Time Magazine: Man of the Millennium

David B. Chorlian davidc at panix.com
Thu Sep 24 18:53:39 EST 1998


In <y6u31xr16o.fsf at tweedledumb.cygnus.com> Craig Burley <burley at tweedledumb.cygnus.com> writes:

>postmaster at 127.0.0.1 (Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin) writes:

>> The United States was, among industrialized nations, about the LAST to
>> eliminate slavery.

>I don't have much knowledge about this, so: what nations were
>considered industrialized at that time, and to what extent did
>each undertake the sort of nation-wide building of vast
>infrastructure that the USA undertook (and which apparently
>contributed to its subsequent military might) over the next
>150 years?

If we consider serfdom the European equivalent of slavery, it
was pretty much eliminated in Western Europe in all its forms
by 1815, courtesy of the French Revolution and Napoleon.  It
persisted in Russia until the 1860's and, in some ways, past
then.  The French eliminated slavery in the colonies as a result
of the revolution, and the British by 1850.

>(It's my impression that it's fairly easy to eliminate slavery,
>especially my legislative fiat, once the major task of building
>is completed, the population is relatively stabilized, and the
>available land relatively well-colonized.  Otherwise I'd assume
>there'd be difficulty convincing people to stay and work on
>building infrastructure or doing the hard work of feeding those
>who did, when freedom permitted them to find their fortunes
>elsewhere.)

The above doesn't make much sense in the American context.
Note that the increasing conflict in the 1850's was because of
the opposition of free whites to the opening of the West to
slavery because they felt they would be excluded from the
opportunity to successfully farm; they DID NOT want the slaves
to do the work.  Lincoln was elected because he both advocated
that the West be free of slavery AND that he was not an abolitionist.
The other areas of the world with significant slave populations
were Brazil, which didn't abolish slavery until 1888, and the 
Carribean, where slavery in British colonies was abolished by
the 1850's.

It's important to understand that slavery was primarily connected with
intensive, plantation based agriculture producing cash crops, such
as sugar, indigo, tobacco, and cotton.

By the way Craig, if you don't have much knowledge, why bother to
publish your thoughts?

>-- 

>"Practice random senselessness and act kind of beautiful."
>James Craig Burley, Software Craftsperson    burley at gnu.org

-- 
David B. Chorlian
Neurodynamics Lab  SUNY/HSCB
chorlian at spot.neurodyn.hscbklyn.edu
davidc at panix.com



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