View Poll Results: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

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  • They would be in the same position they are now.

    3 2.80%
  • They would be in a better position.

    67 62.62%
  • They would be in a worse position.

    18 16.82%
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    19 17.76%
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Thread: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

  1. #31
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Pure speculation, with no evidence to back it up, based on the assumption that more for one means less for another, which is patently untrue on the scale of global economies.
    That's not "pure speculation". The United States' wealth was heavily influenced by its use of slaves. This is a documented fact, but also a conclusion that can be logically drawn given that free labor yields more profits than paid labor. Given this, if the United States had not had slaves, then it's logical to conclude that it would not have been as wealthy and thus not as powerful today as it is today.

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    To expand on this, most US industrial development took place in the North where there was no institution of slavery. Most westward expansion was fueled by cheap Chinese and Irish immigrant labor, and much of it occurred after 1865.
    Cotton was the largest American export during slavery, constituting a significant portion of America's wealth and growth as a superpower. The profitability of that export and, in turn, the wealth of the United States, relied on the free labor of slaves.

    Africa, however, has pretty much always been a mess on the whole, and remains so today even though Africa is almost entirely run by Africans now.
    You have a source that "Africa has pretty much always been a mess" more so than Europe, Asia and the rest of the world?

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    That's not "pure speculation". The United States' wealth was heavily influenced by its use of slaves. This is a documented fact, but also a conclusion that can be logically drawn given that free labor yields more profits than paid labor. Given this, if the United States had not had slaves, then it's logical to conclude that it would not have been as wealthy and thus not as powerful today as it is today.
    Brazil, Cuba, North africa had slaves, they aren't wealthy.

  4. #34
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Pure speculation, with no evidence to back it up, based on the assumption that more for one means less for another, which is patently untrue on the scale of global economies.
    Much like every serious reply to this thread, including yours.

    Question is such a large hypothetical that it's impossible to even contemplate an answer. If a butterfly flapping it's wings can cause a hurricane, then the wiping of slavery from the history books could literally mean anything.
    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    How the hell should I - or anyone else - know?

  6. #36
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    -- Africa, however, has pretty much always been a mess on the whole, and remains so today even though Africa is almost entirely run by Africans now. There is no reason to assume that Africa would have developed an advanced culture on its own.
    I'm surprised at this.

    There is lots of evidence of cities, kingdoms and cultures which were deliberately destroyed when western explorers and military convoys arrived. Dar es Salaam is an old city and it like other ports in what is now Mozambique were destroyed and buildings flattened by Portuguese men-o-war. There are records of traders going back as far as the 12th century going to the old civilisation of Great Zimbabwe - there used to be a trade route which was eventually killed off by the Portuguese destruction of ports and trading centres on the coast.

    Destroy the history and physical civilisation and you end with the popular belief Africa has always been a mess. If you look however, you find some interesting ancient buildings, castles and cities which show otherwise.

    Chinese pottery has been found in the ruins of great Zimbabwe and other empires - trade that goes earlier beyond white travelers who might be given the credit for introducing it

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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Chaos View Post
    I'm surprised at this.

    There is lots of evidence of cities, kingdoms and cultures which were deliberately destroyed when western explorers and military convoys arrived. Dar es Salaam is an old city and it like other ports in what is now Mozambique were destroyed and buildings flattened by Portuguese men-o-war. There are records of traders going back as far as the 12th century going to the old civilisation of Great Zimbabwe - there used to be a trade route which was eventually killed off by the Portuguese destruction of ports and trading centres on the coast.

    Destroy the history and physical civilisation and you end with the popular belief Africa has always been a mess. If you look however, you find some interesting ancient buildings, castles and cities which show otherwise.

    Chinese pottery has been found in the ruins of great Zimbabwe and other empires - trade that goes earlier beyond white travelers who might be given the credit for introducing it
    Yeah, this is why I asked Goshin for a source. The belief that "Africa has always been a mess" is a product of white supremacist history lessons that have been dominant in American history. The accomplishments of African civilizations were pretty much erased from history taught in Americans schools until Carter G. Woodson among others demanded that Black history become part of the curriculum. Africa's history is just as rich as everyone else's history. It genuinely saddens me that many people still don't know that.

  8. #38
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    That's not "pure speculation". The United States' wealth was heavily influenced by its use of slaves. This is a documented fact, but also a conclusion that can be logically drawn given that free labor yields more profits than paid labor. Given this, if the United States had not had slaves, then it's logical to conclude that it would not have been as wealthy and thus not as powerful today as it is today.


    Nope. Well known fact that slave labor produces far less surplus than free labor. Slaves don't work any harder than they are made to, as they have little incentive.

    The South at the time of the Civil War was almost entirely lacking in industry, factories, etc... except cotton. Except for the elite few, most of the southerners of the time were in deep poverty. The South remained all but destitute for a generation afterwards. The North was the driving force behind the Westward expansion and the industrialization of the country.

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  9. #39
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Yeah, this is why I asked Goshin for a source. The belief that "Africa has always been a mess" is a product of white supremacist history lessons that have been dominant in American history. The accomplishments of African civilizations were pretty much erased from history taught in Americans schools until Carter G. Woodson among others demanded that Black history become part of the curriculum. Africa's history is just as rich as everyone else's history. It genuinely saddens me that many people still don't know that.

    What if is all very well and good, but Africa as it IS today is largely a terrible mess.


    In the OP, I don't recall you specifying "NO Western involvement in Africa" as part of our flight of fancy here.

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  10. #40
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    Re: Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Where would black Americans be if their ancestors had never been enslaved? Assume that all black Americans in the country today were the descendants of people who willingly immigrated to the United States under various conditions (some came b/c of war back home, others wanted a new experiences, etc.).

    We obviously cannot answer this question definitively, but I would like people's thoughts on the matter regardless. Responding with "we can never really know", "there's just too many factors to come up with an answer" or similarly defeatist answers is not welcomed in this thread. This is a thought experiment, not a dissertation defense.

    So, again, given the narratives you use to explain racial inequality, your perceptions of black Americans and other factors, where do you think that the black population in the United States would be if their ancestors had never been enslaved?* Would they have the same employment, education, crime and other rates as White Americans? Would they be in the same position they are in now?

    *Note : I realize that not every black American in the United States is a descendant of slaves. This question addresses the ones that are. I hope that takes care of all the red herrings.
    The blacks who were originally sold into slavery in the US were already in slavery somewhere else. Slavery, as repugnant as it is was not invented in the US. If not for slavery starting out as an accepted practice in the US, blacks would have emigrated here for a better life like most other legal immigrants. There would likely be a lot less poverty in the black community.

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