Next Page: 10000


Robert Zenhausern posted a discussion

Robert Zenhausern posted a discussion

Education 21. Education for the 21st Century

 Your Name and Title: Robert Zenhausern, CEO School or Organization Name: The Enabling Support Foundation Co-Presenter Name(s): Area of the World from Which You Will Present:  United States and sub-Sahara Africa. Language in Which You Will Present: English Target Audience(s): Teachers of Early Childhood Development Short Session Description (one line): Education 21 is a paradigm shift in Education from the 19th Century into the 21st Century which expects to achieve SDG 4 within 5 years. Full Session Description (as long as you would like): Education 21.  Education for the 21st Century Our goal is not to fix education, but to rebuild it from the start.  A Paradigm Shift. We do not want to bring technology into the classroom.  We want the classroom to join the 21st Century.  Our program, Education 21, emerges from three simple and logical changes.  Each is a unique solution, and an unexpected challenge to well entrenched dogma.The Three Changes.Standardized Testing versus Authentic AssessmentIn place of “teach, memorize, test”, we use Project Based Learning and Authentic Assessment.In Project Based Learning the student does not memorize material but must know where to find specific information.  How well can the student integrate this information and complete a task.  Authentic Assessment evaluates the project as Inadequate, Adequate, or Superior. Replace arithmetic with estimation. In the 19th Century arithmetic was indeed the “gateway” to the sciences and higher mathematics.  Since the advent of calculators, that is no longer the case.  Arithmetic is a linear rote process with a single answer.  Estimation is unbounded and more conceptual.  It is a practical skill in cases where close is good enough.  We want to explore the limits of estimation, and its use as the fundamental calculator.  For those cases where the exact answer is required the spreadsheet becomes a STEM platform it.Subitizing is typically seen as an early childhood skill that is supplanted by counting.  But we plan to explore subitizing as a lifelong skill.  Examples:A painter looks at a room and decides how many cans of paint he will need.  A homeowner wants to build a stone wall and has to decide how many truckloads of stone are needed.  Do architects subitize? All this happens without “teaching”.  Can we enhance the subitizing skill?  Reading.A baby understands the meaning of the spoken word even before speech, but it takes 5 years for the child to understand the meaning of the same word in written form.  That is an absurdity that is accepted without question.Reading is a skill that suffers from a self-inflicted wound.  The purpose of reading is to develop a connection between text and meaning.  From the start we have decided that, because English is a semi-phonetic language, reading should be taught by phonics.That is an epic blunder for two reasons.  The first is that it postpones reading by 5 years, while the child learns phonetic decoding.And second, tragically,  it is effective for only 80% of readers.  The rest are called dyslexic with the heartache and expense that entails.How different speech!  Children learn to speak and understand the spoken word as part of maturation.  Why not reading?  Show the printed word at the same time as the spoken word, and the child will understand both.  Early Reading is a form of speed reading – reading for comprehension, not speech.The Peace Flame networkThe Enabling Support Foundation is a US based 501c(3) nonprofit that provides online support to grassroots African organizations involved with human development and enrichment.  ESF exists only in the Cloud and encourages online and on ground activity by productive organizations.  ESF has created Peace Flame, a network of those organization based on an Office 365 infrastructure.  ESF has strong connections within both LinkedIn and WhatsApp.The Birth of Early ReadingESF was founded in 1994 as an organization that provided technology and Internet access to persons with disabilities, and later education.  Our Mission was to bring Education into the 21st Century, as first outlined in 1990, evolving with the changes in technology.Reading was the first step.  In May 2017 educators from Kenya and Uganda met at Miridians Nursery School near Kampala.  One outcome of the conference was proof of concept study at 9 sites in both countries.  We found and nursery school children learned to read three sentence paragraphs in the 4 months of the study.  As a result, we have reached our first milestone.  Children are starting primary school already reading and writing.  We are now developing the primary grade curricula to take advantage of the instructional time saved by Early Reading.Early Reading has virtually eliminated dyslexia and spelling is much less of an issue.Early Reading has recently added sites in Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Pakistan.We also have a cultural program and we are collecting children’s art for exhibition.  You can see a preview now, but the site is still under construction.  Websites / URLs Associated with Your More


Building A Genuinely Competitive And Efficient Local Business Sector Should Be The Government Of Sierra Leone’s Priority. Here’s Why:


In a recent article, Africa was described as the ‘last bastion of anti-competitive business practices’. At the rate that Sierra Leone is going, we will be [...]

The post Building A Genuinely Competitive And Efficient Local Business Sector Should Be The Government Of Sierra Leone’s Priority. Here’s Why: appeared first on


Facts on Geography.


Geography discovery continued for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks saw the poet Homer as the founder of geography, but geography existed long before Homer was born. Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. These forms of literature or pieces of prose dealt with a large amount of geographical information. Homer believed that the world was circular ringed by a single massive ocean. The works show that the Greeks by the 8th century B.C. knew a great deal about their surroundings (including the eastern Mediterranean). The poems contained a large number of place names and descriptions. Many of these names are uncertain about their real locations. Thales of Miletus was one of the first known philosophers to have wondered about the shape of the world. He said that the world was based on water, and that all things grew out of it.  He also mentioned that many of the astronomical and mathematical rules that would allow geography to be studied scientifically. His successor was Anaximander. Anaximander was the first person to have attempted to create a scale map of the known world to the Greeks and to have introduced the gnomon to Ancient Greece. Hecataeus of Miletus created a different form of geography. He didn't deal with the mathematical calculations of Thales and Anaximander. He learned about the world by getting previous works and speaking to the sailors who came through the busy port of Miletus. From these accounts, Hecataeus created a detailed prose account about his region. Herodotus’ Histories is a work of history. It showed geographic descriptions of Egypt, Scythia, Persia, and Asia Minor. It also mentioned India. There is a description of Africa. He said that the land was surrounded by a sea. Regardless, Herodotus made important observations about geography. He is the first to have noted the process by which large rivers, such as the Nile, build up deltas, and he is also the first recorded as observing that winds tend to blow from colder regions to warmer ones.

Pythagoras was perhaps the first to propose a spherical world, arguing that the sphere was the most perfect form. This idea was embraced by Plato and Aristotle presented empirical evidence to verify this. He noted that the Earth's shadow during an eclipse is curved, and also that stars increase in height as one moves north. Eudoxus of Cnidus used the idea of a sphere to explain how the sun created differing climatic zones based on latitude. This led the Greeks to believe in a division of the world into five regions. At each of the poles was an uncharitably cold region. While extrapolating from the heat of the Sahara it was deduced that the area around the equator was unbearably hot. Between these extreme regions both the northern and southern hemispheres had a temperate belt suitable for human habitation. The Hellenistic period saw more geographical researchers. Hanno the Navigator came into Sierra Leone in Africa. Other Phoenicians possibly circumnavigated Africa. This was during the 4th century B.C. when the Greek explorer Pytheas traveled into northeast Europe and circles the British Isles.  He found many more people in those lands than expected. There were Julius Caesar’s invasions of Britain and Germany. Augustus had expeditions to Arabia Felix and Ethiopia (or Nubia). Alexander the Great traveled as far as Iran and India with his army. Many geographers and writers were with him to observe what they saw.
The ancient Greeks divided the world into three continents, Europe, Asia, and Libya (Africa). The Hellespont formed the border between Europe and Asia.

The border between Asia and Libya was generally considered to be the Nile River, but some geographers, such as Herodotus objected to this. Herodotus argued that there was no difference between the people on the east and west sides of the Nile, and that the Red Sea was a better border. The relatively narrow habitable band was considered to run from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to an unknown sea somewhere east of India in the east. The southern portion of Africa was unknown (to the ancient Greeks), as was the northern portion of Europe and Asia, so it was believed that they were circled by a sea. The ancient Greeks tried to find the size of the Earth. Eratosthenes tried to calculate the Earth’s circumference by measuring the angle of the sun at two different locations. His numbers were problematic, but most of the errors cancelled themselves out. He got an accurate figure. Since the distance from the Atlantic to India was roughly known, this raised the important question of what was in the vast region east of Asia and to the west of Europe. Crates of Mallus proposed that there were in fact four inhabitable land masses, two in each hemisphere. In Rome a large globe was created depicting this world. That some of the figures Eratosthenes had used in his calculation were considerably in error became known, and Posidonius set out to get a more accurate measurement. This number actually was considerably smaller than the real one, but it became accepted that the eastern part of Asia was not a huge distance from Europe. Many Roman geographers did their own research. Strabo had works on geography. Ptolemy did his own research. By the time of 90-168 A.D, the Silk Road was in existence. Ptolemy’s Geographia helped to open up the human understanding of the nature of geography. The ancient Romans used maps, transportation, and triangulation to develop research in geography. They had land surveyors, cartographic research, engineering surveyors, and military surveyors. Around 400 A.D., a scroll map called the Peutinger Table was made of the known world to the ancient Romans, featuring the Roman road network. Besides the Roman Empire which at that time spanned from Britain to the Middle East and Africa, the map includes India, Sri Lanka and China. Cities are demarcated using hundreds of symbols. It measures 1.12 ft. high and 22.15 ft. long. The tools and principles of geography used by the Romans would be closely followed with little practical improvement for the next 700 years.

Ancient Indian geographers had their own theories on the origin of the Earth. Some of them believed that the Earth was formed by the solidification of gaseous matter and the earth’s crust is made of hard rocks (sila), clay (bhuih), and sand (asma). Theories were also propounded to explain earthquakes (bhukamp), and it was assumed that earth, air and water combined to cause earthquakes. The Arthashastra, a compendium by Kautilya (also known as Chanakya) contains a range of geographical and statistical information about the various regions of India. The composers of the Puranas divided the known world into seven continents of dwipas, Jambu Dwipa, Krauncha Dwipa, Kusha Dwipa, Plaksha Dwipa, Pushkara Dwipa, Shaka Dwipa and Shalmali Dwipa. Descriptions were provided for the climate and geography of each of the dwipas. The Vishnudharmottara Purana (compiled between 300–350 AD) contains six chapters on physical and human geography. It describes peoples, places, and seasons. Varahamihira's Brihat-Samhita gave a thorough treatment of planetary movements, rainfall, clouds and the formation of water. The mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata gave a precise estimate of the earth's circumference in his treatise Āryabhaṭīya. Aryabhata accurately calculated the Earth's circumference as 24,835 miles, which was only 0.2% smaller than the actual value of 24,902 miles. The Mughal chronicles Tuzuk-i-Jehangiri, Ain-i-Akbari and Dastur-ul-aml contained detailed geographical narratives. These were based on the earlier geographical works of India and the advances made by medieval Muslim geographers, particularly the work of Alberuni. 

Ancient Chinese geographers were abundant back then. They existed in the 5th century B.C. during the start of the Warring States period (481 B.C. – 221 B.C.). There was the work called the Yu Gong ('Tribute of Yu') chapter of the Shu Jing or Book of Documents, which describes the traditional nine provinces of ancient China, their kinds of soil, their characteristic products and economic goods, their tributary goods, their trades and vocations, their state revenues and agricultural systems, and the various rivers and lakes listed and placed accordingly. The nine provinces at the time of this geographical work were relativity small in size compared to those of modern China. The book described areas of the Yellow River (including the lower valleys of the Yangtze and the plain between them as well as the Shandong peninsula. It shows area of the west and the most northern parts of the Wei and Han Rivers along the southern parts of modern day Shanxi province). The state of Zin by the 4th century B.C. had many maps. The writings of cartographer Pei Xiu (224-271) referred to thew geometric grid and mathematically graduated scale to a map. Chinese historical texts have a geographical section. The ancient Chinese historian Ban Gu (32–92) most likely started the trend of the gazetteer in China, which became prominent in the Northern and Southern dynasties period and Sui dynasty. Local gazetteers would feature a wealth of geographic information, although its cartographic aspects were not as highly professional as the maps created by professional cartographers. Maps developed by the actions of Liu An and his associate Zuo Wu. Geographic literature became more complex with the existence of the Song dynasty (60-1279) and the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The Song dynasty poet, scholar, and government official Fan Chengda (1126–1193) wrote the geographical treatise known as the Gui Hai Yu Heng Chi. It focused primarily on the topography of the land, along with the agricultural, economic and commercial products of each region in China's southern provinces. The polymath Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031–1095) devoted a significant amount of his written work to geography, as well as a hypothesis of land formation (geomorphology) due to the evidence of marine fossils found far inland, along with bamboo fossils found underground in a region far from where bamboo was suitable to grow.

Chinese researchers discovered geographic areas outside of China. The traveler Zhang Qian (from the 2nd century B.C.) wrote about civilizations in the Middle East, India, and Central Asia. By the Tang dynasty (618-907), the Chinese diplomat Wang Xuance came into northeastern India in a place called Magadha. He wrote about India in his 7th century book Zhang Tian-zhu Guo Tu (the Illustrated Accounts of Central India). It had geographic information. Jia Dan (730-805) wrote about Iran and the Persian Gulf. Byzantine scholars wrote about geography like Stephanus of Byzantium (in the 6th century) called Ethnica. Muslims of Arabic and Persian descent were geographers too. Jābir ibn Hayyān (Geber or Jabir) (721– c. 815) wrote extensively on many subjects, expanded on the wisdom of the Greek classics and engaged in experimentation in natural science. It is unclear whether he was Persian or Syrian.

In mathematical geography, Persian Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, around 1025, was the first to describe a polar equi-azimuthal equidistant projection of the celestial sphere. He was also regarded as the most skilled when it came to mapping cities and measuring the distances between them, which he did for many cities in the Middle East and western Indian subcontinent. He combined astronomical readings and mathematical equations to record degrees of latitude and longitude and to measure the heights of mountains and depths of valleys, recorded in The Chronology of the Ancient Nations. He discussed human geography and the planetary habitability of the Earth, suggesting that roughly a quarter of the Earth's surface is habitable by humans. He solved a complex geodesic equation in order to accurately compute the Earth's circumference. His estimate of 6,339.9 km for the Earth radius was only 16.8 km less than the modern value of 6,356.7 km. By Medieval times, Marco Polo came into China. Many European explorers like Henry the Navigator of Portugal traveled into the African coast and studied geographic information. The Columbian exchange, the evil slave trade, and other events of colonialism continued to exist by the late Middle Ages to the early Modern Age. Geographic studies evolved from the time of the Scientific Revolution and the Reformation. The problem with some European geographic scholars back then was that many of them had Eurocentric biases that made them ignore non-European methods in studying geography. Alexander von Humboldt studied geography all of the time. The National Geographic Society was founded in the United States in 1888 and began publication of the National Geographic magazine which became and continues to be a great popularizer of geographic information. The society has long supported geographic research and education. By the 20th century, environmental determinism, regional geography, the quantitative revolution, and critical geography existed. Now, the study of geography has been grown by advanced technology, research, study, and other aspects of our human experiences.

By Timothy



Politically incorrect anthropology

I have been reading about Napoleon Chagnon for many years now.  I wrote about his findings as early as 2003. So I was pleased to see a recent comprehensive summary of his work in Quillette

As I learned myself by working in two academic departments that covered anthropology, anthropologists are the most Lefist discipline in the social sciences -- and that is saying something.  Chagnon, however, was simply interested in reality and was one of the most committed anthropologists ever.  He spent years living among the people he described -- under conditions that few modern men could endure. So he knew what he was talking about.  Below is a brief excerpt from the Quillette article.  As you can see, his findings went right against the old Leftist claim that man was naturally good and kind but had been corrupted by modern civilization:

In 1966, Chagnon began working with the geneticist James Neel. Neel had had managed to convince the Atomic Energy Commission to fund a genetic study of an isolated population and was able to pay Chagnon a salary to assist his research there. Neel’s team took blood samples from the Yanomamö, and began administering the Edmonston B vaccine when they discovered that the Yanomamö had no antibodies to the measles. In some ways, the Yanomamö sounded like something out of any anthropology textbook—they were patrilineal and polygamous (polygyny); like other cultures around the world, they carved a position for the levirate—a man who married his dead brother’s wife; they had ceremonial roles and practised ritual confinement with taboos on food and sex. But sometimes this exotic veneer would be punctured by their shared humanity, particularly their mischievous sense of humour.

But for all their jocularity, Chagnon found that up to 30 percent of all Yanomamö males died a violent death. Warfare and violence were common, and duelling was a ritual practice, in which two men would take turns flogging each other over the head with a club, until one of the combatants succumbed. Chagnon was adamant that the primary causes of violence among the Yanomamö were revenge killings and women. The latter may not seem surprising to anyone aware of the ubiquity of ruthless male sexual competition in the animal kingdom, but anthropologists generally believed that human violence found its genesis in more immediate matters, such as disputes over resources. When Chagnon asked the Yanomamö shaman Dedeheiwa t0 explain the cause of violence, he replied, “Don’t ask such stupid questions! Women! Women! Women! Women! Women!” Such fights erupted over sexual jealousy, sexual impropriety, rape, and attempts at seduction, kidnap and failure to deliver a promised girl.

Internecine raids and attacks often involved attempts by a man or group to abduct another’s women. “The victim is grabbed by her abductors by one arm, and her protectors grab the other arm. Then both groups pull in opposite directions,” Chagnon learned. In one instance, a woman’s arms were reportedly pulled out of their sockets: “The victim invariably screams in agony, and the struggle can last several long minutes until one group takes control of her.” Although one in five Yanomamö women Chagnon interviewed had been kidnapped from another village, some of these women were grateful to find that their new husbands were less cruel than their former ones. The treatment of Yanomamö women could be particularly gruesome, and Chagnon had to wrestle with the ethical dilemmas that confront anthropologists under such circumstances—should he intervene or remain an observer? Men frequently beat their wives, mainly out of sexual jealousy, shot arrows into them, or even held burning sticks between their legs to discourage the possibility of infidelity. On one occasion, a man bludgeoned his wife in the head with firewood and in front of an impassive audience. “Her head bounced off the ground with each ruthless blow, as if he were pounding a soccer ball with a baseball bat. The head-man and I intervened at that point—he was killing her.” Chagnon stitched her head back up. The woman recovered but she subsequently dropped her infant into a fire as she slept, and was later killed by a venomous snake. Life in the Amazon could be nasty, brutish, and short.

Chagnon would make more than 20 fieldwork visits to the Amazon, and in 1968 he published Yanomamö: The Fierce People, which became an instant international bestseller. The book immediately ignited controversy within the field of anthropology. Although it commanded immense respect and became the most commonly taught book in introductory anthropology courses, the very subtitle of the book annoyed those anthropologists, who preferred to give their monographs titles like The Gentle Tasaday, The Gentle People, The Harmless People, The Peaceful People, Never in Anger, and The Semai: A Nonviolent People of Malaya.

The stubborn tendency within the discipline was to paint an unrealistic façade over such cultures—although 61 percent of Waorani men met a violent death, an anthropologist nevertheless described this Amazonian people as a “tribe where harmony rules,” on account of an “ethos that emphasized peacefulness.”  Anthropologists who considered such a society harmonious were unlikely to be impressed by Chagnon’s description of the Yanomamö as “The Fierce People,” where “only” 30 percent of males died by violence. The same anthropologist who had ascribed a prevailing ethos of peace to the Waoroni later accused Chagnon, in the gobbledygook of anthropological jargon, of the “projection of traditional preconceptions of the Western construction of Otherness.”


Britain looks to Australia on immigration as it seeks to 'end the free movement of people'

Britain's government says it is moving ahead with plans to adopt an Australian-style points-based immigration system.

Addressing supporters at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government is working hard to make it happen. "I have a particular responsibility when it comes to taking back control: It is to end the free movement of people once and for all," she said to rounds of applause.

"Instead we will introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system."

Immigration officials in Australia assess skilled worker visa applications awarding points for proficiency in English, work experience and age. The screening system was first rolled out in 1979 and has in the years since been adjusted to better consider the preferences of employers.

Last month, Ms Patel wrote to the Migration Advisory Committee asking it to review if Australia’s points-based migration system could work in Britain. The committee has been asked to report back by January.

Ms Patel said she believes leaving the EU will provide Britain with a "once in a lifetime opportunity" to change the country's immigration system for the better.

"One that works in the best interest of Britain. One that attracts and welcomes the brightest and the best. One that supports the brilliant scientists, the finest academics and the leading people in their fields. And one that is under the control of the British government."

Canada and New Zealand have also adopted a points-style system for skilled migration.


Adults 'fail by giving in to trans teenagers'

Adults fail in their duty to children if they just give in to the "instant gratification" demands of transgender teenagers who protest they cannot wait until 18 for irreversible sex-reassignment surgery, clinical psychologist Paul Stevenson says.

Mr Stevenson, well known for helping trauma victims after the Bali and Jakarta terror bombings of the 2000s, said psychologists should not "disenfranchise" parents of trans teens, nor "drive a wedge" between child and family. He was commenting on a submission by the Australian Psychological Society that doctors should be able to go ahead with under-16 trans surgery, with both parents opposed and no mandatory counselling for the adolescent, as long as the clinicians were "competent" in assessing the teen's capacity to make the decision.

The APS claims 24,000 members but Mr Stevenson said his breakaway body, the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc, had picked up 2000 new members in the past year, taking the total to 8000, partly because of discontent with the APS.

The AAPi appears to be the first health or medical pro-fessional body in Australia to go public with scepticism about the "child-led" affirmation approach to trans, which critics say discourages thorough investigation of a young patient's history and too readily puts them on a path to risky medical treatment, including puberty-blocker drugs, cross-sex hormones and surgery, such as mastectomy for trans boys.

Gender clinicians claim children are experts in their identity and going along with their transition is best for mental health. Mr Stevenson said the sudden decision of a teen to come out as trans brought grief and stress not just to parents but to the extended family, and for everyone's long-term interests the crucial relationship between teen and parent had to be supported.

 "Psycholo-gists are not in the business of splitting up families," he said. He said the teenage years brought rapid and confusing development, and conflict with parents. Some neuroscience studies suggested the decision-making brain might not fully mature until a person reached their 30s, making it unwise to allow teens under 18 to consent to irreversible medical treatment.

"We've got to help parents get their children through this period of time when the (teenager's) frontal lobe is 'out for renovations'," he said. "Parents are the best-placed people to get their kids through this, we shouldn't be driving wedges between them."

Some parents have reported a pattern of teenagers, typically girls, suddenly declaring trans status with scripted lines from social media about the immediate need for hormones to stop them committing suicide.

Mr Stevenson said suicidal ideas — like any other mental health issues —should be treated directly. Flinders University's Damien Riggs, co-author of the APS submission, claims it is "scientifically, incorrect" to suggest social media or peer pressure might influence a trans teenager's stated identity. He has argued that Medicare should fund a trans mastectomy just as it does for a healthy woman with a genetic risk of breast cancer.

Online forums suggest trans mastectomy costs about $10,000. Dr Riggs, who won a $694,514 federal grant to study "family diversity", is cited as an authority in the 2018 treatment standards for children and adolescents issued by the gender clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (which does no trans surgery).

Yesterday, the APS said the courts already allowed trans surgery for patients under 18. Where parents opposed it, "minors should have the right to access the opinion and guidance of suitably qualified medical professionals, including psychologists".

From "The Australian" of 4 Oct., 2019

What ‘The Times’ Got Wrong About Slavery in America

The New York Times recently drew a lot of attention for its “1619 Project” initiative, which has been criticized for misrepresenting the role of the slave trade as the central core to the development of the United States. The Times “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

The project name purportedly refers to the date the first African slaves were brought to the English colonies that later became the United States. Like much else in the Times’ version of the role of slavery in American history, even the project name is rooted in distortion. Although the institution of slavery is a stain on national history, the true story is much more complex than the Times represents, and the United States plays a role both as a country that exploited the slave trade as well as a leader in the movement to end the African slave trade, and was not the primary instigator or beneficiary of the brutal trade.

1619 was not, in fact, the date of the first African slaves in the English colonies — those Africans were brought in under indenturement contracts, not bought as slaves. They were contracted to a fixed period of labor (typically five years) to pay for the cost charged by the Dutch slavers, at which point they were freed with a payment of a start-up endowment.

Indenturement Contracts, Not Slaves

This was not unusual or limited to Africans – approximately half of the 500,000 European immigrants to the thirteen colonies prior to 1775 paid for their passage with indenturement contracts. Anthony Johnson, a black Angolan, was typical – he entered Virginia as an indentured servant in 1621, became a free man after the term of his contract, acquired land, and became among the first actual slaveholders in the colonies.

The first actual African slave in the colonies was John Punch, an indentured servant sentenced to slavery in 1640 in Virginia by the General Court of the Governor’s Council for having violated his indenturement contract by fleeing to Maryland. In 1641, the Massachusetts Assembly passed the first statutory law allowing slavery of those who were prisoners of war, sold themselves into slavery, or were sentenced to slavery by the courts, but banning it under other circumstances.

Early slavery, like indenturement contracts, was not specifically targeted at those of African descent. The Massachusetts law was primarily intended to allow slavery of captured Indians in the aftermath of King Phillip’s War. The 1705 Virginia Slave Codes, for example, declared as slaves those purchased from abroad who were not Christian. A Christian African entering the colony, for example, would not be a slave — but a captured American Indian who was not a Christian would be.

Black vs. Black

Ironically, a freed black man initiated the court case that moved slavery to a race-based institution. The Angolan immigrant Anthony Johnson was the plaintiff is a key civil case, where the Northampton Court in 1654 declared after the expiration of the indenturement contract of his African servant John Casor that Johnson owned Casor “for life,” nullifying the protections of the contract for the servant and essentially establishing the civil precedent for the enslavement of all African indentured servants by declaring that a contract for such servants extended for life, rather than the fixed term in the contract.

It was not until 1662 that the children of such slaves became legally slaves rather than free men, in a law passed in Virginia. The African slave trade itself was minor until King Charles II established the Royal African Company with a monopoly on the slave trade to the colonies. As late as 1735, the Colony of Georgia passed a law outlawing slavery, which was repealed due to a labor shortage in 1750. The boom in the import of slaves actually began around 1725, with half of all imported slaves arriving between then and the onset of the American Revolution in 1775.

Relatively speaking, the United States was a minor player in the African Slave Trade — only about 5% of the Africans imported to the New World came to the United States. Of the 10.7 million Africans who survived the ocean voyage, a mere 388,000 were shipped directly to North America. The largest recipients of imported African slaves were Brazil, Cuba. Jamaica, and the other Caribbean colonies. The lifespan of those brought into what is now the United States vastly exceeded those of the other 95%, and the United States was the only purchaser of African slaves where population grew naturally in slavery – the death rate among the rest was higher than the birth rate.

While the institution, even in the United States was a brutal violation of basic human rights, it tended on average to be far more humane than in the rest of the New World.

The World Slave Trade

The Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean African slave trade, which began by Arabs as early as the 8th Century AD, dwarfed the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and continued up to the 20th Century. Between the start of the Atlantic Slave Trade and 1900, it is estimated that the eastern-bound Arab slave traders sold over 17 million Africans into slavery in the Middle East and India, compared to about 12 million to the new world – and the Eastern-bound slave trade had been ongoing for at least 600 years at the START of that period.

The Western-bound Atlantic slave trade, contrary to the misrepresentation in “Roots,” did not involve the capture of free Africans by Europeans or Arabs, but by the trading of slaves (already a basis for the economy of the local animist or Muslim kingdoms) captured in local wars to Western merchants in exchange for Western goods. The first such slaves brought to the Western Hemisphere were brought by the Spanish to their colonies in Cuba and Hispaniola in 1501, almost a century and a half before the first slave in the English colonies that became the United States.

The last African state to outlaw slavery, Mauritania, did not do so until 2007, and if the institution is illegal on the continent de jure, it still is widespread de facto in Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Sudan, as well as parts of Ghana, Benin, Togo Gabon, Angola, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Libya, and Nigeria.

The contradictions slavery posed on the rebel colonies during the Revolution sparked a backlash against slavery and the slave trade. Colonel John Laurens, son of a large South Carolina slaveholder, noted the contradictions in 1776, stating that “I think we Americans at least in the Southern Colonies, cannot contend with a good Grace, for Liberty, until we shall have enfranchised our Slaves. How can we whose Jealousy has been alarm’d more at the Name of Oppression sometimes than at the Reality, reconcile to our spirited Assertions of the Rights of Mankind, the galling abject Slavery of our negroes. . . . If as some pretend, but I am persuaded more thro’ interest, than from Conviction, the Culture of the Ground with us cannot be carried on without African Slaves, Let us fly it as a hateful Country, and say ubi Libertas ibi Patria.”

The US Constitution Banned the Slave Trade in 1808

More shared that sentiment and the first law in the European world to outlaw the slave trade was, in fact, the US Constitution, which in 1787 banned the slave trade as of 1808. In Massachusetts, a 1783 court decision ended slavery, and all of the Northern States had passed emancipations laws by 1803. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 outlawed slavery in territories north of the Ohio River. Other countries followed suit. Denmark-Norway banned the slave trade in 1803, but not slavery until 1848. Britain passed a law abolishing the slave trade in 1807, and enforced it with the Royal Navy, and abolished slavery itself in 1833.

In 1807, Congress passed legislation making the import of slaves to the United States a federal crime, and in 1820, Congress passed the Law on Slave Trade, which went beyond the British law in declaring slavers as pirates, punishable by death instead of mere fines – and the US Navy joined the Royal Navy in active interdiction of slave ships.

Economically, the institution of slavery, rather than develop the economy of the new nation, stunted its development. Although bonded labor, whether slave or indentured servant, clearly played an important role in developing a labor force in the early colonial days, its role in the advancement of the economy in the newly established country is questionable. Gavin Wright, in his classic book The Political Economy of the Cotton South, shows in fact that slavery hindered the development of the economy in those states where it remained legal. The artisans, tradesmen, and unskilled labor pool necessary for developing a thriving, diverse economy was discouraged by competition from bonded labor, and the slave-owning class showed little interest in such an economy.

How Slavery Stalled the Economy of the New Country

Increasingly, the economy came to be dominated by cotton monoculture, boosted by the invention of the cotton gin, and the value of the capital invested in slaves. In order to maintain the value of this capital investment, demand for slave labor needed to be maintained, which led to the slaveholding states demanding the opening of new lands for slave cultivation. Wright shows that, contrary to the assertions of many modern critics who try to claim that slavery was responsible for the development of the US economy and to the mistaken belief of secessionists prior to the Civil War, cotton was not King, but rather the greatest return from slaveholding was the capital increase from the reproduction of slaves.

Without new lands to be worked by the expanding slave population, the price of slaves would fall, and the wealth of the ruling classes in the Southern states would have plummeted. Thus, issues like the Wilmot Proviso or Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to close off the expansion of lands to be worked by slaves, posed an existential threat to the wealth of the slaveholders. Meanwhile, unencumbered by the institution of slavery, those states that abolished the institution and emancipated existing slaves embraced other forms of generating wealth, including a manufacturing economy that rapidly outpaced that of the slave states. The Civil War was, in large part, won because the economy of free labor produced at rates that the economy of slave labor could not imagine. In fact, it was not until the abolishment of the Jim Crow laws preserving vestiges of the slave system that the economy of the New South truly began to take off.

While undoubtedly the issue of slavery and conflicts over its contradiction with the ideals of the new Republic shaped the political debates of the new country through the Civil War, it is going too far to assert that the slave trade and slavery were the central core of the development of the United States. Rather, it is more true to state that the ideals of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment and political beliefs shaped by the English Civil War and Glorious Revolution created an environment that exposed the immorality of slavery and established the political grounds for ending the slave trade, and eventually the institution of slavery in areas of Western European influence.

It was not a simple process, and required painful conflict to negotiate the conflicts and contradictions between the liberal ideal and the self-interest of those who owned human chattel, but ultimately rather than allow slavery to drive the growth of the nation, the new United States became a leader, along with their cousins in the Anglosphere, in the efforts to end the brutal and illiberal practice of slavery.

The New York Times does a disservice to its readers with the 1619 Project by presenting a simplistic and misleading story of the complex role that the institution of slavery played in the history of the United States, and it largely ignores the role that the underlying values of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment that undergird the new nation played in ending slavery and the slave trade.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here



Liberia: Mano River Union Establishes Transboundary Water Resources National Advisory Committee

[FrontPageAfrica] Monrovia -The Mano River Union (MRU) comprising of four West African countries including Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast have officially established a National Advisory Committee (NAC) to supervise and manage the transboundary water resources in the Moa-Makona and Cavalla water basins respectively. The decision was reached at the end of a one day stakeholders meeting held in Monrovia Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Partners as possession: a qualitative exploration of intimate partner sexual violence in Freetown, Sierra Leone - Schneider LT.

The 'gender acts' passed in 2007 and 2012, regarding intimate partner (sexual) violence though extremely progressive on paper, are starkly disconnected from the changing social landscapes, lived experiences and social codes, which govern marriages and coha...

Delhi expands strategic footprints in Western Indian Ocean Region through VP visit

Venkaiah Naidu will visit the Union of Comoros and Sierra Leone from 10-14 October.

Next Page: 10000

© Googlier LLC, 2019