Thursday, December 12, 2013

Will Western Europe pay out to slave descendants?

Britain formally put an end to its slave trade in 1807, but it took another three decades for the Empire to free its last slaves in the Caribbean. By then, Britain had shipped around 3.4 million Africans—mostly via Liverpool, then a gilded, prolific slave port—over the Atlantic Ocean into a life of grim, inescapable servitude.

When Britain finally admitted the error in its ways, it had to pay. In 1838, the government gathered $33 million (a staggering 40 percent of its expenditure, and up to tens of billions at today's rates) to use as payouts to thousands of pissed-off slave owners. The slaves got nothing. Now, some 175 years later, the Caribbean states where so many slaves were sent want that money back.

No comments:

Post a Comment