarda Costa and Avisos). Consequently, the major economic activity was ranching and farming and that perspective prevailed well into the mid-18th century. After 1696 and the consolidation of Saint Domingue by the French, one may speak of plantations [both sugar and coffee] integrated to slave labor but as you can see we are once again discussing an 18th century phenomenon. Yes, there is the experience of Brazil, where sugar plantations were consolidated and expanded in the years after 1580 in association with production (and where the Dutch adapted to the pattern after 1630) but if we are going to address slave labor in the context of Spanish America, we have to address mining and not agriculture. Did you know that one of the principal factors that impeded the development of sugar as an export commodity prior to the middle years of the 17th century was a shortage of copper! Study the history of copper mining at Falun in Sweden so as to explain the ins-and-outs of this essential metal as a commodity required  for the production of sugar in huge quantities.  If one studies the economic decretals of the early 17th century Spanish Habsburg monarchy with respect to copper, you would be in for a surprise.
 
Thanks for the detail drgonzaga. I was using a particular (plantation slavery) to highlight a general. .The main drift of my post was that in the first instance the impact of the Conquista on the indigineous peoples (including the spread of old world viral infections) impacted negatively on the colonists labour pool. This was one of the factors for the initiation of the trans-atlantic trade, and access to African Slave labour. No doubt as some of the phenomena you mentioned of plantation slavery (sugar/coffee) developed later, the driver was obviously cheaper costs and higher margins (for example in the triangular trade), since the presence or otherwise of these native populalations was no longer a key factor.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 11:41
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Thanks for the detail drgonzaga. I was using a particular (plantation slavery) to highlight a general. .The main drift of my post was that in the first instance the impact of the Conquista on the indigineous peoples (including the spread of old world viral infections) impacted negatively on the colonists labour pool.


That's a simplification of reality. In the Spanish Caribbean colonies the reason for the introduction of slaves wasn't the lack of indigenous manpower. The reason was the restriction that the crown put to the explotation of natives after Las Casas trial. Blacks were imported because the laws that protected the Indians didn't cover Africans. Confused And that was also the reason of the huge number that were brought to the Caribbean.

And Drgonzaga is right in the timing. Trans-atlantic slavery is a phenomenon of the 18th century, a time when most of the population of the Spanish caribbean was already admixed.




Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 22:14
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Thanks for the detail drgonzaga. I was using a particular (plantation slavery) to highlight a general. .The main drift of my post was that in the first instance the impact of the Conquista on the indigineous peoples (including the spread of old world viral infections) impacted negatively on the colonists labour pool.


That's a simplification of reality. In the Spanish Caribbean colonies the reason for the introduction of slaves wasn't the lack of indigenous manpower. The reason was the restriction that the crown put to the explotation of natives after Las Casas trial. Blacks were imported because the laws that protected the Indians didn't cover Africans. Confused And that was also the reason of the huge number that were brought to the Caribbean.

And Drgonzaga is right in the timing. Trans-atlantic slavery is a phenomenon of the 18th century, a time when most of the population of the Spanish caribbean was already admixed.


No, it is part of the reality. Before the Spanish Crown enacted legislation to prevent Indian enslavement, indigenous labour was heavily exploited, hence the impact of overwork and disease had severely depleted the  local labour force , before the laws were put in place to extend protection to the native populations and slavery restricted to Africans. So as I stated 'in the first instance' in my post, this was an important driver for the import of African slaves. Just for reference here is a wiki reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_Spanish_New_World_colonies - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_Spanish_New_World_colonies
 
As for trans-atlantic slavery being a phenomenon of the 18th century. This is not accurate. The trade was initiated in the early 16th century with Spain and Portugal ramping up the number of slaves imported from Africa through this period, until the arrival of Dutch (& French) and English slave traders who slowly began to dominate the trade. The extensive use of plantation slavery in the 17th and 18th centuries (sugar/coffee plantations) gave greater impetus to the trans-atlantic trade, and in the case of England (and later Great Britain) the 'triangular trade'. So the trans-atlantic trade can be said to have been a phenomena spanning this period(16th -19th century).
 
 


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 12 May 2011 at 22:23
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Also, black African slaves were seen as better workers for the sugar plantations in the hot climes of the Caribbean, the indigineous natives were either deemed unsuitable or had been exterminated by 'old world' viruses. Hence the drive to harvest slaves from the West African coast.


Wild fantasy. It is very clear, at least in the Hispanic colonies, that Africans were imported to spare from suffering to Natives. Las Casas proposed to introduce Africans for that reason, actually. The mortality of Africans in the Caribbean in the plantations was very high, but the supply of slaves was continuous.
 
The import of slaves from Africa was not only for reasons of sparing the natives out of humanitarian reasons, that is mostly a way of trying to beautify reality.
 
The brutal fact is that the death toll among the natives was so high that it was neccesary to replace them with African slaves.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 00:36
Nobody cared how many slaves died. That's the brutal reality. Perhaps 100.000 natives died in the Caribbean as a consecuence of the invasion. The slaves that died working were several millions.




Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 00:45

Not many cared about how many natives died and perhaps even fewer cared about the African slaves. But it was considered a neccesity to bring in African slaves since the number of available natives plumbed drastically.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 01:30
No wonder. The Europeans robbed all the women to the natives. Check the genetics of the Hispanic Caribbean.The myth of the extinction of Tainos is protestant BS.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 01:34

Actually it was more a matter of violence and desease that decimated the natives.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 01:46
You are a parrot that repeats the Black legend.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 01:51
Just take a check in Stannards American Holocaust for an overview, where the author lists a lot of examples of the exterminations committed by the Spaniards (and others). His claims are also consistent with other sources and authors


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 02:09
As I said: you are a protestant parrot that repeats every BS available.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 02:22
The truth is the truth even if some apologists try to deny it.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 02:26
You speak like a priest. "The truth!" "Be ashamed sinners... the hell is waiting for ya"


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 04:38
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Just take a check in Stannards American Holocaust for an overview, where the author lists a lot of examples of the exterminations committed by the Spaniards (and others). His claims are also consistent with other sources and authors
 
As forthrightly stated elsewhere, Stannard's little opus is not History nor is it factual but instead represents diatribe in search of caricature. For one thing by 1590, the Amerind populations in Spanish America had begun to rebound and was actually increasing. One need no further evidence to establish that fact than to simply look at present numbers. By the way, the greatest flaw in all of the blather put forth by Stannard is that he presupposes fantastic populations numbers prior to 1492 that are completely untenable with respect to the "agrarian technology within their ecosystems"--to use your favored obtuse vocabulary. The bottom line here is that historically, smallpox and measles and little else was responsible for the drastic decimation of aboriginal populations at contact. And for your information the abuse of the rhetorical treatises prepared by Las Casas as "source material" for the phantasms of genocide glibly ignores the fundamental reasons for their preparation: the enacting of royal legislation guaranteeing the legal status and rights of the Amerind. That often he hyperventilated should be something very familiar to your rhetorical style of argument.


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 04:48
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Just take a check in Stannards American Holocaust for an overview, where the author lists a lot of examples of the exterminations committed by the Spaniards (and others). His claims are also consistent with other sources and authors
 
As forthrightly stated elsewhere, Stannard's little opus is not History nor is it factual but instead represents diatribe in search of caricature. For one thing by 1590, the Amerind populations in Spanish America had begun to rebound and was actually increasing. One need no further evidence to establish that fact than to simply look at present numbers. By the way, the greatest flaw in all of the blather put forth by Stannard is that he presupposes fantastic populations numbers prior to 1492 that are completely untenable with respect to the "agrarian technology within their ecosystems"--to use your favored obtuse vocabulary. The bottom line here is that historically, smallpox and measles and little else was responsible for the drastic decimation of aboriginal populations at contact. And for your information the abuse of the rhetorical treatises prepared by Las Casas as "source material" for the phantasms of genocide glibly ignores the fundamental reasons for their preparation: the enacting of royal legislation guaranteeing the legal status and rights of the Amerind. That often he hyperventilated should be something very familiar to your rhetorical style of argument.


Brilliant and well documented argument. Congrats doc.
The truth is that even today the Amerindian DNA makeup in places like Cuba, DR and specially in PR is very high.  That wouldn't be possible if the Indian population had become extinct.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 21:35
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

  
As forthrightly stated elsewhere, Stannard's little opus is not History nor is it factual but instead represents diatribe in search of caricature. For one thing by 1590, the Amerind populations in Spanish America had begun to rebound and was actually increasing. One need no further evidence to establish that fact than to simply look at present numbers. By the way, the greatest flaw in all of the blather put forth by Stannard is that he presupposes fantastic populations numbers prior to 1492 that are completely untenable with respect to the "agrarian technology within their ecosystems"--to use your favored obtuse vocabulary. The bottom line here is that historically, smallpox and measles and little else was responsible for the drastic decimation of aboriginal populations at contact. And for your information the abuse of the rhetorical treatises prepared by Las Casas as "source material" for the phantasms of genocide glibly ignores the fundamental reasons for their preparation: the enacting of royal legislation guaranteeing the legal status and rights of the Amerind. That often he hyperventilated should be something very familiar to your rhetorical style of argument.
 
Actually if one compare Stannards claims with his source material it ends up quite well, even if he can exaggerate numbers now and then. But since historical source material many times are somewhat ambigous conserning numbers his estimations are not more dubious than other, more apologetic or revisionist authors.
 
And that precolumbian amerindian populations in certain areas were higher than earlier estimations show becomes more and more obvious in the light of modern archaeological investigations. Just take the example of the Amazon as we have discussed in another thread. One bias in older research is that it did not take the full scope of amerindian agricultural, horticultural, aquacultural or other methods of land utilisation into consideration.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 21:37
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Brilliant and well documented argument. Congrats doc.
The truth is that even today the Amerindian DNA makeup in places like Cuba, DR and specially in PR is very high.  That wouldn't be possible if the Indian population had become extinct.
 
Actually it is enough that you have a few people of mixed race in the first place and then let them procreate with each other and increase their numbers, then you will in due time have a lot of people with mixed heritage. That do not show that the original non mixed people, or their cultures are not destroyed and gone.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 22:54
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Brilliant and well documented argument. Congrats doc.
The truth is that even today the Amerindian DNA makeup in places like Cuba, DR and specially in PR is very high.  That wouldn't be possible if the Indian population had become extinct.
 
Actually it is enough that you have a few people of mixed race in the first place and then let them procreate with each other and increase their numbers, then you will in due time have a lot of people with mixed heritage. That do not show that the original non mixed people, or their cultures are not destroyed and gone.
 
In the immortal words of Jackie Gleason..."And awaaaaay we go!" However, in this instance we are not going to let our resident "Johnny One Note" lead us into his lair but instead shall simply "cut him off at the pass". Culture is continuously redefined by human adaptation and sensibilities and what becomes uncouth is continuously jettisoned or reshaped in response to new exigencies. The Pueblo people of New Mexico are still there [as are countless other ethnic Amerinds within the milieu of the Americas] and were it not for your blatant ignorance of the Americas, Carch, you would not be leaving yourself continuously open to repetitive ridicule. Even Evo Morales is cognizant of the autonomy once held by the Aymara and Quechua peoples of the Altiplano shaped during the colonial period and is hell-bent on reintroducing their old cabildos as a measure of local governance. Please know your history and not the bullish blather of advocacy groups that are essentially ignoramuses on the actual past.


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 13 May 2011 at 23:20
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

  The Pueblo people of New Mexico are still there [as are countless other ethnic Amerinds within the milieu of the Americas]
 
Yes, the Pueblos are still there, but countless other Amerindian peoples and cultures are actually not there anymore, they have in different ways (violence, slavery, displacement, forceful assimilation, diseases) been exterminated by the invaders.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:02
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

And that precolumbian amerindian populations in certain areas were higher than earlier estimations show becomes more and more obvious in the light of modern archaeological investigations. Just take the example of the Amazon as we have discussed in another thread. One bias in older research is that it did not take the full scope of amerindian agricultural, horticultural, aquacultural or other methods of land utilisation into consideration.


Again resorting to your lunatics authors? Confused


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:03
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Yes, the Pueblos are still there, but countless other Amerindian peoples and cultures are actually not there anymore, they have in different ways (violence, slavery, displacement, forceful assimilation, diseases) been exterminated by the invaders.


Didn't you consider voluntary assimilation? Confused... What a propaganda machine are you! Ouch


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:04
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

...The Pueblo people of New Mexico are still there [as are countless other ethnic Amerinds within the milieu of the Americas] and were it not for your blatant ignorance of the Americas, Carch, you would not be leaving yourself continuously open to repetitive ridicule. Even Evo Morales is cognizant of the autonomy once held by the Aymara and Quechua peoples of the Altiplano shaped during the colonial period and is hell-bent on reintroducing their old cabildos as a measure of local governance. Please know your history and not the bullish blather of advocacy groups that are essentially ignoramuses on the actual past.


Againt, brilliant Clap


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:12
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Actually it is enough that you have a few people of mixed race in the first place and then let them procreate with each other and increase their numbers, then you will in due time have a lot of people with mixed heritage. That do not show that the original non mixed people, or their cultures are not destroyed and gone.


Of course the "original" people is not here anymore. They mixed Confused... You are so repetitive. What do you expect, that they stayed quite waiting for dissapearing? No sir, they made buddies theirs invaders, and some people did quite well with the change. They addopted Christianity and European customs, and theirs descendents are abundant. Even more, one of the best ways to acquire immunity for the foreign diseases was precisely mixing with the invaders.

With respect to culture, yes, some cultures got extinct, but not all. In coutries like myself we have a native heritage in foods, traditions, legends, literature, language, poetry, music and textiles, that it is the envy of foreigners.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:12
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

And that precolumbian amerindian populations in certain areas were higher than earlier estimations show becomes more and more obvious in the light of modern archaeological investigations. Just take the example of the Amazon as we have discussed in another thread. One bias in older research is that it did not take the full scope of amerindian agricultural, horticultural, aquacultural or other methods of land utilisation into consideration.


Again resorting to your lunatics authors? Confused
 
It is indeed not to resort to any lunatics to follow the latest archaeological and scientific knowledge in American archaeology.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:13
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Yes, the Pueblos are still there, but countless other Amerindian peoples and cultures are actually not there anymore, they have in different ways (violence, slavery, displacement, forceful assimilation, diseases) been exterminated by the invaders.


Didn't you consider voluntary assimilation? Confused... What a propaganda machine are you! Ouch
 
Much assimilation is forceful, or at least a result of political and economic manipulation.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:15
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

 
It is indeed not to resort to any lunatics to follow the latest archaeological and scientific knowledge in American archaeology.


You follow what is convenient for your dogma, priest!


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:16
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Much assimilation is forceful, or at least a result of political and economic manipulation.


Lier


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:16
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Of course the "original" people is not here anymore. They mixed Confused...
 
Some mixed, but many were actually exterminated by violence, slavery, displacement and forceful assimilation. It seems that you exaggerate the mixing just to apologize the destruction of Amerindian peoples.
 


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:17
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Much assimilation is forceful, or at least a result of political and economic manipulation.


Lier
 
It seems that it is you who do not like to see the ugly truth of the destruction of indigenous Amerindian peoples.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:36
It seems that you have no idea of what you talk about, parrot.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:41
It seems that you just want to hide the truth about the extermination of countless Amerindian peoples and cultures behind a mythology of peaceful intermixing.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:50
The problem here is yours ignorance on the topic, clown.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 01:54
There are actually a lot of documentation about amerindian peoples being in different ways exterminated, so if you do not know that it is you who show ignorance.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 02:09
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

There are actually a lot of documentation about amerindian peoples being in different ways exterminated, so if you do not know that it is you who show ignorance.


I know 100 more documentation on the topic that your "survival INC." could lend you.
The problem with you, Carcha, is that you lack perspective. You can't see things beyond the cartoon.

You are trying to grasp a 500 years period, in a continent with 80 times more people than Sweden, and where your Scandinavia would fit 100 or more times! And you don't understand the details.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 04:49
Wow! Thanks guys for keeping the discussion civil. I would just like to say that I feel very strongly "Both ways!"

-------------
"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 14 May 2011 at 23:32

To focus back to the subject of SS African slaves, and the reasons for their use. Despite the fact that Spain enacted the legislation in the New Laws of 1542 to prevent the enslavement/exploitation of the Amerind population and regulation of the encomienda system, in the decades immedialtely after first contact disease (especially smallpox) and the effects of enslavement on the native labour force took a heavy toll of the population hence prompting the need to replace the existing labour pool with slaves imported from Africa. Incidentally Spain did not directly trade on the West African Coast but would purchase slaves from Portuguese and English slave traders.

We should also state that whilst it is  clearly inaccurate to allege that any systematic amerindian genocide too place, the completely opposite view that the Conquistadores arrived with the Bible in one hand and a packet of boiled sweets in the other is also pushing the packet of reality a bit far. The colonial enterprise was essentially exploitative and so it is as disingeneous to gloss over the brutalities directed towards the native populations that accompanied the initial wave of conquest (1492 - 1540), as it is to overemphasise their scale as being akin to genocide   ...... 


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 00:49
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

To focus back to the subject of SS African slaves, and the reasons for their use. Despite the fact that Spain enacted the legislation in the New Laws of 1542 to prevent the enslavement/exploitation of the Amerind population and regulation of the encomienda system, in the decades immedialtely after first contact disease (especially smallpox) and the effects of enslavement on the native labour force took a heavy toll of the population hence prompting the need to replace the existing labour pool with slaves imported from Africa. Incidentally Spain did not directly trade on the West African Coast but would purchase slaves from Portuguese and English slave traders.


Again. Repeating the dogma learn at school, eh?
The only reason why Black slaves were imported to the Spanish Caribbean was because, unlike Indians, Blacks didn't have rights, and weren't under the protection of the crown. Also, unlike Portuguese, who had experience in Africa with colonies included, and had an ambiguos attitude towards blacks, Spaniards were very racist towards Africans.

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:


We should also state that whilst it is  clearly inaccurate to allege that any systematic amerindian genocide too place, the completely opposite view that the Conquistadores arrived with the Bible in one hand and a packet of boiled sweets in the other is also pushing the packet of reality a bit far. The colonial enterprise was essentially exploitative and so it is as disingeneous to gloss over the brutalities directed towards the native populations that accompanied the initial wave of conquest (1492 - 1540), as it is to overemphasise their scale as being akin to genocide   ...... 


Indeed. There is no excuses. All the point is that, as genetics show, the extermination of the Tainos in the Spanish Caribbean is false: they mixed with the Europeans. Even today in Cuba, 33% of the mtDNA is indigenous, and in PR the figure is higher. Even in DR, where Africans were brought in mass, and living besides Haiti, a country that invaded DR and contributes with an endless migration of black peoples (20% of DR are Haitians). No matter that, there the 15% of the people had Amerindian genetics. The lowest figure for all countries of Iberian America, but almost twice the figure detected in White Americas.


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 01:03
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

To focus back to the subject of SS African slaves, and the reasons for their use. Despite the fact that Spain enacted the legislation in the New Laws of 1542 to prevent the enslavement/exploitation of the Amerind population and regulation of the encomienda system, in the decades immedialtely after first contact disease (especially smallpox) and the effects of enslavement on the native labour force took a heavy toll of the population hence prompting the need to replace the existing labour pool with slaves imported from Africa. Incidentally Spain did not directly trade on the West African Coast but would purchase slaves from Portuguese and English slave traders.


Again. Repeating the dogma learn at school, eh?
The only reason why Black slaves were imported to the Spanish Caribbean was because, unlike Indians, Blacks didn't have rights, and weren't under the protection of the crown. Also, unlike Portuguese, who had experience in Africa with colonies included, and had an ambiguos attitude towards blacks, Spaniards were very racist towards Africans.

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:


We should also state that whilst it is  clearly inaccurate to allege that any systematic amerindian genocide too place, the completely opposite view that the Conquistadores arrived with the Bible in one hand and a packet of boiled sweets in the other is also pushing the packet of reality a bit far. The colonial enterprise was essentially exploitative and so it is as disingeneous to gloss over the brutalities directed towards the native populations that accompanied the initial wave of conquest (1492 - 1540), as it is to overemphasise their scale as being akin to genocide   ...... 


Indeed. There is no excuses. All the point is that, as genetics show, the extermination of the Tainos in the Spanish Caribbean is false: they mixed with the Europeans. Even today in Cuba, 33% of the mtDNA is indigenous, and in PR the figure is higher. Even in DR, where Africans were brought in mass, and living besides Haiti, a country that invaded DR and contributes with an endless migration of black peoples (20% of DR are Haitians). No matter that, there the 15% of the people had Amerindian genetics. The lowest figure for all countries of Iberian America, but almost twice the figure detected in White Americas.
With regards to your first point. It is historical fact, not dogma. I refer you to the reference provided in my earlier post. African slaves started to be imported before the laws protecting the indigeneous populace were inacted, hence highlighting the need to fill the labour gap presented by the aforementioned reasons I presented.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 01:20
You shouldn't forget that the Spanish colones wanted licenses to import Blacks, and exagerated the demographic situation. It is also true that Las Casas exagerated as well. But don't forget that the European colones came without women to the Americas, so by the time this crisis happened, they were already monopolizing native women in the Spanish islands, beside the fact for a Spanish, a Christian native that spoke Spanish wasn't much "Indian" anymore. So not much "native" labour force was found there.




Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 01:54

^ But you have to ask yourself why there was such a demand?, and why would they 'exaggerate' the demographic situation?. The fundamental reason was that the population had been decimated in the decades after first contact, primarily by disease.The fact that amerinds were also enslaved through the encomienda system, also put a strain on the population due to overwork and brutality of their masters. Indeed, missioniaries in Dominica had highlighted the abuses of the 'native' population, and this was one of the reasons that eventially led to the inaction of the New Laws. The first slaves began to be imported in significant numbers in 1518 so this was a good two decades before the laws were brought into place. As for admixing, of course this prevalent ( between Spanish colones and native women) but the main labour force of male amerinds would have been hit hard in any case. Hence the need to supplement the labour force, especially in the context of mining, with slaves sourced from Afirica.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 10:12
Why? Spaniards and others Europeans considered the Americas a place to produce money. In the Caribbean, because its climate and lack of minerals, the main source of revenues was the explotation of suggar, that required lot of manpower. A lot more than the historical populations of those regions, that were low to start with. You shouldn't forget, either, that the natives of those islands went regularly to South America, Yucatan and Florida, so I wonder how many just leave.
With respect to the explotation of people, indeed, the hardest hit were males, not only Amerindians but Africans as well. In Latin America, Native mtDNA is very common and majoritary almost anywhere, but European Y-Chromosomes are predominant. It is easy to see, then, what happened in historical times.

And for Africans was't different. You can see in the Caribbean that the proportion of mtDNA is a lot higher than the survival of African Y-Chromosomes. Now, if you consider that most of the Africans that came to the Americas were male, then you start to realize the magnitude of the genocide on Africans.

You should know that in the Spanish empire, Portuguese empires  and French Haiti blacks were treated with extreme brutality. I believe slaves in the U.S. were treated a lot better, by comparison.





Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 11:34
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

To focus back to the subject of SS African slaves, and the reasons for their use. Despite the fact that Spain enacted the legislation in the New Laws of 1542 to prevent the enslavement/exploitation of the Amerind population and regulation of the encomienda system, in the decades immedialtely after first contact disease (especially smallpox) and the effects of enslavement on the native labour force took a heavy toll of the population hence prompting the need to replace the existing labour pool with slaves imported from Africa. Incidentally Spain did not directly trade on the West African Coast but would purchase slaves from Portuguese and English slave traders.

We should also state that whilst it is  clearly inaccurate to allege that any systematic amerindian genocide too place, the completely opposite view that the Conquistadores arrived with the Bible in one hand and a packet of boiled sweets in the other is also pushing the packet of reality a bit far. The colonial enterprise was essentially exploitative and so it is as disingeneous to gloss over the brutalities directed towards the native populations that accompanied the initial wave of conquest (1492 - 1540), as it is to overemphasise their scale as being akin to genocide   ...... 
 
As with all things, the Devil is in the detail and when one chooses to constrict a particular topic without respect for time lines one falls into the pit of misrepresentation. Living in the era that can best be described as the Apex of Bureaucracy and Systemic Law, one had best look very closely with respect to the how, because the Spanish Conquest of the Americas stands as the base for modern International Law. However, being a careful card player, I will choose to play the trump cards at the needed times; hence, here I will simply pose a question: Has anyone heard of or understands what is meant by the
Requerimiento?
 
Tashfin also made an assertion with respect to the Spanish and the slave trade that is a bit misrepresentative. It is essential here that one understand the function of the Casa de la Contratacion in Sevilla and the regularization of trade with the Americas by the mid-16th century. It is even more important to recognize that after 1580, the union of the Portuguese and Castillian crowns in the person of Philip II carried interesting implications, not least of which falls within the ambit of what had become known by then as the Asiento de Negros negotiated at Sevilla. As an introduction to this subject Wiki does perform a decent chore--essentially by giving breath to a respectable historian--C. Goslinga--as a source:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiento - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiento
 
One simple point that has to be observed here is that the Spanish crown did not "purchase" any slaves at all, but that merchants "purchased" from the crown the right to conduct trade in which the "merchandise" involved were the slaves themselves. The records here are meticulous since such "trade" also involved the payment of taxes and duties at the ports of destination. The records are there, and as one would have it they clearly indicate that the isles of the Caribbean played a scant role as ports of destination in the 17th century much less the 16th. As for the English providing the Spanish any slaves at all in the 16th century, English bottoms were proscribed from the Americas--all non-Castillian vessels had to trade in Castille itself from the very beginning and they were even forbidden these ports by the 1560s. The situation in the 16th century does not tranfer into the 17th century, and by the 18th century all bets were off. Here is an interesting essay on the situation in the 18th century, where colonials themselves were re-writing matters for their own benefit:
 
http://www.historycooperative.org/proceedings/seascapes/karras.html - http://www.historycooperative.org/proceedings/seascapes/karras.html
 
With respect to the English--and in the Age of the Internet--go take a dip in British History On-Line and the extracts they regularly include from the Calendar of State Papers, here's a beginning:
 
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70224 - http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=70224
 
All I am doing here is issuing a caution: Do not transfer conditions and realities of one period into that of another no  matter how comfortable the generalization might appear.
 
 


-------------
Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 11:52
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

And for Africans was't different. You can see in the Caribbean that the proportion of mtDNA is a lot higher than the survival of African Y-Chromosomes. Now, if you consider that most of the Africans that came to the Americas were male, then you start to realize the magnitude of the genocide on Africans.

You should know that in the Spanish empire, Portuguese empires  and French Haiti blacks were treated with extreme brutality. I believe slaves in the U.S. were treated a lot better, by comparison.
 
And here is another example evoking the pit of misrepresentation. As I hint, I will simply post a link:
 
http://www.johnhorse.com/images/ptour/01.htm - http://www.johnhorse.com/images/ptour/01.htm
 
An appeal to DNA is even equivocal, for example in both Cuba and Puerto Rico the vast majority of Blacks descend from 19th century ancestors introduced to the Americas and their genetic links rather forcefully affirm the connection. I do not wish to enter the realm of 1930s sociology as novel--for example as with Gilberto Freyre's Casa grande e senzala--nevertheless, here as in all else one has to understand the laws in place at given periods as well as the juridical structures governing the terms of servitude. After all of the palaver on Las Casas, perhaps it is time to play another trump card as a guide: Pedro Claver Corbelo.
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 11:57
Good point. So you are saying that historically, the dramatic demographic shift of the Caribbean is from the 19th century and not before. However, you should remember that up to 1898, the Spanish Caribbean was still controlled by Spain.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 12:41
Such is immaterial with respect to what conditions were in the 18th century much less the 16th. There was a drastic transformation in Cuban agrarian enterprise after the 1760s and even more sharp in the early decades of the 19th century that saw the consolidation of industrial slavery in the service of sugar and coffee, which would begin to unravel in the decades after the 1860s.
 
For further discussion:
 
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/slave-prices-cuba.pdf - http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/slave-prices-cuba.pdf
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/Cuba-slave-trade.pdf - http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/Cuba-slave-trade.pdf
http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/cuban-cofee-plantation.pdf - http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/slavery/cuban-cofee-plantation.pdf


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 13:00
Interesting.
I wonder if in the far away future, when the U.S. become higly Hispanic, people would wonder if there was really a time when it was mainly Nordic. I mean, the Hispanic Caribbean become highly Africanized only at the 19th century, and people don't suspect there was a time when that ethnic group was irrelevant in those islands.


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 15 May 2011 at 23:22
Good points and input/clarifications drgonzaga. The Requierimiento was a declaration that the Spanish used to assert their sovereignty over the New World/Americas, and claimed that the Papal Bull of 1493 bestowed this right to the Spanish Crown. It was not a demand for conversion to Catholicism, but for the conquered populations to submit to Spanish rule and accept missionary preaching. Resistance to this demand would legitimise (or rather provide a loophole) to the enslavement of the subject population. This was, as I stated in my previous post, something that missionaries in Dominica (1510), and indeed Las Casas later, objected to as an abuse of the native population (and depending on your view exagerrated these abuses or otherwise), it was abolished by the Spanish Crown in 1556. The encomienda system, however, effectively institutionalised native slavery, prior to its regulation in the mid-16th century, and the New Laws of 1542, which extended protection to the indigeneous population. 
 
In terms of the discussion at hand, focusing on the period 1492-1600, the reasons for the import of African slaves have been attributed to:
 
-  The relatively low native population levels of the spanish carribean at point of contact and after, and the need to supplement this labour pool and enable the colonists to exploit additional labour sources in mining and later agriculture.
- The impact of disease in the first few decades after contact and the effects of the encomienda system that effectively enslaved parts of the population, that diminished the native labour force and provided the stimulus to look to alternative and cheap labour i.e. African slaves.
 
The two are not mutually exclusive, (subject to an assessment of pre and post columbian demographics,  and their relevance to the areas under discussion). The impact of the Conquista on the native population combined with the increased  need for cheaper labour to work in newly discovered gold/copper mines (and later sugar), required that a new source for slave labour be utilised, and hence the requirement for African slaves.
 
For example the first major shipment of African slaves (4000) arrived in 1518, thereafter thousands of slaves were imported to the Spanish colonies. Prior to this in 1509/10 the governor of Spain's caribbean colonies, Diego de-colon, had voiced his complaints about the suitability of Indian slaves (as an economic resource as opposed to any moral imperative, despite missionary opposition). This coupled with the effects of 'old world' disease and overwork on primarily the male amerind slaves, gave greater impetus for more cheap slave labour to support this flagging and diminishing labour force.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 00:29
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

 
-  The relatively low native population levels of the spanish carribean at point of contact and after, and the need to supplement this labour pool and enable the colonists to exploit additional labour sources in mining and later agriculture.


In the Caribbean, mining was irrelevant. It was agriculture the main source of income there.

Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:


- The impact of disease in the first few decades after contact and the effects of the encomienda system that effectively enslaved parts of the population, that diminished the native labour force and provided the stimulus to look to alternative and cheap labour i.e. African slaves.


The Encomienda system was a Feudal system; natives were converted in servants, like it also happened in many places of Europe at the same time. At least in Peru, with the Mita system, a labour tax system that started in precolumbian times You can't compare the encomiendas with the plantation system. Real slavery was only on Africans, without forgetting abuses existed to the other populations as well.
 
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:


 The impact of the Conquista on the native population combined with the increased  need for cheaper labour to work in newly discovered gold/copper mines (and later sugar), required that a new source for slave labour be utilised, and hence the requirement for African slaves.

That paragraph needs to be clarified. First, the Caribbean wasn't a great source of gold or copper mines at all; that was in the Spanish main. The more important mines were in Mexico and in the Andes, and in those regions slavery was superfluous, and marginal at most, because they had millions of native labour force.




Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 03:29

Yes the Encomienda system was a form of serfdom similar to the Feudal system in Europe, and hence a source of forced labour. There were mines in the Caribbean, for example gold mines in Cuba, to which African slaves were sent in 1524. Other activities related to agriculture and ranching were also important as you state.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 10:29
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

Yes the Encomienda system was a form of serfdom similar to the Feudal system in Europe, and hence a source of forced labour. There were mines in the Caribbean, for example gold mines in Cuba, to which African slaves were sent in 1524. Other activities related to agriculture and ranching were also important as you state.

 
Fee Fi Fo Fum I smell the detritus of Wiki flowing through the Forum. Here and in another post there are some egregious assertions. Gold in the Caribbean (Cuba and Hispaniola) was hardly a labour intensive chore given the fact that it was placer mining and not even in a more intricate form. Instead, it was simple panning of the arroyos. And no matter what those general narratives on the Internet maintain [one has 40,000 Arawaks slaving away in gold mines], the simple fact is that Columbus lied when he postulated vast amounts of gold on that island, this lie has been accepted as fact when the truth is to the contrary. By 1519 the principal economic activity on Hispaniola followed classic Andalusian patterns: ranching and farming. Nor was Cuba transformed into any slave emporium at any time in the first decades of the 16th century, after all its consolidation as a Spanish possession does not come until the years of 1509 to 1515 and if gold had been discovered in appreciable quantities of what need the Cortez venture of 1519! The simple fact here is that both Cuba and Hispaniola became little more than staging bases for subsequent exploration and incursion onto the mainland. The claim that 4000 Black slaves "were sent" to Cuba in 1524 is sheer tommy-rot! The first recorded arrival of enslaved Africans into Cuba comes in 1513 and they number but four individuals transported by their owner Amador de Lares, who was emigrating from Hispaniola to the new island of Cuba! It was Governor Velazquez de Cuellar who in the years 1519/1520 arranged for the transport of 300 African slaves to Santiago as laborers in his quest for gold through placer mining in Eastern Cuba. What also has to be placed in context here is the fact that in 1526, Carlos I issued a royal cedula (decretal) that asserted that slave laborers held the right to "purchase" their freedom from servitude! As for vast slave plantations in the 16th century such an assertion is hogwash. By 1607 Havana had become the principal port on the island and in its countryside there were but 16 sugar ingenios, the largest consisting of but 26 slaves. Given the fact that in 1538, the island consisted of six towns, Santiago with 80 households, Havana with some 70 vecinos, and the remaining four (Baracoa, Puerto Principe, Santi Spiritus, and Bayamo) averaging some 35 households each, the notion that there were thousands of Africans tilling in slavery by this time is nonsense. By 1774 the royal census of the island identified its inhabitants rather succinctly: 172,620 personas--96,640 colonists; 31,847 free people of color; and 44,333 slaves. Of these last, the majority are Yoruba whose importation began in sharp numbers from the Oyo region subsequent to 1763.
 
It should be of interest that if we are to discuss the Slave Trade within the context of the Spanish Caribbean we need but turn to the Reales Cedulas none more important than that of Carlos III in 1789, which officially opened the port of Havana to the Slave Trade and authorized shipbuilding in that port and proclaimed a new code, On the Trades and Occupations of Slaves. Enforced work could only be applied on those at least 17 years of age and no older than 60 years; labor could only be required for a maximum of 270 days per year; owners were required to feed and clothe their charges to accepted standards; and they were required to instruct them in the fundamentals of the Catholic faith. Notice the use of the plural, Trades, and cogitate on its implications.
 
PS: The records of the original Asientos concerning slaves are of interest and rather than go into intricate citations of AGI documents, here is a competent summation drawing on sound secondary sources:
 
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/_Topics/history/_Texts/BOUSIA/18*.html - http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/_Topics/history/_Texts/BOUSIA/18*.html  
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 11:35
Good analysis, doc. Only a small hole in your argument. The Spanish crown was very careful in keeping records and tracks, but you shouldn't forget that smuggling was quite widespread in the Spanish empire. How many people entered the Americas without the blessing of the crown is a mystery.


Posted By: Carcharodon
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 21:53
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:


I know 100 more documentation on the topic that your "survival INC." could lend you.
The problem with you, Carcha, is that you lack perspective. You can't see things beyond the cartoon.

 
It is hardly a cartoon that indigenous peoples in Latin America (and other places in the world) have been exterminated or driven to the brink of extermination by invading societies and exploiters. For the people that became the victims of genocide, displacement or forced aculturation it was hardly a cartoonish experience.


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 16 May 2011 at 23:14
Yes, clear analysis from drgonazaga. In terms of slaves sent to Cuba, one did not assert that 4000 slaves were sent there in 1524, but what was being referred to was the permission granted by the Spanish Crown  (Charles V) as an individual assiento to import  up to 4000 slaves annually to the Hispanic Carribean (Cuba, Hispaniola, etc) from 1518 onwards.
 
We were not aiming to establish that in the early 16th century, Spain was involved in a huge transit in slaves volumes to work on plantations, but rather the reasons that stimulated this demand, which were outlined in earlier posts, namely a shortage of the number, to work on specific projects, and perceived quality of the labour pool and the desire to supplement this labour force with what was perceived as a cheap, reliable and more easily controllable resource: namely African slaves.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 17 May 2011 at 06:46
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Good analysis, doc. Only a small hole in your argument. The Spanish crown was very careful in keeping records and tracks, but you shouldn't forget that smuggling was quite widespread in the Spanish empire. How many people entered the Americas without the blessing of the crown is a mystery.
 
There is no "mystery" here unless one wishes to postulate that smugglers were rampant in the 16th century, hence with respect to the Caribbean and slaves the problematics of transporting valuable commodities to hidden coves is more Hollywood than fact. Further, the effort requires the coflating of time and sheer ignorance of such salient facts as the Guarda Costa, the Avisos, and the Armada de Barlovento that regularly patrolled the Caribbean during the years 1560-1649.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 17 May 2011 at 07:26
Perhaps the good doctor, and Tashfin, would like to refute the numbers sometimes found on the "Net" where by "Sharks would follow Slave Ships to the New World, because at least One Million slaves were dropped into the Sea, as dead, during the "strife" to import more and more of them.

Just where does one place claims like those above?

Nut cases?

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 01:44

On the point of motivations for the initiation of the African trade, here is a passage from Volume I 'Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade' compiled by Jeremy Black - with reference to the essay by Arroyo on 'The Failure of Spanish Medieval Colonisation of the Canary and Caribbean islands':On pg 93 (I could not find an internet link so this is a direct quote):

'Although the crown successfully subjugated the Tainos, this only hastened the elimination of the Tainos as a reliable work force. The demographic decline set in motion by disease, warfare and ecological displacement in the first decade of the Spanish presence gained impetus and proved irreversible.Concern over the possible disappearance of the Tainos affected Spanish policy in 1505 (Maya Pons 1987:49)'
 
and on pg 94:
 
' the encomienda was used as a mode for co-ercing native labour'
 
'agriculture/ranching was the main activity'
 
Mining also constituted a portion of this, for example the Sierra Cibao gold mines and Cuban gold mines, to which the 300 slaves were sent in 1524, that I was referring to previously, the post regarding 4000 slaves, was referring to the permission (an individual assiento) given by Charles V to his  Flemish courtier Lorenzo de Goevod to export this number (via Genoese merchants/intermediaries and Portuguese ships) directly from Africa to the Spanish Carribean, from 1518 onwards.
 
Africans were considered better workers, more resistant to disease and also better able to work with horses than the native amerind population. So these were some of the  key drivers for the trade in this context.
So, fundamentally the Spanish implemented what was effectively a feudal system to exploit native labour, but due to the demographic impacts highlighted, prompted the Spanish colonial authorites to look for other sources to supplement/bolster this declining labour pool.  No doubt, pressure from missionaries with regards to protecting the native amerind population was also there, and provided greater impetus for accessing these alternative sources, but the core and primary reason was driven by economics.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 03:39
Although the crown successfully subjugated the Tainos, this only hastened the elimination of the Tainos as a reliable work force. The demographic decline set in motion by disease, warfare and ecological displacement in the first decade of the Spanish presence gained impetus and proved irreversible.Concern over the possible disappearance of the Tainos affected Spanish policy in 1505 (Maya Pons 1987:49

What a ridiculous way to repeat over and over again the same myth.


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 03:41
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

 
Africans were considered better workers, more resistant to disease and also better able to work with horses than the native amerind population.

Indeed. Africans weren't considered humans.


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 04:47
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Although the crown successfully subjugated the Tainos, this only hastened the elimination of the Tainos as a reliable work force. The demographic decline set in motion by disease, warfare and ecological displacement in the first decade of the Spanish presence gained impetus and proved irreversible.Concern over the possible disappearance of the Tainos affected Spanish policy in 1505 (Maya Pons 1987:49

What a ridiculous way to repeat over and over again the same myth.
 
Is it a myth? Please furnish alternative evidence to the contrary, if that is the case. This was not a policy of deliberate genocide (if that is the myth you are referring to) but this situation occured due to a variety of factors, disease being the most obvious and prominent one. It was not only humanitarian concerns (which have already been cited) for the protection of the native population that prompted the initiation of imported slave labour from Africa.
 
According to another reference ( H. Thomas: The Slave Trade) by 1510 the population had been reduced to  circa. 25,000 from an initial level of approx  200,000 (though the exact statistics have been the subject of debate), primarily due to disease (smallpox), since there was a relatively small colonist population, this represented a declining labour pool, that needed to be supplemented with an alternative  and more easily managed labour force, due to their obvious racial distinction, as stated (J. Black. The Origins.)
 
'The difficulty of ensuring sufficient numbers of malleable workers, encouraged the speed of African slavery which started in the 1510's'


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 05:03
There is no exact statistics. It is all number guessing. That's the problem.
Even more, it is quite clear that colonial masters wanted to minimize the figures to the crown, so they could get slaves to exploit them freely


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 18 May 2011 at 07:16
I think that some of ignored my post above, but that is to be expected. But there still exists numerous examples extant from old accounts, concerning the loss of life that reportedly occurred during the transport of thousands upon thousands of SS African slaves to the colonies, to be ignored.

Or should such reports be ingnored?

One has a valuable cargo, that is worth nothing if the cargo is allowed to rot, or decay, or die, during the process of transportation.

Just what business man would like it if only half of the cargo he agreed to finance, could not be brought alive to port?

Just what is the financial justification?

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 04:22
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

I think that some of ignored my post above, but that is to be expected. But there still exists numerous examples extant from old accounts, concerning the loss of life that reportedly occurred during the transport of thousands upon thousands of SS African slaves to the colonies, to be ignored.

Or should such reports be ingnored?

One has a valuable cargo, that is worth nothing if the cargo is allowed to rot, or decay, or die, during the process of transportation.

Just what business man would like it if only half of the cargo he agreed to finance, could not be brought alive to port?

Just what is the financial justification?
 
The fact that significant numbers of slaves died during transportation through the middle passage is not disputed, but what is disputed are the actual numbers, so according to wiki out of an estimated 9.5 to 12 million (estimates vary) transported between the 16th and 19th centuries, approximately 10-20% died during the actual transportation between Africa and the Americas, itself. However the exact figures are the subject of debate, so would be interesting to understand forumites views on this.
 
With regards to throwing slaves overboard, for example, a famous event was the 'Zong massacre' case of 1781, which became an inspiration for the abolitionists in England. Here is a wiki link:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zong_Massacre - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zong_Massacre
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 28 May 2011 at 07:59
Sure, we could throw figures out of our hats untill the pigs come home. Figures are mostly the result of people trying to exagerate a problem, and via the use of "figures" most any-thing can be either asserted, and proved, or dis-proved.

I am glad that you reported the semi-famous "Zong massacre!" As you noticed, the slaves were merely considered as "chattel", or "Wood", but if one was paid for the delivery of a certain number of "slaves" or a certain number of board-feet of lumber, then the owner of the cargo, seems would have a good deal of lee-way in going to court to save his investment. But, since "Maritime Law" is something of a different type of special law, that sometimes over-rides tratditional law, then this type of trial seems wrongfull?

But, those were the times and the deals!

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 01:16
The range of the estimate, is what most historians agree upon, and the fact that tens of thousands of slaves died due to the horrendous conditions, and brutality of the middle passage are indisputable. So no one is trying to exaggerate the problem, its just understanding the scale.
 
However there has been a trend by some with right wing agendas to underplay the significance, impact, brutality and scale of the trans-atlantic slave trade in the America's, which we should also be wary of......
 
The key point of te Zong massacre was firstly this was not isolated but an accepted practice in law at the time, but more importantly the inhumanity of the treatment of slaves was highlighted and and gave impetus, at least in the context of the UK, to the abolitionist cause..


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 03:24
Originally posted by Tashfin Tashfin wrote:

The range of the estimate, is what most historians agree upon, and the fact that tens of thousands of slaves died due to the horrendous conditions, and brutality of the middle passage are indisputable. So no one is trying to exaggerate the problem, its just understanding the scale.
 
However there has been a trend by some with right wing agendas to underplay the significance, impact, brutality and scale of the trans-atlantic slave trade in the America's, which we should also be wary of......
 
The key point of the Zong massacre was firstly this was not isolated but an accepted practice in law at the time, but more importantly the inhumanity of the treatment of slaves was highlighted and and gave impetus, at least in the context of the UK, to the abolitionist cause..
 
What politics might have to do with sound scholarship depends entirely upon the qualifications and competence of the reader for wingnuts (be they of the Left or the Right) are a hazard in all interperetative analyses. "Brutality" is a colorful noun but in discussing maritime practices of the 18th century, our modern sensibilities would be scandalized with respect to the hierarchy of power and decision aboard any vessel. Discipline, disease, and the vagaries of weather led to actions that while scandalous in our eyes were little more than the "way of the seas" with respect to survival. Mortality aboard 18th century maritime transport was a vivid danger and a major problem affecting all, not just the slaves in transport. Hence florid prose and contemporary "political correctness" should warn all that hyperbole is playing fast and loose with the historical record.
 
Herbert Klein and Stanley Engerman compiled an extensive collection of data with respect to the Triangle Trade and Jamaica--
 
http://www.disc.wisc.edu/slavedata/slainfo11.html - http://www.disc.wisc.edu/slavedata/slainfo11.html
 
--hence to take one incident and project it as the standard pattern is ridiculous on its face. Besides, if the discussion is to prosper then one had better be familiar with the existing literature, beginning with
 
R. Hastings and P. Hair, eds. Liverpool: The African Slave Trade and Abolition. Chesire: The Historic Society, 1976. 
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 03:30
PS: Modern epidemiological analyses has placed the mortality rate overall at 5.7%  and such is the focal point as a "teaching tool" as summarized here:
 
http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/yes/4297_MODULE_12.pdf - http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/yes/4297_MODULE_12.pdf
 
Nor would it hurt to peruse this multivolume work:
 
Elizabeth Donnan and C. A. Vasconcellos. Documents Illustrative of the Slave Trade to America. 2v. New York: Octagon, 1965.
 
Pay close attention to the annotations produced by Ms. Vasconcellos with respect to the Dolben's Act of 1788 [2:585-587].


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 03:48
Thanks dr, again useful sources.
 
There is no doubt that the 'ways of the sea' would seem 'brutal' looking at it from a contemporary angle, but the 'norm' at the time due to the conditions of sea travel, disease etc, but the Zong affair does highlight and was used on the face of it as a sort of 'cause celebre' for the abolitionists (Clapham Sect, Wilberforce (later)) where the question of the treatment of Africans as chattel and merchandise was raised not so much on the basis of legality within the law but more broadly humanity by the abolitionists themselves, looking back at the affair.  No doubt they were seen as a group of dangerous 'enlightenment radicals' at the time.
 
Interestingly, Wiberforce was challenged himself on the basis that he did not extend his humanitarian views to the treatment of the rights of the poor, and other disenfranchised classes within British society, he saw that as too 'revolutionary' and against his support for the established order (of which he was a part of course, being a close friend of William Pitt the Younger), however that is a separate topic.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 07:24
I found this, which looks interesting, though I haven't had a chance to assimilate it yet.
http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/UHLE/012/Sea%20Changes%20article%20pdf.PDF - http://personal.rhul.ac.uk/UHLE/012/Sea%20Changes%20article%20pdf.PDF
 
I find it a little irritatinig that in the first few pages he does not draw the usual UK distinction between life insurance and life assurance, but he may take the point later.


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Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



Posted By: Tashfin
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 08:16
On the theme of transport through the middle passage, even by 18th century standards the conditions could be considered  relatively 'brutal', for want of a better word.
 
Slaves were often packed in like sardines to maximise the cargo (and hence sale/revenue), leading to terrible conditions of disease, dysentry etc..Furthermore the treatment of the slaves, since they had no status other than chattel was subject to the whims of the crew, with regards to punishments (whippings etc) and also sexual exploitation of female slaves (which theoretically, on UK slave ships, was subject to punishment (John Newton punished his crew members for the same) but not always in practice). No doubt as dr g states  the conditions of the crew would not  have been much better, and on  slave ship crews in particular the hierarchy of misery would have put the slaves in the bottom wrung.
 
Schama's 'Rough Crossings' is an interesting read, though obviously adopts a more 'popularist' historical approach...
 
http://www.history.ac.uk/1807commemorated/media/reviews/roughcross.html - http://www.history.ac.uk/1807commemorated/media/reviews/roughcross.html
 
 
 


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 10:27
Absolutely. These image shows the conditions.






Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30 May 2011 at 15:42
Do you know just how often this image of the "Slave Ship Brookes" has been reproduced since printed in 1788 in Plymouth for the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, Penguin?
 
http://www.mersey-gateway.org/server.php?show=congallery.30 - http://www.mersey-gateway.org/server.php?show=congallery.30
 
http://africanhistory.about.com/od/slaveryimages/ig/Slavery-Images-Gallery/SlaveShipBrookes002.htm - http://africanhistory.about.com/od/slaveryimages/ig/Slavery-Images-Gallery/SlaveShipBrookes002.htm
 
http://hitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/Slavery/details.php?categorynum=5&theRecord=11&recordCount=71 - http://hitchcock.itc.virginia.edu/Slavery/details.php?categorynum=5&theRecord=11&recordCount=71
 
Recall my reference to an earlier 1788 Act of Parliament...that bit of legislation is intimately connected to the designing of this print.
 
http://www.virtualjamestown.org/map4b.html - http://www.virtualjamestown.org/map4b.html
 
http://www.bl.uk/learning/citizenship/campaign/myh/photographs/gallery2/image2/brookesship.html - http://www.bl.uk/learning/citizenship/campaign/myh/photographs/gallery2/image2/brookesship.html
 
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/explore/object.cfm?ID=ZBA2721 - http://www.nmm.ac.uk/collections/explore/object.cfm?ID=ZBA2721
 
Why an enterprising Internet geek has even brought a parallel reference with respect to the stowage problem in contemporary long distance travel and the pressures of economic rationales:
 
http://imprint.printmag.com/daily-heller/a-curious-similarity/ - http://imprint.printmag.com/daily-heller/a-curious-similarity/  
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 31 May 2011 at 00:24
So, do you mean the image false?
What is your possition in this issue? Perhaps that slaves were treated kindly on first class cabins, when crossing the Atlantic? Please clarify.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31 May 2011 at 02:43
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

So, do you mean the image false?
What is your possition in this issue? Perhaps that slaves were treated kindly on first class cabins, when crossing the Atlantic? Please clarify.
 
Yes, the image is false if it is asserted as a representation of a typical slave ship because it was printed as an idealization of how to load a slaver in accordance with the 1788 legislation governing the conduct of the slave trade on English "bottoms"! Review the links provided that clearly assert both the origins and the nature of this propaganda broadside.


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 31 May 2011 at 04:25
OK. I got cough in another "Black legend" then, like the Dutch images of tortured Tainos. thanks!



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