Re: European Slavery was (Re: SOCIETY: Re: The privatization of public security in South Am erica)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Aug 26 2001 - 11:21:25 MDT

Mike Linksvayer wrote:
> > Slavery was in fact the peculiar institution
> > of the United States, at least among Enlightenment societies;
> Were Italian, Portugese, Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Danish
> and Swedish (probably among others) slave traders _not_ members of
> Enlightenment societies? Three things do seem different about US
> slavery: scale (and then only if you consider the French, Spanish,
> Portugese colony-derived nations not children of the Enlightenment),
> it went out with a bang rather than a whimper, and the blatant
> disconnect between the first nation supposedly founded on equal
> rights for all (men) that also condoned holding millions in the
> most unequal position imaginable.

Depends on the state. The US was a collection of 13 independent states.
Vermont, for example, had outlawed slavery from the very beginning in
the 1780's.

> > Christianity had
> > put a severe dent in slavery in Europe a long time before, with serfdom
> > filling some of the void.
> (admittedly part
> of an anti-Catholic site) argues against the notion that Christianity
> was responsible for the decline of slavery in Europe. My summary:
> economic and military conditions such as the decline of Rome and
> the Turks closing off slave markets to Italian traders caused the
> decline of slavery in Europe; Christian officials were silent on
> the matter or apologists for slavery until well after its decline;
> the African slave trade was operated by and praised by Christians;
> deists and rationalists initiated anti-slavery sentiments in western
> Europe and America.

Yes, but deism and rationalists of the enlightenment were more
influenced by christianity than any other source, including philosophers
like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, etc. and most of them did, in fact,
consider themselves to be christian men, regardless of whether modern
day 'Christians' would consider the policies they espoused to be such.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:15 MDT