After adding to free speech by blocking me on Twitter Professor Simon Chapman’s Tweets come to me second hand. This happened after his savaging by Professor Carl V Phillips on his Ep-ology blog and a piece entitled “How can you tell Simon Chapman is mucking about over his head?”
Dick Puddlecote reports that Chapman has tweeted “Watch UK Tories in full flight, substitute ‘slave trade’ for ‘tobacco industry & what has changed? Money God is all.” The plain package critique by principled MP Mark Field probably did not help.
Yes, in the 17th and 18th Centuries the British Empire was at the evil heart of slavery in the triangular trade along with the Spanish and Portuguese. However from the start of the 19th century, arguably to today Britain’s zeal in abolishing the slave trade is one of our finest hours. The two reasons the European countries went to West Africa was there was an existing slave trade between west and east Africa, managed by Africans and Arabs. Also when you look at your “Virginia” tobacco it was a crop that grew very well on the east coast of America, which the demand for slaves began.
The key dates are:
First reported African slaves in the New World.
Beginning of large-scale introduction of African slave labor in the British Caribbean for sugar production.
British Parliament bans the Atlantic slave trade.
Great Britain converts Sierra Leone into a crown colony.
U.S. passes legislation banning slave trade, to take effect 1808.
British negotiate an agreement with Portugal calling for gradual abolition of slave trade in the South Atlantic.
At the Congress of Vienna, the British pressure Spain, Portugal, France and the Netherlands to agree to abolish the slave trade (though Spain and Portugal are permitted a few years of continued slaving to replenish labor supplies).
September 23: Great Britain and Spain sign a treaty prohibiting the slave trade: Spain agrees to end the slave trade north of the equator immediately, and south of the equator in 1820. British naval vessels are given right to search suspected slavers. Still, loopholes in the treaty undercut its goals. Slave trade flows strongly, 1815-1830. Slave economies of Cuba and Brazil expand rapidly.
In the Le Louis case, British courts establish the principal that British naval vessels cannot search foreign vessels suspected of slaving unless permitted by their respective countries — a ruling that hampers British efforts to suppress the slave trade.
Britain stations a naval squadron on the West African coast to patrol against illegal slavers.
Slavery Abolition Act sponsored by William Wilberforce, set free all existing slaves.
For the rest of the 19th century the British used its navy to prosecute the war against slavery. Individuals like David Livingstone dedicated their life to end the continuing slave trade continued by Africans and Arabs.
In 1873 Zanzibar just off the east coast of Africa near Tanzania was the focus of the late 19th slave trade but British intervention was crucial.
“Sultan Barghash was forced in 1873, under the threat of a British naval bombardment, to sign an edict which made the sea-borne slave trade illegal, and the slave market in Zanzibar was closed, with the Cathedral Church of Christ erected on the site. But the trade continued, particularly on the mainland. Slaving was illegal, but it existed openly until Britain took over the mainland following their defeat of the Germans in the First World r.
Master Chapman’s end of term report does not look good. Epidemiology- fail, maths – fail, science – fail, economics – fail, and now history- fail. Must try harder, even in the remedial class.