Aren't some countries unfairly vilified for their slavery/colonial past?

Mar 2019
918
Kansas
#21
Curious mention to two slavers. They did what the men of their time did. They traded people for money. Today that shocks most of us, at the time not that much, it was considered natural under certain circumstances.
This is really the crux of the whole discussions. Do we have a right to overlay modern sensibilities on people who are simply products of their time. How will the future judge us lol. Not well I suspect.

On the other hand it is important history to know and acknowledge, if for no other reasons than to be on guard if such (in our eyes) replant behavior begins to re-emerge.
 
Jun 2015
5,686
UK
#23
The Arab slave trade started back in medieval times, nio sure why the Atlantic Ocean is important in this discussion.
Because the UK and USA's slave past is directly connected to the trans-atlantic trade. Hence why I mentioned them in my OP. They were not the only beneficiaries of the trans-Atlantic trade, but then they seem to get the most heat and criticism. and there is the most moral debt they they're supposed to incur.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,988
Lisbon, Portugal
#24
Everyone knows about the British Empire, and there are some who says Britain should "pay" for its Empire.
The USA still has issues stemming from slavery, and the South still is poorer than the North (and far West in modern times).

But then countries like Spain don't get the same moral judgment. Spain, and Portugal, started European colonialism and the slave trade, and there aren't as big movements or moral outrage at bad past actions.

Why don't anti-racists target them, as much as they do Britain or America? Regarding the slave trade, the UK has done a lot out of the former participants in it to highlight the horrors and effects. This is as much about moral guilt as anything else, but then Portugal transported more slaves, and they were engaged in slave trading practically as soon as Prince Henry's ships reached Senegal or Guinea. They actually went up river on the Senegal, Gambia, etc. and took local Africans for Portuguese slave markets. But again, there isn't the moral outrage against them.
Are you fluent in Spanish or Portuguese? Are you a native speaker of any of the two languages? If you are, do you consume Spanish and Portuguese media and participate in Portuguese or Spanish language forums or any kind of public platform that discuss such issues?

If you do all those things, you wouldn't propose such a question...I assume you are British and native English-speaker that most of the time only consumes English-speaking media. You already hold an intrinsic bias because of your nationality and your native language. Therefore it does make total sense why you think only the historical British Empire and recent US history holds such scrutiny while the Iberian Empires don't. That's it.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,369
San Antonio, Tx
#25
Were't the Dutch big time trans-Atlantic slavers? More than the Spanish?

Also, I've heard that East African slaving by Arabs was just as big as trans-Atlantic. But I've heard that over the eons the slaves got assimilated into the populations of various Arab, Turkish and Persian empires. That didn't happen in the trans-Atlantic side.
Is this true?


It didn’t happen in North Africa, either. There are many small towns and villages in Tunisia that are nearly entirely black, villages of ex-slaves.
 
Likes: Talbot Vilna
Sep 2015
1,762
England
#26
Were't the Dutch big time trans-Atlantic slavers? More than the Spanish?

Also, I've heard that East African slaving by Arabs was just as big as trans-Atlantic. But I've heard that over the eons the slaves got assimilated into the populations of various Arab, Turkish and Persian empires. That didn't happen in the trans-Atlantic side.
Is this true?
It was southern Africa and East Africa by the Arabs/Islamic world generally, from very early within the framework of the Indian Ocean, and a little later in West Africa, possibly 800/900AD onwards. The numbers are gargantuan. Slaves were used in agriculture and mining, and as household servants etc throughout the Islamic world, in Saudi Arabia to 1965. I am not aware of much in the way of manumission except in West Africa, but that is what i have covered so far.

Slavery has been or was universal, perhaps in most cultures, especially since war and conflict. I just cannot see any winners in all this.

Thus Hindustan, Annam, China, Korea and Japan; the first North Americans, central Americans, (Caribs and Amazonian??), Africa; Arabs, Bedouins, Persians, Ottomans, Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, all central and northern Europeans, Scandinavians, Rus, Balkans, Mongols: all have been enslaved, and have enslaved, at some point sooner or later. The worst may well be the Islamic world, but i guess we will never really know.

The Christian world emancipated slaves and ended slavery first in France in about 900AD. The Normans followed up in England immediately after the conquest of England. The Germans quoting Christianity in the early 1200s, and the Scandanavians a little while later. The Spanish and Italians had ignored a whole bunch of Pope's since the 750sAD, but eventually also abolished slavery

The British and French were the first to abolish slavery where they had re-engaged in slavery in the Caribbean islands. The Americans during the Civil War. The Persians under Cyrus may have abolished all slavery except a few Roman POWs.

The Encyclopedia Britannica has a page on slavery...
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,074
Europix
#27
Why don't anti-racists target them, as much as they do Britain or America?
I think You're wrong. Or, as Robto said, You see only a part of the picture.

For example:
I think your making a case more that Portugal and Spain are under vilified, Portugal especially. Same would go with the Belgians for their actions in the Congo.
It might be useful to remind that the "Force Publique" of the Free state of Congo (King Leopold private army, to put it plainly) entered in conflict and eliminated in the end the arab/african slavers (of course, Leoplod's reasons weren't some noble abolitionism sentiments).[*]

I suppose we all know (or should know ?) Congo became a Belgian colony only in 1908.


It really depends on what You use as sources, when it comes to over/under-vilified.

__________________
[*]Congo Arab war - Wikipedia
 
Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#28
I was thinking that-- this is an English language site-- so of course the Empires that get most attention are English speaking 'Empires' If it was Spanish/Portuguese/French site would the attitude be different?

In the UK its not very 'PC' to be anything but negative about Empire, which I personally think its ridiculous you simply can not write off whole centuries as 'murder and slaughter' out of context etc the worlds was and is more complex than that.
This explains why that British guy started calling me a Communist for talking about the fall of the British Empire.
 

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