The Slave Trade

Political Correctness - The Slave Trade

As I understand it, European traders would export manufactured goods to the west coast of Africa where they would be exchanged for slaves. Between 1450 and 1850 at least 12 million Africans were taken across the notorious Middle Passage of the Atlantic - mainly to colonies in North America, South America, and the West Indies. The slaves were then sold for huge profits in the Americas. Traders then used the money to buy raw materials such as sugar, cotton, coffee, metals, and tobacco which were shipped back and sold in Europe. Slavery created and then relied on a large support network of shipping services, ports, and finance and insurance companies.

New industries were created, processing the raw materials harvested or extracted by slaves in the Americas. The slave trade contributed significantly to the commercial and industrial revolutions. Cities such as Liverpool and Amsterdam grew wealthy as a result of the trade in humans. In Europe, slavery was often justified by the state on philanthropic grounds. They argued that Africans taken into captivity could then be "saved" by conversion to Christianity. However, Europe did not have a monopoly on slavery. Muslim traders also exported as many as 17 million slaves to the coast of the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, and North Africa.

A horrible, nasty trade in human beings. Who could disagree? Eventually it was stopped, not least because of the great work of a British man - William Wilberforce. Problem solved.

So what I can't understand is why the PC Brigade is making so much fuss about something that happened hundreds of years ago and no one who was involved with it (on either side) is alive today. So who should apologise and to whom and why?

We should learn lessons from history though; this was immigration on a large scale and leprosy was said to be spread by the slave trade.

If we are into apologies for past atrocities, why don't they call on Germany to apologise for two world wars and the slaughter of six million jews? Many of the people involved on both sides are still alive today.

China could apologise for Tiananmen Square and Hamas could apologise for rocketing Jewish settlements and the Army of Islam could apologise for kidnapping British journalists.

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