Thursday, September 27, 2007

Michael Medved: Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery

Once again, in doing some of my volunteer work for The Victory Caucus, I came across an interesting article unrelated to that cause. Being a bit of a history buff, Six inconvenient truths about the U.S. and slavery by Michael Medved [caught my eye]. I'd had a conversation a while back with my dad (now a high school history teacher) about slavery in The New World, and how many have distorted views of who were the worst offenders when it came to trafficking in African slaves. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here are Medved's bullet points:

  1. Slavery was an ancient and universal institution, not a distinctively American innovation.
  2. Slavery existed only briefly, and in limited locales, in the history of the republic – involveing only a tiny percentage of the ancestors of today's Americans.
  3. Though brutal, slavery wasn't genocidal: live slaves were valuable but dead captives brought no profit.
  4. It’s not true that the U.S. became a wealthy nation through the abuse of slave labor: the most prosperous states in the country were those that first freed their slaves.
  5. While America deserces no unique blame for the existence of slavery, the United States merits special credit for its rapid abolition.
  6. There is no reason to believe that today's African-Americans would be better off if their ancestors had remained behind in Africa.

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