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On 10/21/2020 at 4:12 AM, Markus Becker said:

People's views on race seem to have depended on where they lived. Years ago I read that in the UK around circa 1800 poor blacks and whites lived in the same houses, intermarried and nobody cared. Presumably class, wealth and religion were important to the people. In places with slavery that was different. The son of a rich planter and his black mistress inherited his father's fortune sometime between the slave trade ban and the ban of slavery. He had to move to the UK for his safety.

And I'm not comfortable with the idea that colonialism leads to racism. It was just another way of conquering lands. That had gone on in Europe since forever and what we call racism still didn't exist in the early modern age.

What was different in the colonies? The conquered weren't white but the Spanish seem to have not cared too much about that once the heathens had been christianized. In India you guys initially encouraged intermarriage, financial incentives included. On the sugar islands and up north I think it was the lack of labor. You could make tons of money by using a from of labour that you knew was immoral to put it mildly and at odds with religious values*. So they made up race as a justification.

*In the UK Evangelical Christians lead the effort to end slavery.

Intial inroads by the Company into India was mostly done by the Scots, who were generally more open minded than the English. The Scots wooed the ruling class and married into their families which worked quite well. As the more stuffy English upper class twits types proliferated, they opposed mixed marriages, looked down on everyone and started the whole thing down the road to the rebellion/Mutiny that took place.

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Large scale chattel slavery went out in Europe before the Roman Empire fell. IIRC European agriculture was sufficiently advanced before the age of empires that, until Europe obtained colonies, there were no good reason to run Roman-style plantations. Insofar as thought went into economic planning, rulers wanted to encourage efficiency and manufacture. These goals are not compatible with plantation slavery.

Slavery was not a great institution for industrial development. It ties down the workforce to farming; creates ideological and legal problems for manufacturers; draws capital investments away from industry and also makes the population unsuitable for military conscription. The only exception seems to be the growing of cash crops. Notably Imperial Russia grew wheat and rye for exports, which may explain why it kept serfdom longer than other states.

On 10/24/2020 at 2:59 AM, Brian Kennedy said:

Racism is probably as old as humanity. Europeans regarded the Huns and Mongols as weird demon creatures (ok kinda understandable), could also bring up King Leopold, the Holocaust, Maoris, etc. it’s kind of the human condition. 

Not necessarily. A lot of historians argue that racism as we understand it was tied to the rise of nation states and scientific paradigms that view biological attributes as immutable factors. In the middle ages, canon law forbade enslaving Christians; pagans and heathens were fair game. This distinction doesn't exactly correspond to race, for example the Teutonic Order gladly enslaved the polytheistic Old Prussians. 

Edited by Jonathan Chin
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Its worth noting that the rise of Nationalism, from about the early 1800's to 1900, was also coincident with the peak of the rise of the European Empires. So it would be very odd indeed if nationalism did not touch on Colonialism, and as far as Africa its fairly clearly it did. Its clearly not much of a leap from nationalism to racism, we only have to look at the history of Ireland to see  a connection there.

Re agriculture, completely agreed Jonathan. Conversely you have to wonder if the lack of mechanization in Cotton Planations because they had lots of manpower, if anything held them back economically. I believe this is an argument that has been held against the American South. Probably a simplification, but I think there is something in it. From doing a search a few moments ago it seems that Cotton was the great cost in textiles production, long after textiles production had successfully mechanized.

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Slavery probably really was economic deadweight. Karl Marx claimed that worker to worker, British cotton farms in India were more productive than American plantations. We do know that Indian cotton replaced Southern cotton during the ACW, so the output of nominally free (if underpaid) farmhands was at least equal to enslaved labor. That said, there's something about cotton picking that's resistant to mechanization, which wasn't successfully done until the 1930s (ironically or fittingly this happened in the South). 

Colonialism clearly played a pretty outsized role in creating racism, though religious differences did provide the original legal justification for keeping slaves. In the primary documents, conquistadors often emphasized that the Native Americans they subjugated were heathens, and a lot slavery proponents in the South talked about how the peculiar institution was a necessary evil to Christianize the slaves. 

Edited by Jonathan Chin
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2 hours ago, Jonathan Chin said:

conquistadors often emphasized that the Native Americans they subjugated were heathens,

There is some info about that in this wikipedia article. It should be taken with some grains of salt, but could provide a starting point to ferret more facts about those times and places.

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On 11/2/2020 at 5:17 PM, Jonathan Chin said:

Colonialism clearly played a pretty outsized role in creating racism, though religious differences did provide the original legal justification for keeping slaves. In the primary documents, conquistadors often emphasized that the Native Americans they subjugated were heathens, and a lot slavery proponents in the South talked about how the peculiar institution was a necessary evil to Christianize the slaves. 

Though, it's noteworthy that Asia was full of heathens, yet Europeans weren't doing too much forced conversion, let alone slavery there. Religion was probably just an excuse for conquistadors, their primary motivation was that they subjugated the natives because they could. They couldn't pull off the same stunt with say, Japan. Asiatic cultures were way more powerful than those in Americas or Africa.

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The small Spanish garrison in the Philippines was enough to repel raids by Japanese pirates. There were Catholic Samurai, some Daimyo included. They were quite willing conversions, so much that one of the first measures of the Tokugawa shogunate was to eradicate Catholicism from Japan, by fire and steel. Bit like the Tudors, but with more efficiency.

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On 11/3/2020 at 12:38 AM, Jonathan Chin said:

 

Slavery was not a great institution for industrial development. It ties down the workforce to farming; creates ideological and legal problems for manufacturers; draws capital investments away from industry and also makes the population unsuitable for military conscription. The only exception seems to be the growing of cash crops. Notably Imperial Russia grew wheat and rye for exports, which may explain why it kept serfdom longer than other states.

 

A definition of slavery may be useful here.  Particularly in the industrial sense, as NAZI Germany used extensive slave labour (usually as part of the concept of genocide) in the manufacture of such weapons as the A-4.  It has been stated that more forced / slave labourers died building the A-4 than were killed by the weapons' operational use.  Of course if the builders had not been starving the workers this would have been different.

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Rather stupid of them. You train someone up to build a highly sophisticated weapon system, then you starve them to death. Its so fuckwit stupid they deserved to lose.

It wasnt just the A4, pretty much everything they built had a degree of slave labour involved. For example, a recent Panther engine being restored showed evidence of some of the internal parts being machined to break. The last surviving Arado 234 being restored from the smithsonian, showed evidence in the internal electrical cables showed their connectors arranged in a  star of david configuration. One last raised index finger at the regime by some Jewish workers perhaps.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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8 hours ago, sunday said:

The small Spanish garrison in the Philippines was enough to repel raids by Japanese pirates. There were Catholic Samurai, some Daimyo included. They were quite willing conversions, so much that one of the first measures of the Tokugawa shogunate was to eradicate Catholicism from Japan, by fire and steel. Bit like the Tudors, but with more efficiency.

Most of the converts were 'Rice Christians' and converted back with little qualms later. But it's true that Shogunate was worried that spread of Christianity could lead to religious divisions within the country. Especially as they quickly noted how deadly divisions the Christians themselves had between them.

In China, where being Christian brought no economic incentives, Jesuits had relatively modest success with their missionary activities, even though they spent centuries in very favourable political positions within the Imperial Court.

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13 minutes ago, sunday said:

Nope.

Yes. Being Christian brought easier access to lucrative Portugese trade and gunpowder. To increase their stature as 'Christian' lords, many arranged forced mass conversions of their retainers and underlings. Some even sold convicted criminals to Spanish as slaves. Many daimyos of Nagasaki became filthy rich this way. But few, if any, of them were eager for Martyrdom. When Hideyoshi first began to curb the spread of Christianity, Jesuits considered sending military force and requested support from Christian daimyos. They all answered that it was crazy talk. Taikõ would crush them like bugs.

Sure enough, there were genuine converts, thousands who kept practicing their faith in secrecy for over 200 years. But when Japan opened again and they could practice the faith legally again, their religion went all but extinct, strangely enough.

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There were lots of Japanese martyrs by the Tokugawas. Other Samurai went to live in exile, like this daimyo. There was even an embassy to Europe that settled near Seville.

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13 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Rather stupid of them. You train someone up to build a highly sophisticated weapon system, then you starve them to death. Its so fuckwit stupid they deserved to lose.

That is the dichotomy of early 20C Germany; an unusual brew of brilliance and idiocy.

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19 hours ago, Yama said:

Though, it's noteworthy that Asia was full of heathens, yet Europeans weren't doing too much forced conversion, let alone slavery there. Religion was probably just an excuse for conquistadors, their primary motivation was that they subjugated the natives because they could. They couldn't pull off the same stunt with say, Japan. Asiatic cultures were way more powerful than those in Americas or Africa.

It would not surprise me if the European colonizers continued/absorbed whatever slavery that they found. Certainly west Africa, South America, and Central America had centuries-long traditions pre-Columbus.

Doing what the locals do tended to be economically bad, even disastrous. That's the tragic thing about economic paradigms; painfully difficult to let go of a current paradigm and begin seeing the world through a new one. And  as mentioned, the American South would have been vastly stronger economically had they taken the North's mercantilism and technological bent on board. Had they done so, they would have been unstoppable on the battlefield, and yet would have no need for battle without the desire to maintain slavery.

The history of slavery in early Florida is quite complex, with the Seminole nation having bought black slaves (along with Native slaves taken in war) but also free/escaped blacks having acceptance as tribal members. As always, real history is quite complex.

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12 hours ago, Ivanhoe said:

That is the dichotomy of early 20C Germany; an unusual brew of brilliance and idiocy.

 

I was listening to a documentary recently, and they say there was an inherent contradiction in the German Armament industry. That there was a desire to build the best, yet at the same time a reluctance to indulge in the kind of mass production as seen in say America, because it was regarded as weakening the volk, one of the reasons why they were reluctant to press women into production as occurred in all the Allied Countries.  So you had a strange mix between high technology and a desire to build it in an arts and crafts kind of manner. Its hardly as surprise we won the production battle. 

Complete and total madness.

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22 hours ago, sunday said:

There were lots of Japanese martyrs by the Tokugawas. Other Samurai went to live in exile, like this daimyo. There was even an embassy to Europe that settled near Seville.

There were genuine converts of course, and some were indeed martyred. However given the huge number of converts (200 to 300 000 at peak) overall 'genuine' conversion rate seems to have been low. Jesuits themselves certainly thought it as a problem. Another issue was that even amongst those who had sincere interest in the new faith, many embraced it as an addition to their synchretistic beliefs, as tends to be common in Asia.

When Portuguese 'black ship' was attacked and destroyed in Nagasaki in 1609, assault was headed by a Christian daimyo.

Funny part in the Takayama article: "The colonial government of Spanish Philippines offered to overthrow the Japanese Empire through an invasion of Japan in order to protect the Japanese Christians and place him into a position of great power and influence. Takayama declined to participate and was even opposed to the plan." I can imagine his reaction - he must have been stupefied.

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2 hours ago, Yama said:

There were genuine converts of course, and some were indeed martyred. However given the huge number of converts (200 to 300 000 at peak) overall 'genuine' conversion rate seems to have been low. Jesuits themselves certainly thought it as a problem. Another issue was that even amongst those who had sincere interest in the new faith, many embraced it as an addition to their synchretistic beliefs, as tends to be common in Asia.

When Portuguese 'black ship' was attacked and destroyed in Nagasaki in 1609, assault was headed by a Christian daimyo.

Funny part in the Takayama article: "The colonial government of Spanish Philippines offered to overthrow the Japanese Empire through an invasion of Japan in order to protect the Japanese Christians and place him into a position of great power and influence. Takayama declined to participate and was even opposed to the plan." I can imagine his reaction - he must have been stupefied.

There were also plans to conquer Thailand (Siam at the time) and later there was one of those unequal treaties signed with Siam (with the Siamese asking for a redress in 1924) but commerce and relationships were non existent, so nothing came out of that either.

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On 11/4/2020 at 3:22 PM, Yama said:

Yes. Being Christian brought easier access to lucrative Portugese trade and gunpowder. To increase their stature as 'Christian' lords, many arranged forced mass conversions of their retainers and underlings. Some even sold convicted criminals to Spanish as slaves. Many daimyos of Nagasaki became filthy rich this way. But few, if any, of them were eager for Martyrdom. When Hideyoshi first began to curb the spread of Christianity, Jesuits considered sending military force and requested support from Christian daimyos. They all answered that it was crazy talk. Taikõ would crush them like bugs.

Sure enough, there were genuine converts, thousands who kept practicing their faith in secrecy for over 200 years. But when Japan opened again and they could practice the faith legally again, their religion went all but extinct, strangely enough.

I had a neighbour who came from a long line of Japanese Presbyterians

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9 hours ago, RETAC21 said:

There were also plans to conquer Thailand (Siam at the time) and later there was one of those unequal treaties signed with Siam (with the Siamese asking for a redress in 1924) but commerce and relationships were non existent, so nothing came out of that either.

Of course, Japan had their own designs for military conquest - Korea and China (!!) which was just as much crazy talk. Except Hideyoshi actually attempted it...

In regard to slavery, it was fairly prevalent in Asia, though the relative number of slaves was usually quite low. Just like in the West, slavery was largely abandoned altogether when population grew large enough that there simply was no longer need for cheap labour. In Japan slavery was outlawed in 1590, and Hideyoshi was outraged that some daimyos kept selling convicts and underprivileged to Portuguese slave traders. Of course, he was outraged at the Portuguese, not at his own underlings. And he certainly had no problems with large number of Korean war prisoners sold off to selfsame traders...

 

Edited by Yama
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