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  #21  
Unread 03-14-2021, 05:04 AM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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What are your thoughts on the West Africa Squadron?
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  #22  
Unread 03-14-2021, 05:46 AM
Matt Q Matt Q is offline
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David, what are your views on the British Empire's approach to slavery?
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  #23  
Unread 03-14-2021, 07:46 AM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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I go along with most of the comments, although the Guardian article linked by Julie does seem an extreme example of judging the past by the ideas of the present.
The West Africa Squadron has been described as one of the few examples of pure altruism by any government, ever, and I'm interested to hear what people think of it.
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  #24  
Unread 03-15-2021, 06:51 AM
conny conny is offline
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altruism, i think not. A gesture maybe, but no more. the trade
in tobacco/sugar continued and everyone got rich. or even richer
than they were already. they knew where the money was
coming from. Glasgow/Edinburgh/Perth/Liverpool/ Manchester
etc. etc. beautiful buildings, stately homes all over the place.

money invested, and cleansed, in vast enterprise all over the
world. the original money was dirty, but as soon as it reached
the banks it disappeared into railways and ship building, and a
million other things.

also..the 1833 buy-back was like the 2007 bank bailout. equivalent
to £20 billion in todays money. all the money went to slave owners,
zero to the slaves themselves.
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  #25  
Unread 03-15-2021, 07:12 AM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conny View Post
also..the 1833 buy-back was like the 2007 bank bailout. equivalent to £20 billion in todays money. all the money went to slave owners, zero to the slaves themselves.
Yes. Quite.
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  #26  
Unread 03-15-2021, 09:24 AM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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I don't see how you can call the West Africa Squadron just a gesture, Conny.
To quote from Wikipedia:
"Between 1808 and 1860 the West Africa Squadron captured 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans. It is considered the most costly international moral action in modern history."
At the height of its operations it employed a sixth of the Royal Navy fleet.
About 1,600 British sailors died in service.

The compensation paid to slaveowners was a huge financial commitment by the British Government. Without it, emancipation would not have been approved by Parliament.
It would never have been suggested or thought in those days that the slaves themselves should be compensated. President Lincoln is considered a hero for freeing American slaves 30 years later but did not compensate them.
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  #27  
Unread 03-15-2021, 09:59 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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If Lincoln is considered a hero it is more for saving the Union than emancipation of the slaves. Also, who knows what he may have done in a second term if he hadnít been murdered.
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  #28  
Unread 03-15-2021, 10:18 AM
conny conny is offline
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i would have thought the most costly moral international
action in modern history is WW2, by a country mile.

basically we closed the stable door after the horse had left.
then we kept all the money. Also we kept the stable and
the big house attached to the stable. and also everything
made up until that point. Altruism? i think not.

then we continued to trade on the back of it, pretending the
problem was nothing to do with us because the money was
invested and we didn't like to talk about where the money had
come from in the first place.

oddly, then we spent most of the money digging trenches,
and blowing up farmland around the Somme river. but that's
another story. History is a strange thing.

the story in America is similar imo. Lies, moral vacuity and
death, for several generations. looking to the WA squadron for
some kind of redemption is really not going to cut it.
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  #29  
Unread 03-15-2021, 11:49 AM
conny conny is offline
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also,

as an ex gilt trader i 'd like to point out that the 1833 buy-back
was a watershed in government finance. some thought it was
going to be a total disaster: as it turned out it was the first, and most
spectacular, example of fiscal stimulus. the way it was done put
rocket fuel into Imperial expansion. it did nothing for the slaves
obviously, but if anyone needs an explanation of how we reached
the imperial zenith (of about 1880) the buy-back was how it was
achieved.
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  #30  
Unread 03-15-2021, 12:23 PM
David Anthony David Anthony is offline
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I donít think you can call WW2 a moral action, Conny. It started because Britain and France were not willing to let Germany dominate continental Europe, which was a political not a moral motive.
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