2ndlook

End Of Slavery In Europe & USA

Posted in History, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on February 11, 2008

Haiti – First Slave Independence

14th August 1791. St Dominque. An African slave overseer killed a pig. And that signaled off the world’s first successful slave uprising. Flames of this war soon spread.

Boukman Dutty, a Voudou N’Gan (oungan, houngan, voodoo priest), killed a pig as a part of an African tribal ritual Bwa Kayiman, dedicated to his ancestors and Ogoun, god of fire, iron and war. To these slave warriors, it seemed that Ogoun and Erzulie Dantor (Ezili Dantor), a Vodou l’wha (loa) a warrior spirit, responded to this call to protect these slave warriors.

Boukman Dutty’s ritual of pig-slaughter was near the same spot where a little over 30 years, another slave François Mackandal was burnt at the stake. François Mackandal waged a 12 year campaign, against White slave owners, in which he ‘reputedly killed some six thousand whites’. In 1758, François Mackandal was captured – and burnt at the stake, his plot to mass-poison slave masters, averted.

Boukman Dutty - Setting off the Haitian Revolution! (Courtesy - symonsez.wordpress.com; Original artist and source attribution not available). Click for larger image.

Boukman Dutty – Setting off the Haitian Revolution! (Courtesy – symonsez.wordpress.com; Original artist and source attribution not available). Click for larger image.

25th August. Night of Fire

50,000 slaves rose in revolt. More than 1000 sugar and coffee plantations were put to fire. Flames could be seen as far as Bahamas. From 31st December 1803, to 1st January, 1804, liberation brought about by vengeance was celebrated, and independence was declared.

St. Dominque, now called Haiti, was a French colony with 800 sugar plantations and 4,00,000 slaves from Niger and Dahomey (now Benin) in West Africa. Haiti, the jewel of French colonies, accounting for 40% of French GDP in 1700s, was the largest market for slaves in Atlantic trade. Consideredthe single richest colony in the world, it was the largest producer of sugar in the world and competed with British colonies (like India) for indigo production and had thousands of coffee plantations.

Christopher Columbus, the first European to Haiti, in 1492, and started the exploitation of Haiti. What happened to the original population of Haiti? An estimated 1.3 million, may have been 3-4 million. Admittedly not White, but people, nevertheless. Done to death by forced labour in silver mines over the next 10 years.

Imperial Opportunism

After the revolution in Haiti, Spaniards and the British rushed in to take advantage of this opportunity and to re-enslave the rebels. The newly freed slaves time and again, beat back the new British and Spanish enslavers.

The army failed. Five years and more than 12,000 British deaths later, the redcoats withdrew. An army of rebel enslaved Africans had defeated the army of the world’s superpower, and the largest slave-trading nation.

The humiliation of this defeat sent a shock wave through the British establishment and, indirectly, strengthened the forces in parliament that voted to abolish the slave trade in 1807.” (from William Wilberforce: The Real Abolitionist? By Adam Hochschild)

The Haitians, initially led by Boukman Douty, re-grouped under Toussaint Louverture, Georges Biassou, Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henry Christophe. On January 1st, 1804, Haiti declared themselves free and a republic. It was world’s first republic established by people of African descent.

Haiti, (unlike today’s Israeli Jews) supported liberation movements. Haiti’s successful revolt and the defeat of the Spanish and British armies encouraged other colonies of South America to demand and fight for Independence. This fight was led by Simon Bolivar – after whom Bolivia is named.

After being expelled from Venezuela, it was Alexandre Petion, the Haitian President, who gave shelter to Simon Bolivar in 1815, with arms, ammunition, a printing press and other aid – after a clear promise that all the freed countries of the South America would abolish slavery. A promise that Simon Bolivar did not keep – until significant pressure was put on him. In spite of winning freedom with the help of African people, the newly freed countries of South America discriminated against the very same Africans who helped them get freedom. Moreover, in 1826, at the Congress of American States, under US pressure, Simon Bolivar did not invite Haiti.

The emancipation proclamation - Original Document Photograph - GOP Blog. Click for larger picture.

The emancipation proclamation – Original Document Photograph – GOP Blog. Click for larger picture.

Shivas dun mai spoiwne

Haiti’s developments stampeded Europe and USA. Afraid that US slaves will follow the Haiti example, US did not recognise Haiti, till November 1864 – 60 years after Haiti declared Independence.

Jefferson (possibly while dining alone), was afraid that Haiti would create a “great disposition to insurgency among American slaves.” He imagined that “dull, tasteless and anomalous” Africans would have

ten thousand recollections by the blacks of the injuries they have sustained, new provocations, the real distinctions which nature has made, and many other circumstances will divide us into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.

Drawing of Jean Laffitte; Image courtesy - msnbc.com. Click for larger image.

Drawing of Jean Laffitte; Image courtesy – msnbc.com. Click for larger image.

Restrictions on slavery were discussed all over Europe and USA. The US imposed restrictions on import of slaves – which increased the price of existing slaves in the trade market. But slave traders like Jean Laffitte soon ran rings round this by smuggling slaves from Cuba. Merchants and traders protested against Jean Laffitte’s smuggling of other products. Planters did not like slave traders because the slave traders made slaves ‘expensive’. The planters pressured Government’s into passing various laws restricting ‘trade’ in slaves.

Jean Laffitte’s smuggling operations stopped in 1821. After 14 years of successful slave smuggling. Jean Laffitte became a ‘folk hero’ in New Orleans for flouting restrictions against import of slaves (slaves that White southerners needed). It was his ‘patriot outlaw’ image which got him his following. He was ostensibly seen as aiding the government during the 1812 war with the British – which was decided on the basis of his business interests.

Britain & Abolition Of Slavery

Britain technically abolished slavery in 1807, after the Haiti experience. While slavery was supposedly abolished in 1807, trade in ‘pre-existing slaves’ continued. Slave ships and traders had to pay a fine of GBP 100 per slave, if caught. The law was not seriously implemented. In the few cases where slave ships and traders were caught, slaves were simply thrown overboard.

British trade and agriculture brought pressure to stop slavery by other European kingdoms. Paid labour had made French products uncompetitive – which made Napoleon re-introduce slavery. This re-introduction of slavery by the French (circa 1804) diluted British resolve to end slavery.

Further rebellions in Barbados (1816), Demerra (1823) and Jamaica (1831-32) finally forced the British hand. Freedom to British slaves came finally in 1833 after the British Government passed yet another law, to outlaw slavery, Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 – and paid ‘compensation’ to slave owners. An egregious and glaring example was the ‘compensation’ to the Bishop of Exeter and his partners of GBP 12,700 to ‘compensate’ them for the ‘loss’ of 665 slaves in 1833.

Yet another chapter …

After the finally abolishing slavery in 1833, Indian indentured labour replaced African slavery. Upfront, indentured labour was only slightly more expensive++, but was cheaper in the long run. Indentured labour also came fewer issues related to capture, transport, trade and maintenance of slaves – with a veneer of respectability that was needed for propaganda purposes.

Also, Britain had India – a huge colony to fall back on for indentured labour. How could the British afford to buy indentured labour? Bought with new gold discoveries in Canada and Australia. Nearly 1 crore (10 million) indentured labourers were shipped out from India alone to various parts of the world – and continued till about 1917. As is to be expected, the UK Government grossly underestimates these figures.

By the time the indentured labour scheme was finally brought to an end in 1917, it is estimated that 2.5 million East Indians had been shipped to British colonies around the world. (From Empire’ Children – Channel 4).

Beggar Thy Neighbour

Slavery was also about economic warfare.

During the American War of Independence, to protect colonial interests, promises were made to American slaves by Britain. Further, British Colonial forces, encouraged African slaves to run away from their White masters. Property was promised to them in Canada and Sierra Leone. Some were sent to London. Based on these promises, an estimated 75,000-100,000 slaves abandoned their White American owners.

The key to Haiti’s wealth – slave labour.

Hence, the British efforts to ban slavery – as a part of their beggar-thy-neighbour strategy. Haiti was contributing major surplus to the French – and Britain had to undercut French economic gains from Haiti. The French efforts to get back into India against Britain through Tipu Sultan (during the Mysore Wars) had made life difficult for Britain – and hence they needed to undermine French economic resources.

Abolition of slavery had little to do with human rights.

While slavery (especially in the Caribbean) was being abolished, the same Britons were committing genocide in Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.

The Rise Of Cuba

Spain took up the slack that the fall of Haiti created.

Cuba within the next 50 years became the centre of Caribbean trade. After the fall of Haiti, by 1860, Cuban production grew to 500,000 tons of sugar – nearly 1/3 of the world’s production. Under Spanish rule from 1511, the indigenous population was annihilated and the island was populated by imported African slave labour.

What did the ‘statesmen’ from the land of the free do?

Henry Clay, Secretary of State, in President John Quincy’s administration,was clear that “This country prefers that Cuba and Porto Rico remain dependent on Spain …” Of Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln declared, During my whole political life, I have loved and revered Henry Clay as a teacher and a leader.”

In 1844 Cuban slaves revolted unsuccessfully. 10th, October 1868, Carlos Manuel de Céspesdes released his slaves and El Grito de Yara War, (a 10 year campaign) against Spain started. General Valeriano Weyler, “The Butcher,” was sent to stamp out the independence movement. He created modern history’s first concentration camps.

Hundreds of thousands of men women and children were put into concentration camps.

Modern Concentration Camps

In Havana city, 52,000 people died. The peasants retaliated by burning down vast Spanish owned sugar plantations. Weyler was recalled to Spain in 1879. October 7th 1886, slavery was finally abolished. Spain continued to rule Cuba – with greater repression.

“Seventy-five percent of Latin America’s exports to the United States came from Cuba and half of the Latin American imports from the United States went to Cuba in 1894. The United States had well entrenched itself in the Cuban economy and did not want to lose a valuable market so close by. Spain clung to its remaining claim. Cuba was caught in the middle in the mid-1890′s when the United States reduced sugar imports with the Wilson-Gorman tariff and Spain restricted United States imports to Cuba. Proponents of annexation and independence divided Cuba’s population.” by Brad Williford in The Cuban Revolution of 1895-98

Freedman's Bureau Bill Vetoed. Andrew Johnson vetoing Freedmen’s Bureau, with the affected black people spilling out. From Thomas Nast's  celebrity cartoon series "The Grand Masquerade Ball", April 14, 1866. (Source - impeach-andrewjohnson.com. Click for larger image.

Freedman’s Bureau Bill Vetoed. Andrew Johnson vetoing Freedmen’s Bureau, with the affected black people spilling out. From Thomas Nast’s celebrity cartoon series “The Grand Masquerade Ball”, April 14, 1866. (Source – impeach-andrewjohnson.com. Click for larger image.

The American Civil War

From 1861-1865, American went through the Civil War.

Lincoln’s War, after all was more about economics than about slavery. It was about White unemployment, low wages to Whites due to competition from slave labour, due to high import tariffs (half to 80% of total import taxes were paid by American South).

In his inaugural speech, Lincoln promised ‘there will be no invasion‘ if he is allowed to use the “power confided to me … to collect the duties and imposts” – which some senators refused to endorse, seeing it as a threat of war.

Propaganda states that this war was fought to free the American Slaves. But for the next 100 years, there was little change. “Freed” slaves were forced into share cropping by a federal programme – Freedmen’s Bureau. Yes, people could no longer be bought or sold, could not be captured or kidnapped.

But in the land of the free, the African American man was still used – and abused. There was one use of the free African Americans. They were used to kill the Native Americans – who called these African-American Soldiers as Buffalo Soldiers.

Imperial Ambitions

125 years after Independence, US was developing colonial ambitions. The ‘Monroe doctrine’ was used to create colonies in the American backyard. “Yellow Journalism” was invented to whip up public sentiment. On April 25th 1898, the US Congress declared war. For the next 4 months, the US fought The Spanish-American War.

On August 12th, 1898, Spain signed the peace treaty. On December 10th 1898, the treaty of Paris was signed. USA ‘bought’ Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico and paid Spain US$2,00,00,000. Of course, the ‘inferior’ populations of these countries – Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico were unfit for inclusion in the Paris negotiations about their future.

Cubans were nominally declared free but with many conditions. In 1915, again the Monroe doctrine was invoked to invade Haiti. In the 1960s-70s, Chedi Jagan and his struggle to break from US domination (in the Caribbean) was sabotaged.

Colonialism in Africa. (Artist credit not available at source. mrcoyle.edublogs.org). Click for image.

Colonialism in Africa. (Artist credit not available at source. mrcoyle.edublogs.org). Click for image.

A degree of freedom

In America, opposition to slavery was about race.

What if the African American slave population in the American South became like Haiti? Just before independence, against a population of 400,000-500,000 African  Haitians, there were about 25,000 whites and 40,000 mulattos.

What if the African  population in the American South (nearly 80% at the start of the Civil War) rose to say, 150%. Four million African American compared to five million Whites in the American South at the start of the Civil War.

Another Haiti would have very well happened in Southern American South too. A truncated USA was a real fear – if not a certainty. None other than “Benjamin Franklin said with alarm that importing slaves had “blacken’d half America” …

So, what did the White Fathers do?

They set up in Africa, Israel’s predecessor! Liberia (another land of the free?) and the successor state of the British deportation to Sierra Leone. Behind this idea was Jefferson again, (dining alone again, Thomas?), who suggested that US shouldtake measures for procuring on the coast of Africa, an establishment to which the people of color of these States might, from time to time, be colonized.

In 1816, the USA decided to follow Jefferson’s idea and colonise Africa (Africa had to pay the price of Jefferson’s dining alone). An artificial situation was created, where escaped, freed Africans were sent to Liberia. The local population were of no consequence – like latter day Palestine.

With the setting up of Liberia, slavery was moved off shore. In 1926, large parts of Liberia were leased out to Firestone – for rubber plantations. Even in Africa, these ‘freed ‘slaves were enslaved again – which continues to this day.

A significant reason why slavery was not popular in the North was the depressing effect of slavery on wages and employment. Poor (free) whites had to compete with slave labour for employment – and that was a non-starter.

Cartoons Opposed to The Freedman's Bureau. Courtesy - wikimedia.). Click for larger image.

Cartoons Opposed to The Freedman’s Bureau. Courtesy – wikimedia.). Click for larger image.

From 1860-1960

Little changed in the next 100 years after the Civil War – except the matter of 25 million missing African-Americans. At the start of the Civil War, the White Population of North and South was 22 million. And African-American was 5 million. By 1960, the White population had grown by nearly 800%, to 160 million. The African American population in the meantime had grown by only 400% – from 5 million to 20 million.

What happened to the missing 400% of African American population growth? Apologists (and defenders) use White immigration to explain away some of the difference. But that further compounds the problem – because there was also about 1 million Afro-American immigrants from Haiti, Jamaica, Africa and other countries. Nett, nett – there are about 20-25 million Afro-descendants missing – due to deprivation, poor health care and indifference.

Mortality amongst Afro-Americans due to AIDS is higher than for Whites – 60,000 higher Afro-American deaths every year. The New England Journal Of Medicine states,

Among patients infected with HIV, blacks were significantlyless likely than whites to have received antiretroviral therapyor PCP prophylaxis when they were first referred to an HIV clinic“.

Woodrow Wilson Plugging Birth Of A Nation & KKK. Image courtesy - martinfrost.ws. Click for larger image.

Woodrow Wilson plugged Birth Of A Nation & KKK. Image courtesy – martinfrost.ws. Click for larger image.

But rights and equality is something else

From 1865 to 1965, Afro-American though no longer bought and sold – were still excluded from the political and social systems – in the land of the free. The Freedman’s Bureau made the ‘free’ Afro-Americans into poor sharecroppers and destitute. The Ku Klux Klan became a vigilante group to ensure that Afro-Americans stayed where they were – at the bottom of the economic, social and political ladder.

By 1890′s, disenfranchisement laws came into effect – which ensured that the disproportionate numbers of Afro-Americans could not vote. Petty crime, (where poor) Afro-Americans were convicted in higher ratios, were grounds for disenfranchisement. These laws ensured that 10 times higher number of African-Americans were disqualified compared to Whites.

If that is not bad enough, it continues till now. After some 60,000 African-American voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically won by less than 1000 votes (most were expected to vote against George Bush). Such tactics continue to be used to limit Afro-American participation in democracy.

Castro and Che. (Image courtesy - timesofindia.com.). Click for larger image.

Castro and Che. (Image courtesy – timesofindia.com.). Click for larger image.

The re-emergence of the Ku Klux Klan in its second avatar continued with its agenda of Afro-American subjugation till the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The second coming was a mainstream event with President Woodrow Wilson endorsing the film and the message.

Emancipation

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Image Source and courtesy - lucidcafe.com). Click for larger image.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Image Source and courtesy – lucidcafe.com). Click for larger image.

Lies, damned lies – an then there is history.

The Cuban revolution is not a 50 year old event as this article seems to make out. And Afro-American emancipation in the USA is a 1970s phenomenon, 30+ years ago event – and not 200 years ago as this article in New York Times seems to make out.

It took non-violent protests (Martin Luther King, inspired by Gandhiji) and violent threats (Malcolm X) for some kind of real emancipation and equity to come in. Of course, it is no co-incidence, that both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were assassinated.

In the Cold War scenario, under international media glare, during the Little Rock School stand-off, Eisenhower (a Southerner himself) reacted. Reluctantly, in 1954, he sent in the National Guard to Little Rock, Arkansas for some kind of de-segregation. The Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas closed down the school rather than de-segregate. US (and the West) earned bragging rights in the eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation during the Kennedy years with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – and the Nobel Prize for Martin Luther King.

Malcolm X. (Image source and courtesy - faculty.umf.maine.edu). Click for larger image.

Malcolm X. (Image source and courtesy – faculty.umf.maine.edu). Click for larger image.

Demonise, Massacre and Apologise

Now that there are a few Red Indians and aborigines left (they serve as tourist attractions), there is the ritual of regret and apology about their role in the genocidal past. Since, the “Jewish Problem” was solved by Hitler (there are hardly 1 million Jews left in Europe and 5 million in USA), the West and USA has no problems, anymore with the Jews.

In fact, Jews today serve a useful purpose to the West. After the Anglo-Saxon led alliance broke up the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East, the Israelis are the West’s cat’s paw.

They been suborned to the job of keeping a lid on the simmering oil rich, Middle East, and keeping it in check. What is the real cost to the USA- an inflated arms bill. What does it cost Israel – millions of precious Jewish lives, lost in the fight to keep the Anglo Saxons in luxury.

The demonisation (Shakespeare joined in with his anti-Semitic Merchant Of Venice) of the Jews has now been replaced by demonisation of Islam. Without taking responsibility for the destabilisation of the Islamic World by the liquidation of the Ottoman Empire after WW1 – perpetrated by Anglo Saxon countries and the French.

New political constructs

Colonial loot from South America and India, Canada and Australia reduced cost of capital to hasten industrialization. Thus ‘zero’ cost capital from colonial loot and ‘zero’ cost slave labour drove the engines of industrial Europe. Patronage by large land owners, financial backing by emerging ‘industrialists’ gave the educated and qualified, the resources to focus on innovation and invention.

This was the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism.’ As slavery receded (due to many revolts and rebellions) in 19th century, Capitalism also faded. Slavery and colonialism allowed creation greater concentration of wealth – in exchange for greater perceived freedom. Two aspects led to decline of capitalism. One, was receding slavery, and secondly lack of new colonies and peoples to loot, pillage, and commit genocides.

After the eclipse of Capitalism, the West needed a new economic model.

A popular writer waxing nostalgic for this ‘golden age’ was Ayn Rand. Her glossing over slavery, her token objections to segregation were reminiscent of an age gone by. Her disregard for family structures was her contribution to ‘modernizing’ capitalism. The economic contribution of slavery to the wealth of the West, the creation of patronage structures for ‘innovation and invention’ and the loot from the colonies were all absent from Ayn Rand’s hagiography on capitalism.

The maya of propaganda.

The maya of propaganda.

Communism

Faced with a crisis of labour due to abolition of slavery, England started looking at alternatives for a new economic model. They selected a fugitive theorist, whose theories were creating interest in mainland Europe.

Communism awarded a monopoly over slavery to one employer – the State. Single employer, total monopoly, impress the slaves with the glory and future. This was the only Western ideology that was born out of design. With the demise of slave trafficking, 1832 in Britain; slavery re-introduced in 1802 by France) Europe was concerned about labour and industry.

France, Brussels, Britain etc. took the lead and provided patronage to Karl Marx and Frederick Engels to devise another system – an alternate to slavery.

Their books, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844, The Communist Manifesto (published in) 1848 laid the basis for an alternative to capitalism. In the next few years, their publications found eager publishers and sold well. Their popularity could be gauged by the significant royalties, Marx and Engels received, from the sale of their books – and could live on earnings from their writing careers.

Obviously, Communism could not be ‘sold’ to the designated victims, that they were the new slaves. It had to be ‘bought’ willingly by the ‘target audience’ as yet another ‘level of freedom’. Slavery sold as a promise of freedom – You have nothing to loose but you chains.

Socialism (Cartoon courtesy - about.com). Click for larger image.

Socialism (Cartoon courtesy – about.com). Click for larger image.

Socialism

Most European countries moved away from the slavery-capitalism-colonialism model during the 1900-1950 period. The new political construct was Socialism – which gave freedom to labor to change employers. This was a major improvement for labour – from earlier slavery and serfdom model, where employer-change was not possible.

In turn, the number of employers was restricted, so that there was not too much competition for labour or markets. The burden of labour welfare on imposed on the limited number of employers – in return for limited competition for customers and employees. This resulted in a high tax burden on employers – in return for lesser competition, high trade barriers, non-tariff barriers.

A twist in this socialist model was the Bretton Woods mechanism. At one stroke this created ‘invisible’ reverse flows from the poor to the rich countries – with minuscule but ‘visible’ show of flows from the rich to the poor.

Splendid Isolation

Fear of success or opposition, in country after country of the Americas and Pacific, the USA has been involved in destabilisation and intervention. One time USA allies are now hot beds of terrorism. Afraid that US slaves will follow the Haiti example, US did not recognise Haiti, till November 1864 – 60 years after Haiti declared Independence. Moreover, in 1826, at the Congress of American States, under US pressure, Simon Bolivar did not invite Haiti.

The US record against the growth and stabilisation of Cuba does not bear repetition. Having ‘bought’ Cuba from Spain (like Puerto Rico, Guam and Philippines), USA believes and feels that they ‘own’ Cuba.

In 1904, the US pressured Tomas Estrada Palma, a ‘puppet’ Cuban President, to sign the Platt Amendment. This allowed US intervention in Cuban affairs, if ‘vital’ US  interests were at risk (meaning at US will) – finally modified only in 1934Under this ‘new deal’ ‘Cuba would be allowed to export 22% of the sugar the US imported, by paying 0.09¢, a pound tariff duty. In return, little or no duty would be levied by Cuba on goods imported from the USA.’

The Greatest Suffering

The African-American in the USA and Europe have seen some justice – as they were an important constituency in the Cold War. USA propaganda was on the verge of losing Africa to Soviet Russia. The Jews have been very persistent and they have not let the world forget – or the perpetrators rest in peace.

The forgotten lot is that that of the Romani Gypsies. This one segment based in Europe and USA continues to remain on the fringes and discriminated. They have been hunted (like forest animals), their children kidnapped (to end their race and social system), they have been gassed (by Hitler along with the Jews), they have been galley slaves, In fact there was a time when they could be killed, if found alive!

Good Job, Dinesh

I came across two blogs which possibly best represent attempts to ‘white wash.’

One is from a member of the US Conservative Right, part of the Republican propaganda team – aapla, our own Dinesh DeSouza. He tries, speciously and very hard, to show how it is the White, Christian, Americans who actually freed the slaves – after the slaves were sold into slave by their ‘Black Brothers’. Of course, he cannot see the long history of trade in slaves, the laws and might of the state which enforced this trade, the continuing attempts (under disenfranchisement laws) to deny Afro-Americans, their voting rights. Dinesh does a fabulous hatchet job on how the West can make me a colonial subject of the Raj again.

The second blog, by an academic, celebrates a pseudo-anniversary. This post, ‘a professor at a large state university,’ abandons academic integrity to promote propaganda, instead of academic excellence. At least, he published dissenting comments. Bro.Dinesh DeSouza does not publish dissenting comments.

Or for this matter this book review in The Times about slavery – which doesn’t once mention the one reason, why slavery was abolished – Haiti and slave revolts.

Scorched Earth Incidents In History – What They Reveal …

Posted in Current Affairs, Gold Reserves, History, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on November 19, 2007

Guiding Spirit

“Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” (Kill them all, God will know his own) instructed the Abbot of Citeaux to followers at the start of the Albigensian Crusade.

And 200,000 people were killed.

Emerging nations (India is hopefully, re-emerging), at some point, will confront militant and aggressive powers, who have used major massacres to secure their ends. Apart from well documented and known military massacres , there are equally effective massacres – the Bengal Famine of 1943 being a prime example.

Apart from two major incidents of slaughter in Indian history – the Kalinga War and the sacking of the Vijayanagar Kingdom, there is no other recorded incident of massacres initiated by Indian rulers or conquerors.

Megasthenes (the Greek ambassador in Gupta court) writes, “”Whereas among other nations it is usual, in the contests of war, to ravage the soil and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen are regarded as a class that is sacred and inviolable, the tillers of the soil, even when battle is raging in their neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side in waging the conflict make carnage of each other, but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides, they never ravage an enemy’s land with fire, nor cut down its trees.”

This makes the Mumbai 1993 riots, the 1984 Sikh Pogrom and the Godhra carnage in India a matter of concern and historical discontinuity.

Vercingetorix

Rome was sucked into the vacuum left behind by Alexander’s death. Roman generals consolidated in Asia Minor and expanded into Europe. One significant territory was Gaul (most of modern France). In 52 BC, the Gaels rebelled. Governor of Gallic provinces – Julius Caesar.

The rebellion was led by Gaellic chieftain, Vercingetorix (pronounced with a k; or in Gaellic possibly Fearcuincedorigh, Chief of a hundred heads, was son of Celtillus, a chieftain executed by his tribesmen, for attempting to unite the tribe). After nearly 2 years of campaigning, Vercingetorix was defeated by Julius Caesar, imprisoned for 5 years and brought in chains to Rome – and strangled to death after a public display.

Rome used massacres freely to quell this rebellion, and to instill fear amongst the tribes. An entire population of Avaricum (Bourges), varying estimates of between 40,000-120,000, was massacred. At the least, 1 million of 3 million Gallic Celtic populations was killed by the time Caesar finished with Gaul. Many Gaels were taken as slaves by soldiers to carry their baggage or sold to slave traders which accompanied these armies.

Carthage

Kart Hadasht, or Carthage as we know it today, was a city founded by Phoenicians, a sea-faring nation, (based in an area near Tunis and modern Lebanon) – and one of the first rivals that Rome had. Carthage ruled over much of the Mediterranean and North Africa. It expanded into Spain – Barcelona is named after the Barca family, of whom Hannibal is the most famous.

Alexander’s campaign had taken the best of male youth from the Greek population and made it incapable of holding at the centre. Alexander’s vast dominions and revenues were unprotected. Greek political leadership were engaged with Alexander abroad. Its armies were tied up in Asia. No ruler after Alexander’s death in 323 BC was in a position to consolidate the conquests or overcome Greek-Macedonian infighting.

It took Greece another 600 years to recoup and challenge the Western Roman Empire. The split between the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire was along linguistic lines. The Byzantine Empire used Greek as the official language - and had many Greek Kings. The ‘Greek Miracle’ was rewritten by these Greek historians – 800-to-1000 years later. Much like modern day propaganda by the West, the Greeks used their language to create a myth around the Greek civilization. Alexander, a Macedonian (from modern day Balkans), was usurped by the Greeks (from the Mediterranean region) as their own.

In 306, BC, Rome allied with Carthage against the Greeks. Over the next 150 years, Carthage and Rome battled Greece, conquered Sicily and attacked each other. After three Macedonian wars and the war with Antiochus the Great of Syria, Rome established itself as a prime power.

Rome then turned its attention to other challengers, most notably, Carthage. Scipio’s armies, engaged Carthage in the Second Punic war (218-203) – and Carthage thereafter, was militarily, a spent force. Over the next 50 years, Carthage declined militarily – but prospered economically.

And Rome…

In 150 BC, controlling much of Alexander’s empire, Rome decided that no one must be left to challenge its power. Cato the Elder, influenced the Roman Senate and pushed for Delenda est Carthago(”Carthage must be destroyed”). An army under consuls Manius Manilius and L.Marcius Censorinus was sent to destroy Carthage, militarily, a shell of its former self. Carthage offered to surrender and deposited all its armour and armament. Roman generals refused to accept the surrender.

Carthage re-armed to defend itself. Roman generals could not make much headway. Finally, the Roman senate sent a descendant of Scipio Africanus (of the Second Punic War), Scipio Aemilianus – and in 146BC, Carthage was defeated. Carthage city was destroyed, its fields plowed and salted, so that the city would never come up again. 50,000 residents of Carthage were enslaved. In parallel, in 146BC, Corinth suffered a similar fate. Final tally during the Punic Wars over 200 years – 10 lakhs people (1million).

Spartacus

50 BC. Alexander had passed into mythology. Romans had taken complete hold of the Alexandrian Empire. Millions (men, women and children) were enslaved. Swollen by revenues from the inherited Alexandrian territories of Asia Minor; by loot and conquests from Europe, Roman society was rolling in wealth. Nearly a million slaves toiled to keep Roman population well fed and in luxury.

On the other side of the world, Alexander’s conquests had increased trade manifold. Indo Roman trade flourished. Greco-Roman currency, laws started at Indian borders and led right to the heart of the world’s largest and most prosperous market. A ‘merchant prince’, Chandragupta Maurya and a Brahmin minister, Kautilya Chanakya, with the support of the 16 mahajanapadas (principal ruling Indian federations) had united most of Indian subcontinent. The most famous of this dynasty, Ashoka (The Great) started the spread of Buddhism.

With rapid economic growth, also came rapid change in social differences. In Rome, slacvery was political and economic (slaves and master). In India, many religious teachers started movements against slavery – now commonly popular as ‘ahimsa’. In Rome this sparked the Spartacus revolution. 100,000 slaves mutinied and were led by Spartacus. After many battles between 72BC-71BC, Spartacus and his slave legions were defeated. 6,000 slaves were crucified on the main Roman highway – the Via Appia.

Ustashe Cleansing

Ustati in slav languages means “to rise”. 1939, Italy, supported and created the Croat Ustashi Army made up Croats. This army reached a size of upto 100,000.

After Hitler’s sweep across the Balkans, a Nazi puppet government of Ante (Anton) Pavelic, headed the “Catholic State of Croatia.” The Pavelic regime supported “Clerical Fascism”-a mix of Catholic religiosity, Anti-Semitism and authoritarian politics. Mussolini’s Italy and Nazi Germany’s “Ausland” department assisted Ante Pavelic and his Catholic terrorists to set up a dictatorship. Ante Pavelic was declared Poglavnik – or what we better know as Fuhrer. Archbishop A. Stepanic established a Croat Separatist Movement and seized power.

They had a simple one point agenda – One third to be converted from Orthodox Christians to Catholic Christianity; one third to be killed and one third to be expelled . Their allies – Before and during the WWW2 – Italy, Germany and The Vatican. More than 10 lakh were put in concentration camps – and most died.

After WW2, Marshal Tito curbed the Ustashi – and the USA embraced these Ustashi to “fight communuism”. After death of Marshal Tito and collapse of the Soviet Empire, these groups were sent back - and the old massacres restarted.

Final tally – More than 20 lakh people killed.

Mau Mau

Post WW2, Churchill was the British Prime Minister from 1950. Kenya became the new jewel in the depleted British crown. The crown princess (the current queen) celebrated the end of war, with a well publicised holiday (1952) at a tree top lodge in Kenya. Churchill resisted the “liquidation of Her Majesty’s empire …” and “winds of change” were yet to blow across Africa.

Kenyan de-colonialisation movement was symbolised by a Kikiyu tribesman, Kamau wa Ngengi, who later took the surname, Kenyatta (from the Kikuyu word for a type of beaded belt he wore) and the first name Jomo – Jomo Kenyatta. Meanwhile, inspired by Gandhiji’s success in India, 1950 saw, at a joint meeting of KAU and Kenya Indian Congress at Nairobi, Trade Unionist Makhan Singh’s resolution for freedom for East Africa being passed. In 1952, Jomo Kenyatta was arrested in ‘Operation Jock Scot’ with 182 other African leaders.

The Kikiyu tribe, considered relatively less aggressive (compared to the Masais) and well settled in agriculture, were provoked to revolt by loss of their lands to white settlers. They formed the Land and Freedom Army and what followed was a 11 year guerilla war, which descended very soon into brutality – and reminded some of Nazi ways of Joseph Mengele. The British and the Western press called this the Mau Mau uprising in a derogatory manner.

Final count – as per Caroline Elkins 100,000 dead; 10,00,000 imprisoned and detained without legal cause; a record 1090 people hung to death. British Government numbers – 12,000 dead Kenyans, (certified). 100,000 imprisoned. Another article estimated close to 12.5 lakhs (of a total population of 50 lakhs) were killed or imprisoned.

Wipe out of the Red Indian Population

In 1492, when Columbus landed in the West Indies, the native American population was 3 million (in the what is currently USA) and more than 10 million in the Americas – and they spoke a 600 languages. 300 years later, they had become tourist attractions.

The British and the independent Americans were equally brutal with the Red Indians. During the French and Indian Wars, Britain waged a biological warfare against the Red Indians by distributing small pox infected blankets to Red Indians. 70 years later, Andrew Jackson delayed (some say withheld) small pox medical supplies and vaccines from Red Indians.

During the American War of Independence against the British, George Washington, was clear what to with native Red Indians at least. On May 31, 1779 Washington sent his official Instructions to Major General John Sullivan:

Sir: The expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the six nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible…whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instruction to do it in the most effectual manner; that the country may not be merely overrun but destroyed

Reminiscent of George Bush threatening the world , either you are for us or against us , George Washington, made a similar remark more than 200 years ago. George Washington wrote to the President of the Continental Congress in 1776:

In my opinion it will be impossible to keep them [Indians] in a state of Neutrality, they must, and no doubt soon will take an active part either for, or against us…

Thomas Jefferson view of the native Red Indians was equally dismissive.

He (King George III) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions… (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776).

Treaty after treaty was made with Red Indians – which were broken time and again. The whites coveted everything that the Red Indian had – but mostly, his life. This “land of the free” by all possible (and some impossible) means was soon made land free of the “natives and savages”.

The US President, Andrew Jackson started by (December 8, 1829) posing as a Red Indian sympathiser. He proclaimed

“By persuasion and force they (Red Indians) have been made to retire from river to river and from mountain to mountain, … tribes have become extinct … Surrounded by the whites … which by destroying the resources … doom him to weakness and decay … That this fate surely awaits them if they remain within the limits of the states … Humanity and national honor demand that every effort should be made to avert so great a calamity.” (parts excised for brevity and ellipsis inserted; bold letters mine).

His solution – remove the Red Indians. In 1830, 40 years after George Washington became the President, the “land of the free”, a law was passed to make the land free of the native Cherokee (Red Indian) population. The vast prairie lands were expropriated – and the Cherokee Indians were marched out by the US army. This march, Trail Of Tears, signalled the break of treaty by white Anglo Saxons. Land West of the Mississippi were to belong to the Eastern Indians ‘in perpetuity.’

The Red Indians resisted removal and forcible transfers. Their resistance was brutally crushed.

By December 4, 1832, Andrew Jackson was saying,

“After a harassing warfare, prolonged by the nature of the country and by the difficulty of procuring subsistence, the Indians were entirely defeated, and the disaffected band dispersed or destroyed. The result has been creditable to the troops engaged in the service. Severe as is the lesson to the Indians, it was rendered necessary by their unprovoked aggressions, and it is to be hoped that its impression will be permanent and salutary.” (bold letters mine)

Gen. Winfield Scott was sent in May 1938, (with an army) to deliver the ultimatum to the Cherokees. Move or we will make you. At your cost.

President Woodrow Wilson echoes the ideology behind the alleged “genocide” –

“The experience of Liberia and Haiti show that the African race are devoid of any capacity for political organisation… there is an inherent tendency to revert to savagery and to cast aside the shackles of civilisation which are irksome to their physical nature. Our industries have expanded to such a point that they will burst their jackets… Our domestic markets no longer suffice; we need foreign markets. In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration, I stand for the national policy of exclusion… We cannot allow a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.”

The entire Anglo Saxon race was against the very existence of the native Red Indian. The British Colonialists and the White Anglo Saxon settlers continued a scorched earth policy in their genocidal campaign.

Just like Romani Gypsy and Australian aboriginal children were taken away from their parents, Red Indian children were also removed. In different continents, at different times, similar tactics were used by Europeans and the Anglo Saxons in the colonies.

Aborigines

In 1788, the estimated Aboriginal population was 7,50,000. By 1911, the survivors, were estimated at 31,000. Prior to the Anglo Saxon settlement, “Australia was an ‘empty land‘ because its inhabitants did not count as human“. Today, the Anglo Saxon race prides itself for the building of Australia. Australia was a British colony and till date the Queen (or King) of Britain is the head of State for Australia.

Churchill, the British Prime Minister during WW2, one time Chanecllor Of The Exchequer, had his views on Arabs, Indians, Aborigines, Red Indians –

I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race has come in and taken their place.

Churchill similarly had highly enlightened views on Arabs – “The Arabs are a backwards people who eat nothing but Camel dung.”

One of the main causes of deaths was public health. In India, in the early 19th century, an estimated 25 million died due the cholera epidemic – as the colonial Government was not bothered (to give them the benefit of any doubt). In Northern Ireland, during the Irish Famine, the then British Prime Minster with held supplies essential aid from starving Irishmen. In USA, the Government delayed allocations to fight small pox, 20 years after similar actions for the whites. Similarly from the Australian aborigines.

Genghis Khan & The Mongol Tribes

Temujin, more famous as Genghis Khan had an empire larger than Alexander and lasted longer than Alexander’s. From remote fastness of Mongolia to borders of Western Europe, from Central Asia to Arabia, his family ruled for nearly 300 years – over an empire larger than Alexander’s. The expansion of the empire continued well after his death – unlike Alexander.

His armies made a habit of slaughtering entire cities – and the final tally is close to 30 lakhs (3 million). In his direct line of conquest along The Silk Route, Eastern /Central Europe had a population of 35 million. European population in medieval times is estimated at 60-80 million. World population at that time is estimated at 50 crores (500 million). Genghis Khan and his hordes slaughtered 20%-30% of humanity in affected territories.

The Bengal Famine 1943 & Indian Gold Drain

Between 1920-1945, the British manipulated exchange rates and trade to impoverish the Indians. Food grain prices rose sharply on supply disruptions during WW2. Indians had no financial reserves. 40 lakhs Indians died in the resultant Bengal Famine.

India Pakistan Partition

After WW2, Churchill promised that he will not “preside over the liquidation of Her Majesty’s empire …” Clement Atlee promised the British voter a quick exit from India. Post war Britain was tired of rationing, shortages – and subsidising a starving, bankrupted India. The Colonial Office was reporting deficits. Gold transfers from India had reduced to a trickle.

The clue is in the body language

The clue is in the body language

Clement Atlee won. Mountbatten was sent to India. An unprepared India and a leaderless Pakistan were handed over governance.

Many theories apart, it showed another extension of the “scorched earth policy” and a callous disregard for 10 lakh brown lives that were lost to Hindu-Muslim-Sikh riots.

Similarly, after the fall of the Chinese Imperial Dynasty, The Japanese Occupation, WW2, Western powers aided both sides in a conflict. Mao Ze Dong was aided by the Americans against the Japanese, Chiang Kai Shek against Mao Ze Dong and Communist Chinese army built with western aid (during WW2), occupied a pro-India Tibet.

Haiti – First Slave Independence

14th August 1791. St Dominque. A black slave overseer killed a pig. And it sparked off the world’s first successful slave uprising.

Boukman Dutty was Voudou N’Gan (oungan, houngan, voodoo priest), killed a pig as a part of an African tribal ritual Bwa Kayiman, to his ancestors and Ogoun, god of fire, iron and war. Ogoun and Erzulie Dantor (Ezili Dantor), a Vodou l’wha (loa) a warrior spirit, responded to this call to protect these slave warriors.

25th August. Night of Fire. 50,000 slaves rose in revolt. More than 1000 sugar and coffee plantations were put to fire. Flames could be seen as far as Bahamas. 31st December 1803, liberation brought about by vengeance, independence was declared.

St. Dominque, now called Haiti, was a French colony with 800 sugar plantations and 4,00,000 slaves from Niger and Dahomey (now Benin) in West Africa. Haiti, the greatest jewel of French colonies, accounting for 40% of French GDP in 1700s, was the largest market for slaves in Atlantic trade. It was the largest producer of sugar in the world and competed with British colonies (like India) for indigo production and had thousands of coffee plantations. Discovered and exploited by Christopher Columbus,

What happened to the original population 1.3 million of its original population. Done to death in forced silver mines in 10 years.

Cuban Independence

After the fall of Haiti, by 1860, Cuban production grew to 500,00 tons of sugar – 1/3 of the world’s production. Under Spanish rule from 1511, the indigenous population was annihilated and the island was populated by imported African slave labour. Henry Clay, Secretary Of State, in President John Quincy’s administration,”This counry prefers that Cuba and Porto Rico remain dependant on Spain …”

In 1844 Cuban slaves revolted unsuccessfully. 10th, October 1868, Carlos Manuel de Céspesdes released his slaves and El Grito de Yara, a 10 year war against Spain started.

General Valeriano Weyler, “The Butcher,” to stamp out the independence movement. He created modern history’s first concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands of men women and children were put into concentration camps. In Havana city, 52,000 people died. The peasants retaliated by burning down vast Spanish owned sugar plantations. Weyler was recalled to Spain in 1879. October 7th 1886, slavery was finally abolished. Spain continued to rule Cuba – with greater repression.

” Seventy-five percent of Latin America’s exports to the United States came from Cuba and half of the Latin American imports from the United States went to Cuba in 1894. The United States had well entrenched itself in the Cuban economy and did not want to lose a valuable market so close by. Spain clung to its remaining claim. Cuba was caught in the middle in the mid-1890’s when the United States reduced sugar imports with the Wilson-Gorman tariff and Spain restricted United States imports to Cuba. Proponents of annexation and independence divided Cuba’s population.” by Brad Williford in The Cuban Revolution of 1895-98

125 years after Independence, US was developing colonial ambitions. The Monroe doctrine was used to create colonies in the American backyard. “Yellow Journalism” invented. On April 25th 1898, the US Congress declared war. For the next 4 months, the US fought the Spanish American War. On August 12th, 1898, Spain signed the peace treaty. On December 10th 1898, the treaty of Paris was signed. USA annexed Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico in exchange for US$2,00, 00,000. Cubans became nominally declared free but with many conditions.

Cost – Over 20 years that Cuba fought the Spaniards, 500,000 people died.

The Israel – Palestinian Conflict

Post WW2, USA was the significant power which could project its power across continents. To protect this position, the USA and Europeans created Israel on specious grounds. Less than 1 lakh Jews (original inhabitants) were given preference over 10 lakh Muslims and the state of Israel was formed. Palestinians are today paying for Europeans genocide of Jews. If the Jewish state was essential, the Europeans could have created a Jewish state in Europe and guaranteed safety and neutrality of the same.

Why did West Asia have to pay for European genocide? One reason – Oil.

Israel is the Western world’s cat’s paw in West Asia. Price of this oil politics – More than 2 million in the last 50 years. Innocent Israelis and Palestinians – fed on distorted history kill and maim each other. The beneficiaries – Europe and USA.

Tally – More than a million dead.

The US Philippine War

After the abolition of slavery in USA, the ‘land of the free’ turned to proxy slavery – colonialism. The first attempt was Cuba.

In Asia, Philippines was the American colony in the Asia. To protect the US$2,00,00,000 payment made by the USA to Spain, USA colonial forces killed 1.4 million during the period 1899 to 1905. Over the next 80 years, Philippines was ruled by Americans and foisted dictators like Marcos – at the cost of these Filipinos. As history would have it, Brigadier General Arthur MacArthur fought the first Filipino war – and his son, Douglas fought in the second during WW2.

Human Cost – Some 1.4 million dead during the period from 1899 to 1905.

More updates on …

Atomic Bombing Of Japanese

The Jewish Persecution In Europe

African Slavery

Brussels & Berlin Conferences – Agreement on Colonies & Slavery

Conquistadors

Hitler’s Holocaust

The Sacking Of Vijayanagar Kingdom

Timur, the Lame

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