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What if there had been no slavery?

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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:23 PM
Original message
What if there had been no slavery?
If that terrible tragedy had never happened in the US, would blacks be treated so poorly as now? Would blacks be different than they are now? Who is really is most to blame for slavery? The slave sellers or the slave masters? How could they have allowed it here? What bastards!
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razorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. How they would be treated today is anyone's guess.
But it is almost certain that there would be far fewer African-Americans in the U.S.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. the ripping up of the families
i think that made it the most difficult and can still be seen today. unlike many others who can more easily trace their family back and have a support system it was much tougher for slaves or people whose family and ancestors were slaves.

i think there would probably still be discrimination. look at native americans and other minorities . what the chinese and japanese dealt with. but i think the history of slavery and tearing up of families does make it more difficult to deal with things.
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muntrv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. One would like to think that blacks would have owned land and
been less impoverished.

A similar thought I have to yours is what if the black slaves took up the British offer to turn against their masters during the Revolutionary war in exchange for freedom? Would blacks have been free? Or would the British have reneged on their promise?
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I doubt the British really had the means to make the deal. Much less keep it.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. It is human nature to find differences and diffentiate based on them
Even without slavery it is likely there would be "race" problems. Maybe not as bad as they are now. But it takes time, exposure, and learning to overcome the tendency to seperate people based on external criteria.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. If there had been no slavery, then when would blacks have
come to the US?

Timing is all important.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. The curse of slavery is a world-wide phenomenom
Even if you just wish to focus on the African slave trade with the Americas. First of all, you had native African chieftans near the coast who were always glad to trade their rival tribesmen to the Europeans for the technoligically superior products they had. And then you had first the European and then the American middlemen, who transported the slaves in a hellish fashion to the New World. And finally, you had the American businessmen who used the slaves and enriched themselves on slave labor.

If there hadn't been slavery, it is likely that the African tribes would have had some trade with the Europeans for things like gold, but it is still likely that Europeans would have stepped in to build and then manage the mines that exploited the natural resources of Africa.

If there hadn't been slavery, it is likely that the southern colonies in the US and much of the Carribbean and Latin America would have remained underdeveloped. Without a massive work force, it is likely that there would have been more small farms and fewer plantations. This would have had a direct effect on the development of manufacturing in New England, a place where slavery was never as popular as further south, just because the basis for New England manufacture of rum (a chief trading item in the colonial period)was based on obtaining sugar from the Carribbean.

If African workers had been enticed to America with promises of good wages, as the Chinese were in the 1850s, I would still say discrimination would have happened, for the appearance and culture of Africans would be different from the European culture that was dominant in the colonies. But I think the Africans would have retained more of their culture and cultural traditions if they had come here as free people.

Slavery was justified by Americans saying that this gave them the opportunity to "Christianize" the "heathens"-a convenient excuse for a horrible practice. Frankly, I see at the root of racism a fear-a fear that the descendants of these Africans will rise up in righteous anger against the descendants of those who enslaved them.
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. Do you mean no slavery of Africans anywhere?
You know that the slave trade was in all the American colonies- north and south. If there had been no slavery then there would be few Africans living in the Americas. How that would've changed things is anybody's guess. I think that the civil war would've still be fought as the tensions between the northern colonies and the southern where more complex then the single issue of slavery.
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King Coal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. I think you're right about the Civil War.
It was the last battle of the Revolutionary War. I'm asking about the slavery in the Southern States. The Northern States would have abolished it. Cheap labor is always what it comes down to. Some forms of labor are cheaper than slavery. But explain that to the descendents of black slaves, and then get back to us.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
9. The rethugs would be bitching about all the African immigrants
Though, honestly, I think some sort of holocaust was inevitable. You combine dark skin, different religions and a lower level of weapons technology and you've got all the motivation you need for Europeans to either enslave people or wipe then out. The fact that the whites were able to gain control of vast natural resources was just an added bonus.

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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
10. The slave system was nearly universal
a few hundred years ago. Coinage was in the metal it represented, and therefore scarce. Instead of hiring workers at or just below subsistence, people bought them outright and used them to produce subsistence plus profit.

That didn't make it a good system, just like serfdom wasn't a good system. However, it does make it an understandable one.

Any system wherein people belong to anyone but themselves is a terrible system.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. There probably wouldn't be very many Blacks in America at all if slavery wasn't in America.
Maybe a few million at most in the US today, but it seems sensible to conclude that without slavery, there wouldn't comprise roughly 30 percent of the US population today.
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Sapphocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I thought African-Americans were only around 13%...? n/t
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dave_p Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Yes, 13%
... and that's including people reporting black combined with one or more other race. The proportion's up from about 10% in 1930, having fallen through the preceeding decades of immigration from Europe.

I guess the previous poster meant 30 million, which was the 1990 figure (black race alone), though that's about 37 million now plus a couple of million who consider themselves black & other.
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Sapphocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Thanks for the reality check...
...and welcome to DU. :)
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Are you specifically talking about in this country?
because if there had been no slavery on this continent, there would have been no United States.
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Sapphocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. What would have happened is...
...they would have found somebody else to enslave -- probably the Polynesians, who, while fewer in number, would have been very easy pickings.

As for how it could have happened here, well, the Bible condones slavery, not by not condemning it, but merely by regulating it. See Exodus 21:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=2&chapter=...

Even the New Testament OK's slavery; see Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, and, saddest of all, Luke 12:47-48, in which Jesus himself advises that if you're going to beat your slaves for something they did without knowing it was wrong, just beat them less than you would if they did know they'd done something wrong.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
16. No slavery or ...
Edited on Sat Dec-23-06 06:22 PM by RoyGBiv
...or no slavery in the US or no race-based slavery in the US in which Africans came to be the slave class, or no race-based slavery in general, or just no race-based slavery in the US at all?

These are all different questions, none of which are answerable, all of which lead to different kinds of speculation.

The question I infer you mean to ask is what if no race-based slavery in which Africans came to be the slave class had existed in the US.

The most succinct and least speculative answer is that what came to be the US wouldn't have developed as it did, may not have separated from England or their other controlling countries, least of all in a violent revolution, that Mexico would be much larger than it is, and that whatever colonies existed in the Americas would not have followed a path that lead to one country spanning from one ocean to the other.

I suspect that what came to be the United States would have been or have been part of at least 5 separate countries: Mexico, Canada/England, and possibly three other independent nations or colonies of nations that may or may not have become independent at some point.

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Neoma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
17. Well..slavery still exists.
And blacks weren't the only people that were in the slavery deal back then.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. Then there would be no United States
The country was founded as an experimental slave colony, one where bondage is implicit to the
social contract, and the right to bear arms was for whites to repress a much larger slave
population. Slavery is practiced today in larger real numbers than ever before in human
history, chattel slavery! http://www.freetheslaves.net /

What our society is about today is enslavement and bondage, it is the preoccupation of all of
the federal government, the result of every program and of every tax, enslavement to an oppressive
warmongering police/prison state. Without slavery, there would have been no precedent, and no
compelling cause for all the antics. We'd still be living in an age of competing european
despotic empires, with a broken up and colonized americas.

slavery saved america from the fate of africa, or perhaps rahter, it joined the two continents,
and the two peoples forever at the hip.

We can't end slavery today if people pretend there is no slavery. What bastards deny today's holocaust!
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dave_p Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-23-06 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. A very different US
If there'd been no slavery there wouldn't have been so many black folk, remember, because most black arrivals were intended specifically as unfree labor. But non-slave societies tend not to have produced the same degree of racial division, even if they too are imperfect.

It'd be a very different US, though - without black labor the US wouldn't have enjoyed such a favorable trade position, wouldn't have had the raw materials for part of its early industrial growth and wouldn't have enjoyed the same demand for other agricultural products from those industrial populations at home and abroad who depended on US cotton and whose food needs fuelled westward expansion.

Britain would have had to compete with Indian and Chinese spinners and weavers on less unequal terms too. So it might also have been a rather different world.
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