Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
 
Strange to think that when Johnson was writing there would have been nothing unusual about meeting people who remembered being a slave.

Regular readers will be aware that several of my regular correspondents have been continuing a debate here on what factor killed slavery - was it moral decisions, or economic and technological developments?

I have three emails from readers that I think you will enjoy. However, as these mega-debates can rather break up the flow of the blog, I have dug out the password to my old Tripod website and re-invented it as "Natalie Solent Extra." It now has a page called

http://nataliesolent.tripod.com/whatkilledslavery.html

Some sample paragraphs to tempt you in.

ARC writes:

France and Britain were not the areas worst affected by the black death even in Europe, still less in the world. Italy and the Byzantine empire were worse affected in Europe. That they had more and larger cities at that time may have been a factor. Another was the greater speed and volume of maritime communications in the Mediterranean; it's a commonplace of epidemiology that epidemics tend to strike hard along lines of communication.

JEM writes (under a most apt title):

Excepting Blitzkrieg-like situations--Germany's invasions of Poland, France, etc., Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and similar events-- what seems to decide the outcome of longer wars--at least conventional ones--is ultimately the relative economic strength of the two sides.

In the case of the American Civil War, in these terms the Confederacy really hadn't a chance against the North. And despite what "Time on the Cross" may say, an important part of this was due to slavery, as we can show ...

And Jim Miller writes:
So it [manumission] was rare, but not as rare as winning a lottery. And, since it was cumulative, over 20 years, assuming the 1850 rate is typical, a little less than one percent would have gained freedom, either through grants or their own work.