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« Defending the indefensible | Main | The good new, and bad news »

July 30, 2019

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By the way, has anyone else heard of the Greeks and something called democracy?

Yes prior to 1619 the slaves were Irish and English children. And continued for sometime after. Most were .literally worked to death.

Nope, they were indentured servants. They turned to slavery in part because unlike indentured servants of European descent, slaves from Africa stood out from the rest of the colonial population, the former being able to disappear into the crowd in another area or town.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indentured_servitude

Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies between the 1630s and American Revolution had come under indentures.[2] However, while almost half the European immigrants to the Thirteen Colonies were indentured servants, at any one time they were outnumbered by workers who had never been indentured, or whose indenture had expired, and thus free wage labor was the more prevalent for Europeans in the colonies.[3] Indentured people were numerically important mostly in the region from Virginia north to New Jersey. Other colonies saw far fewer of them. The total number of European immigrants to all 13 colonies before 1775 was about 500,000; of these 55,000 were involuntary prisoners. Of the 450,000 or so European arrivals who came voluntarily, Tomlins estimates that 48% were indentured.[4] About 75% of these were under the age of 25. The age of adulthood for men was 24 years (not 21); those over 24 generally came on contracts lasting about 3 years.[5] Regarding the children who came, Gary Nash reports that "many of the servants were actually nephews, nieces, cousins and children of friends of emigrating Englishmen, who paid their passage in return for their labor once in America."[6]

Several instances of kidnapping[7] for transportation to the Americas are recorded such as that of Peter Williamson (1730–1799). As historian Richard Hofstadter pointed out, "Although efforts were made to regulate or check their activities, and they diminished in importance in the eighteenth century, it remains true that a certain small part of the white colonial population of America was brought by force, and a much larger portion came in response to deceit and misrepresentation on the part of the spirits [recruiting agents]."[8] One "spirit" named William Thiene was known to have spirited away[9] 840 people from Britain to the colonies in a single year.[10] Historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. notes that "Masters given to flogging often did not care whether their victims were black or white."[11]

In my doctoral studies I specialized in 20th-century American conservatism and the history of the inhuman U.S. South, the two being not entirely unrelated. So I'm somewhat familiar with early indentured servitude. In modern conservative circles, this is their emphasis — not lifetime slavery because of the color of one's skin.

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