Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue.This is insane. It's an absolute lie, from top to bottom. There was at least one more in the essay, maybe I'll deal with it later. I'm so nauseated by this one that I may not.
I just finished The Men That Lost America, a series of biographical sketches of the British leaders during the Revolutionary War. It described who they were, what they thought and what they did before, during and after the conflict. It uses extensive quotes from their speeches in Parliament and their writings. Letters, books and essays from the period are carefully referenced.
Not one of these men worried about race or slavery. At issue for England was the maintenance of their empire. England desperately needed the money derived from their imperial possessions in order to maintain its military. Without it, they would be quickly conquered and overrun by France and Spain. For example, the sugar from the Carribean colonies paid, in part, for the Royal Navy that protected British merchant ships sailing the Atlantic.
That's it. That's the whole thing, with a bit of political philosophy sprinkled on top. There's nothing about slavery and nothing about race. Meanwhile, the Americans were involved in existential crises of their own and were demanding autonomy to deal with them. They were done with governance-from-afar and wanted to control their own lives. Again, it had nothing to do with race or slavery.
What are we doing here? The New York Times is going full Der Stürmer right in front of us. This is madness.
|Lose at Trafalgar or any one of a number of other sea battles and it's all over for England.|