Skip to comments.Towards a radical new theory of Anglo-American slavery, and vindication of free markets
Posted on 08/12/2013 2:38:21 PM PDT by virgil283
"With luck it will help to vindicate the fathers of liberal government and the free market in the 17th and 18th Centuries, falsely accused until now of abetting - or promoting - the great crime of race-based African slavery. For academic orthodoxy holds that John Locke and the great Whig thinkers of the Glorious Revolution (1688) helped to design and foster the economic system of hereditary slavery that shaped Atlantic capitalism for a century and a half. ...Except that this established version of events is not true. It is a near complete inversion of what happened, and this matters in all kinds of ways since the debate over slavery refuses to subside....
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I believe that was Thomas Jefferson’s contention when he was drawing up his list of grievances against George III. Never mind the fact that he was himself a slave-owner, whilst George III personally opposed slavery and banned sugar from his household in protest at the horrific conditions under which slaves lived in the sugar plantations in the Caribbean.
Something else we can blame the later Stuarts for. Works for me.
According to this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_slavery#Revolutionary_period_.281775.E2.80.931783.29
It wasn’t quite like that. He released TWO slaves in his lifetime, older brothers of his concubine Sally Hemmings, and when he died, 130 of his slaves were sold to pay off debts. Suggests to me that he could have sold his slaves, but didn’t because it would have been inconvenient for him and would have undermined his social standing back in the day. He also opposed manumission laws, apparently.
And whilst I can’t seem to find any sources based on a quick check that confirm or debunk Jefferson’s claim that George III vetoed Virginian anti-slavery legislation, he was a constitutional monarch, and could not veto anything without the advice of his Government, so ultimately it would have been the cabinet or the British parliament that was responsible for that veto, not GIII personally.
BTW, I thought I ought to state for the record that I believe the American Revolution was on the whole one of the greatest forces for good in world history. I just think Jefferson was a bit of a rooster and George III was generally a good man who as a constitutional monarch took his lead from his Government.
It would have been pretty inconvenient for the slaves too. When you grow up on a slave plantation you know all the slaves personally. Selling them all off merely to assuage a philosophical qualm isn't something Jefferson would have been likely to do. Freeing them I could understand, but not selling them.
He also opposed manumission laws, apparently.
What manumission laws did he oppose? I know there were some laws preventing the freeing of slaves who couldn't support themselves.
Virginia law at the time he inherited slaves from both his father and father in law made it virtually impossible to free slaves. For a very brief period ( during which Washington died ) the laws were relaxed but then the law allowing death bed manumission was repealed.
He also opposed manumission laws, apparently.
One of his first acts as a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia in 1769 was to write a Bill that his kinsman Richard Bland introduced to allow Slave owners to release their slaves at their own discretion. At the time a slave owner needed a courts permission to free a slave for "meritorious services" (The Wikipedia entry on this is absolute b*llshit) .
In 1784, Jefferson introduced a law in the national Continental Congress to abolish slavery in every State in America.
his concubine Sally Hemmings,
The DNA tests eliminated two of the three claimant lines of descent from Jefferson ( The Woodson line had the strongest oral tradition that "Tom" was fathered by Jefferson. The Woodson claim was disproved by the DNA evidence.) Eston Hemmings was conceived at the time Jefferson was over sixty four, a far more likely candidate as the biological father was Jeffersons younger brother Randolph Jefferson who was a widower at the time of Estons conception and was a "known frequenter" of the Slave quarters.
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