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  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member Pete's Avatar
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    Scots and the the transatlantic slave trade.

    Watched a documentary about this recently and it makes you think twice about our landscape and culture. It was pretty uncomfortable viewing.

    The involvement is something we simply havenít faced up to and batted away with ďIt wisnae us, it was EnglandĒ. One theory behind this is thatís itís harder to portray yourself as the victim (one thing Scotland does in relation to England) when you have a history of being an oppressor.

    Our wealth and industrial development was built on the suffering of others so do we owe countries like Jamaica anything? If so is it something financial or maybe stronger economic/cultural ties?

    Is it not our responsibility any more?


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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    Watched a documentary about this recently and it makes you think twice about our landscape and culture. It was pretty uncomfortable viewing.

    The involvement is something we simply havenít faced up to and batted away with ďIt wisnae us, it was EnglandĒ. One theory behind this is thatís itís harder to portray yourself as the victim (one thing Scotland does in relation to England) when you have a history of being an oppressor.

    Our wealth and industrial development was built on the suffering of others so do we owe countries like Jamaica anything? If so is it something financial or maybe stronger economic/cultural ties?

    Is it not our responsibility any more?
    Was this the documentary?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qt6hp

    You just need to look at many of the street names around central Glasgow and Edinburgh to see how connected Scotland's wealth was to the slave trade. I'm sure I read recently that the construction of the Glasgow University campus was supported by slave trade funds which would equate to over £100 million today.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by G B Young View Post
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    Was this the documentary?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qt6hp

    You just need to look at many of the street names around central Glasgow and Edinburgh to see how connected Scotland's wealth was to the slave trade. I'm sure I read recently that the construction of the Glasgow University campus was supported by slave trade funds which would equate to over £100 million today.
    I thought the stories of the Glasgow "tobacco lords" and indeed Edinburgh's own Viscount Melville (on top of the column in St Andrew Square) who fought against abolition, were pretty well known?

  5. #4
    Who owned the slave boats?

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Iím sure the statue in St. Andrews Square is of someone who was involved in the slave trade.
    On the wider subject I donít really see it as an issue for todayís generation. You canít hold the current generation responsible or make them feel guilty for the sins of previous generations. I understand politicians making apologies on behalf of previous regimes, but thatís as far as it goes. I wasnít aware that there were Scottish people who blamed England for the slave trade as thatís blatantly not true.

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  7. #6
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Iím sure the statue in St. Andrews Square is of someone who was involved in the slave trade.
    On the wider subject I donít really see it as an issue for todayís generation. You canít hold the current generation responsible or make them feel guilty for the sins of previous generations. I understand politicians making apologies on behalf of previous regimes, but thatís as far as it goes. I wasnít aware that there were Scottish people who blamed England for the slave trade as thatís blatantly not true.
    I agree with this.

    The human race has a pretty horrendous history of violence and brutality towards each other. I don't know how much guilt we should really feel about what our ancestors did a long time ago, and don't see what benefit can be derived from fighting battles from the past.

    What we must do is learn from and acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and ensure they are not repeated. This could be in relation to the historical slave trade, language surrounding wars, conflict and immigration and many other subjects.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    Watched a documentary about this recently and it makes you think twice about our landscape and culture. It was pretty uncomfortable viewing.

    The involvement is something we simply havenít faced up to and batted away with ďIt wisnae us, it was EnglandĒ. One theory behind this is thatís itís harder to portray yourself as the victim (one thing Scotland does in relation to England) when you have a history of being an oppressor.

    Our wealth and industrial development was built on the suffering of others so do we owe countries like Jamaica anything? If so is it something financial or maybe stronger economic/cultural ties?

    Is it not our responsibility any more?
    I can honestly say ive never heard of anyone blame the English for the slave trade and deny any Scots involvement I remember doing a fair bit on it at school, and nothing was sugar coated in regards to the Scot, English etc being involved . I think most, if not all, European countries at the time were involved in the slave trade. (and many non European countries)

    As for it being our responsibility to do something, what exactly do you mean? its been over 200 years since it was rightly abolished (At least officially by the ACTS being passed) why should kids or people be forced to show any kind of remorse for things that happend so long ago that no one alive will even have known anyone who was alive when these acts were passed. Of course its not OUR responsibility anymore.

  9. #8
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Iím sure the statue in St. Andrews Square is of someone who was involved in the slave trade.
    On the wider subject I donít really see it as an issue for todayís generation. You canít hold the current generation responsible or make them feel guilty for the sins of previous generations. I understand politicians making apologies on behalf of previous regimes, but thatís as far as it goes. I wasnít aware that there were Scottish people who blamed England for the slave trade as thatís blatantly not true.
    100% in agreement with this. I wouldn't give a seconds thought to blaming the people of Germany of today with what went on in the 30/40s in their country.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Iím sure the statue in St. Andrews Square is of someone who was involved in the slave trade.
    On the wider subject I donít really see it as an issue for todayís generation. You canít hold the current generation responsible or make them feel guilty for the sins of previous generations. I understand politicians making apologies on behalf of previous regimes, but thatís as far as it goes. I wasnít aware that there were Scottish people who blamed England for the slave trade as thatís blatantly not true.
    Agree - horrible history, but you cant judge us by the moral borms and standards of 200+ years ago.

  11. #10
    @hibs.net private member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G B Young View Post
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    Was this the documentary?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qt6hp

    You just need to look at many of the street names around central Glasgow and Edinburgh to see how connected Scotland's wealth was to the slave trade. I'm sure I read recently that the construction of the Glasgow University campus was supported by slave trade funds which would equate to over £100 million today.


    Yes, thatís the one.

  12. #11

    Scots and the the transatlantic slave trade

    Pretty sure the slave trade was highly profitable. Not much in the way of administration, receivership, liquidation, etc, so absolutely no need for a title like that.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    Agree - horrible history, but you cant judge us by the moral borms and standards of 200+ years ago.
    True, but maybe easier to say when you werenít the one acted upon?

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibee87 View Post
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    I can honestly say ive never heard of anyone blame the English for the slave trade and deny any Scots involvement I remember doing a fair bit on it at school, and nothing was sugar coated in regards to the Scot, English etc being involved . I think most, if not all, European countries at the time were involved in the slave trade. (and many non European countries)

    As for it being our responsibility to do something, what exactly do you mean? its been over 200 years since it was rightly abolished (At least officially by the ACTS being passed) why should kids or people be forced to show any kind of remorse for things that happend so long ago that no one alive will even have known anyone who was alive when these acts were passed. Of course its not OUR responsibility anymore.
    The documentary suggested otherwise. The general stance that was taken nationally was to point to places like Bristol and Liverpool and suggest their direct involvement was a lot heavier than ours...while concentrating on our role in the abolition side of things. Collective amnesia was a term used, with very little of our prosperity and growth on the back of the slave trade being mentioned in educational establishments or literature. If it's taught in schools nowadays then that's quite refreshing but I wonder how Scotland is portrayed in relation to other countries who, even though they owned a larger proportion of slave ships, probably benefited to a similar degree and were no more brutal than we were.

    I also don't believe "responsibility" is as black and white as people are making out. Of course we have nothing to do personally with these actions and wouldn't dream of behaving like that. I'd like to think that as a society, we've evolved that much that even suggesting that the slave trade could teach us any lessons is insulting.
    It's just when you consider the magnitude of the involvement, I'm not really comfortable simply washing my hands and saying "nothing to do with me". Not only did the profits of slavery fund our industrial revolution, it built a lot of the infrastructure we benefit from today. The tentacles are everywhere and maybe we should ask ourselves how we would be living if we didn't have this source of funding.
    You could also look at the countries and people on the other side of the coin in the Carribean, make comparisons and ask what the lasting economic and cultural legacies are.

    Personally, I would be in favour of us at least recognising our role in this. By that, I don't mean financial settlement, admitting blame in any way or apologising, I mean forging strong, fiendly links with countries and people who would probably be better off right now (on several levels) if we hadn't been involved. Maybe something really positive could come out of it and I'm sure they, as very proud people, would appreciate it.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    True, but maybe easier to say when you werenít the one acted upon?
    True, but nobody alive today was either.

    Im sure we could all go back in our families and find historic injustices committed against them. Im not sure what difference it would make though, they happened, we hopefully learn from them and dont repeat them.

  16. #15
    @hibs.net private member ronaldo7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    I thought the stories of the Glasgow "tobacco lords" and indeed Edinburgh's own Viscount Melville (on top of the column in St Andrew Square) who fought against abolition, were pretty well known?
    Ah, Henry Dundas, Lofty hero, or Lowlife crook.

    https://historycompany.co.uk/2014/08...lowlife-crook/


    SCOTLAND CAN.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
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    The documentary suggested otherwise. The general stance that was taken nationally was to point to places like Bristol and Liverpool and suggest their direct involvement was a lot heavier than ours...while concentrating on our role in the abolition side of things. Collective amnesia was a term used, with very little of our prosperity and growth on the back of the slave trade being mentioned in educational establishments or literature. If it's taught in schools nowadays then that's quite refreshing but I wonder how Scotland is portrayed in relation to other countries who, even though they owned a larger proportion of slave ships, probably benefited to a similar degree and were no more brutal than we were.

    I also don't believe "responsibility" is as black and white as people are making out. Of course we have nothing to do personally with these actions and wouldn't dream of behaving like that. I'd like to think that as a society, we've evolved that much that even suggesting that the slave trade could teach us any lessons is insulting.
    It's just when you consider the magnitude of the involvement, I'm not really comfortable simply washing my hands and saying "nothing to do with me". Not only did the profits of slavery fund our industrial revolution, it built a lot of the infrastructure we benefit from today. The tentacles are everywhere and maybe we should ask ourselves how we would be living if we didn't have this source of funding.
    You could also look at the countries and people on the other side of the coin in the Carribean, make comparisons and ask what the lasting economic and cultural legacies are.

    Personally, I would be in favour of us at least recognising our role in this. By that, I don't mean financial settlement, admitting blame in any way or apologising, I mean forging strong, fiendly links with countries and people who would probably be better off right now (on several levels) if we hadn't been involved. Maybe something really positive could come out of it and I'm sure they, as very proud people, would appreciate it.
    Would we be welcomed by these countries to form ties and trade links? It would have to be something that was done with real benefit in mind rather than a token gesture to relieve our collective consciousness.

    I'm not so sure it would be welcomed by the people most affected as they would stand to gain the least. Ie the poor and impoverished in these countries.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthsideHarp_Bhoy View Post
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    True, but nobody alive today was either.

    Im sure we could all go back in our families and find historic injustices committed against them. Im not sure what difference it would make though, they happened, we hopefully learn from them and dont repeat them.
    👍👍

  19. #18
    Coaching Staff NAE NOOKIE's Avatar
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    I cant really get involved in all the hand wringing and hair shirt wearing when it comes to this subject. In Arabia and Africa slave trading and enslavement was an old story long before the Europeans arrived and in the early days of the European slave trade at least, slaves transported to the Caribbean and Americas were sold to the European slavers by Arab and African slave traders.

    The difference I suppose is that Europe and the Americans industrialised the slave trade Ö they did not invent the practice, what they did was make it more and more profitable, including for the Africans and Arabians involved in the trade, and as a result far more prevalent.

    So yes, I agree ( obviously ) that there is no pride to be had in Scotland's part in the slave trade, but as others have said the people involved were products of their time and that time was so many generations ago that an acknowledgment of our part in it accompanied by some sort of formal apology is not an unreasonable thing to ask for.

    That's where it begins and ends.

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