The introduction of the slave trade into Africa was, by most accounts, begun by the Moorish tribes in Northwest Africa, who originally enslaved the people who would become known through the Portuguese and French colonization periods, as the Guinean peoples further south.
Though given the nature of humanity including the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations known (albeit limited) recorded history, the oral history of many aboriginal and/or indigenous tribes across the globe and the ancient Eastern texts from places like Persia, Greece, the “great” Roman Empire, and even as far back as ancient Sumeria, it is very likely that slavery was already common throughout the entire African continent long before the introduction of the European slave trade.
The very first modern law to ban slavery was passed in 1545 (though not enacted until 1548) in the territory of Rhode Island and while it made it illegal to own slaves of African descent, it allowed for the enslavement of the “European” slaves, primarily the Irish and the Welsh at that particular point in time.
The 3/5 Compromise was reached because Southern Democrats demanded that slaves be counted as property or chattel in terms of wealth and valuation, but also be counted as people in terms of representation within the federal government. Had the federal government and the founding fathers discounted the rights of slaves completely, it would have contradicted the efforts of the founding fathers to end the importation and sale of slaves altogether throughout the American Colonies.
If they would have listed them wholly as people, they would be forced to give undue federal influence to those who believed in the traditions and institution of slavery and they would be hard-pressed to rid the independent but united States of America of slavery.
Furthermore, a full recognition of their status as people would have granted the slave owners, and not the slaves themselves with representation within the federal system. Thus, those who would willingly oppress others and deny people of their basic freedoms and liberty, would in effect, be able to run roughshod over those who wished to put an end to slavery altogether.
A failure to address the issue would have prevented the Southern States from supporting the ratification of the Declaration and the Constitution and would have resulted in continued English rule before the war for Independence and the need to start all over yet again after the war was won.
Either way, virtually any other option would have either prevented the formation of the union at the time, or divided the union to such a degree that it would have destroyed itself in its inception. In short, the 3/5 compromise was actually a concession to protect those who were enslaved and to help pave the road for their freedom, or at least the freedom of their direct descendants.
The Outer Mongolian and Mesoamerican people that are (incorrectly) labeled as Indians practiced slavery long before the introduction of slavery via people of European descent … this saves of course, the conversation about the European descent of most of the “Latin American” people through the Spanish Conquisitadors breeding the native populations out of existence … at least the ones they did not kill off with disease … but read 1491 by Charles Mann for a better accounting of that …
The very first lifelong or permanent slave owned within the US territories was owned by a black man.
Less than two percent of the white population, even in the Antebellum South, owned slaves while over twenty-four percent of the freedmen, Freedmen or freed people of African descent owned slaves. (Some of these black slave owners were directly responsible for the introduction of black troops into the Confederate Armed Forces, though certainly not all of them … there is a monument of a black confederate soldier in the Carolinas to this day, no word on whether it will be torn down or not)
It should also be noted as a pertinent fact that some forty percent of these slave owners, only owned a single slave, usually a spouse or an offspring. (Sixty percent of twenty-four percent still means that over fourteen percent of the Freedmen owned slaves, far larger than the more limited, (less than) two percent of the white population ownership of slaves)
Slaves were an expensive investment and would have been cared for in much the same way as any “tools” at the time. There were certainly excessive cases of horrible abuse, and the horror of this should never be dismissed or forgotten! Indeed, there is absolutely nothing good about slavery.
However, it needs to also be remembered that some slave owners, despite the laws contrary to such actions, educated their slaves, and many allowed the slaves to work for a period of time before earning their own freedom, often receiving their own parcel of land upon the release from servitude. None of these issues were prevailing, just part of the overall history and thus, worthy of note in all cases.
Many of the Cherokees forced their slaves to march with them on the Trail of Tears. (Despite popular misconceptions to the contrary, the “Native Americans” practiced slavery long before the presence of the Europeans on the American Continent, as did the original Native Americans … the aboriginal and indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica before the introduction of European blood through the Spanish acquisitions that created the people we know today as Mexicans and other “Latin American” populations)
There are more slaves in the world today than there were in the entire history of these independent but united States of America … I seem to be missing all the outrage about the current slave trade as all I see is people harping on America for sins of her past.
Slavery did not become a primary issue within the cause of the North for war until 1863 when the French and English threatened to join on the side of the Confederacy to offset the negative economic impact the war had on their economic and financial systems. (See Lincoln’s second inaugural address for a revealing look into his beliefs)
The end result was Lincoln’s great Emancipation Proclamation. (This is not to say that slavery was not a primary cause, but that it was not the entire reason behind the war as so much revisionist history would have modern people believe)
The slaves in the Antebellum South were freed in 1863 while those slaves in the North were not freed until after the War Between the States had ended, their freedom not coming until the latter part of 1865. (Another interesting note was that the slaves who were freed, were freed with all of the rights of any State Citizen, the 14th amendment being included to create the first “national” citizens as they were not lawfully citizens of any states.
This amendment was meant only to guarantee the God-given and now, constitutionally protected rights of the formerly freed slaves, including the rights to own property, business, to vote … and other rights common to the citizens of the independent States. (Thus, and further still, under the fourteenth amendment, we, as citizens of the federal republic, enjoy “privileges” and not constitutionally protected, God-given rights!)
There is not one nation on earth whose people have not been held captive at one time in their history and held slaves at the same or different times in their history … not in the history of the entire planet! (This is also relevant when it comes to the “European Invasion” of the Americas and the many “Colored” people of European (Spanish) descent who claim native status and rights to the land … and also occurred long before law, especially immigration law, became quite so prevalent in the world as it is today.
There is not one nation or even a single tribe that is truly indigenous to the land it possesses with if any exceptions at all, may be limited to some of the Aboriginal tribes in the western and northwestern lands of Australia, though even these tribes are not believed to have evolved in this portion of the world and also the decidedly and biologically unique people of Mesoamerica about whom much of their history remains a mystery)
The roughly twenty-six year Spanish rule over portions of the Southwestern United States of America does not equate to a permanent Hispanic settlement having existed, long-before the introduction of the Spanish people into this area of the world, much less grant them traditional rights of ownership or control of the lands lawfully ceded in the treaty of Hidalgo or the Gentleman’s treaty … which would hardly be seen to be a treaty of and for the benefit of the common people, even those of Mexican descent living there at the time.
In the terms of Native Americans, the numerous Paiute Tribes and Puebla in addition to some of the Apache Tribes may have legitimate claims, but even that rules out the indigenous and/or aboriginal Mesoamerican populations that were present when the “Native Americans” invaded these lands, often killing off the existing populations through war, attrition and/or the introduction of new diseases.
And finally as a bonus, one of the first people killed in the proverbial “Shot heard round the world” was a black business owner … and while records are sketchy, it is indicated in newspaper articles written at the time, that as a business owner, he actively practiced the right to speak his piece regarding the actions of the local government … eg he had voting power … thus his beliefs were strong enough to encourage him to defend his home, his family, his business and his way of life against tyrannical men with guns trying to invade his homeland.
And of course, this completely dismisses the black business owners who were also prevalent in the forming of militias and the arming of the local populations in the many battles around DC and Baltimore during the war of 1812-1815 (Often called the Second War for American Independence). One black business owner of particular note was directly and personally responsible for the provision of cannons … hardly a device common for home-defense … to the American people attempting to fight off the British invasion.
Mind you, the Chinese and Irish both were held in virtual indentured servitude (Read “Slavery”) throughout the end of the eighteen eighties long after slavery had yet again become illegal, for the construction of the railroads. This continued through the Coal mining “Company Towns” and “Company Stores” on into the 1920s when these were busted up by the original Trade Unions back when they had a genuine purpose for assisting the people and were more than a political front group standing side by side with the company owners in the political partying lines.
Also a good read if you can find it: “I am NOT a Hyphenated American” written back in the late sixties or early to mid seventies if I remember correctly and included in Readers Digest, though I cannot remember which volume or even the year. Also the autobiography of Elizabeth Keckley should be recommended reading as not only was she a slave that worked her way to freedom, but she also became a dressmaker for both the wives of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis … the opposing presidents in the American War Between the States.
Double Bonus Round: Although Uncle Tom was a fictional character … a fictional character in a storybook, he gave his life in order to help escaped slaves to move on to their freedom … why is an “Uncle Tom” seen as a derogatory term these days by the modern statist? Could it be that their idea of freedom means staying on the proverbial government plantation? “'So, when you rejoice in your freedom, remember that you owe it to dear old Uncle Tom, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom every time you see Uncle Tom's Cabin; and let it help you to try to live as he did, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.'
-Harriet Beecher Stowe-”
Is slavery an abhorrent practice and stain on the very essence of humanity that needs to be thoroughly and completely wiped off the face of the earth? Absolutely yes! But the truth is that all peoples have at one time or another been put into chains and bondage. It is only recently however, that such suffering has become a political tool to further enslave even more people all in the name of “fairness”.
These people speak so conveniently about the truth, but the truth is, these people really cannot handle the truth by and large. These people do not want the truth … these people want to live in their delusional little fantasy lands while they watch the idiot box and feel morally superior to others … and riot and loot anytime any perceived victim status is questioned … pathetic really.
The truth will indeed set you free, but you should not be at all surprised if it makes you uncomfortable enough to squirm before it does!