The past is a foreign country

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Should we apologise for the Slave Trade?



There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether the city of Bristol should apologise for the part that it played in the Slave Trade. Bristol, along with Liverpool and London were the main ports involved and many of the houses and industries that developed were funded on the enormous profits made in the Slave Trade.

It is estimated that over 2 million people in Britain had jobs that were directly related to Slavery and many banks came into existance as a result, including Barclays and Midland (now HSBC).

In an article in the Observer newspaper (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1769448,00.html) last weekend, Amelia Hill wrote

No official representative for Bristol has ever formally apologised for the fact that, from 1698 to 1807, when trading in slaves from Africa was outlawed, 2,114 ships set sail from Bristol to Africa and then on to plantations in the Americas, carrying over half a million slaves.

There was a debate in Bristol, which you can see in the picture above, and the audience were asked to vote (you can find the result here: http://www.empiremuseum.co.uk/aboutus/relationalnews.htm#debate)

Compton Boys - you have to post up your thoughts about the following:

1) Do you think the people of Britain today should make an apology for our country being involved in the Slave Trade - Yes or No
2) Give a reason for your answer (try to give as much detail as possible)


16 Comments:

  • At 12:03 PM, Blogger compton20 said…

    yes and no because people used to kidnapp there own kind just to get a bit of money we will have to aologise for that but then again if there were no such thing as black people being slaves heros like sojourner truth would not have helped the women elect becuse she will still be in africa becuse ther were no slaves to go to america

     
  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger compton16 said…

    yes we should because how could people do that to people and be racist by making only black people do it it was unfair why not make white people do it. they are human beings like us and should be treated with equal rights.

     
  • At 4:50 AM, Blogger compton10 said…

    I BELIEVE WE SHOULD BEACAUSE OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF BLACK PEOPLE TO THIS DAY. ALSO THE WAY THEY WERE KEPT IN SUCH BAD CONDITIONS. I BELIEVE WE SHOULD APOLIGES AS IT WAS A RACIST ACT WHICH IS NOT TOLERATED AT THIS PRESENT TIME

     
  • At 4:50 AM, Blogger compton10 said…

    I BELIEVE WE SHOULD BEACAUSE OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF BLACK PEOPLE TO THIS DAY. ALSO THE WAY THEY WERE KEPT IN SUCH BAD CONDITIONS. I BELIEVE WE SHOULD APOLIGES AS IT WAS A RACIST ACT WHICH IS NOT TOLERATED AT THIS PRESENT TIME

     
  • At 4:51 AM, Blogger compton13 said…

    I believe that we should apoligise for the trade because we took a big part in it. if we dont people think that we are racist and would be willing to carry it on.

     
  • At 4:52 AM, Blogger compton19 said…

    Yes, because the way black people were treated in those days was very heartless and unfair because all people should be treated the same way, so if black people had to do it, white people should have done it is well cause as much of this world is white peoples is the same to blacks and other coloured people.

     
  • At 4:56 AM, Blogger compton7 said…

    no, because during the historic timeline we were all slaves at 1 point. every race, religion and culture. we should try and forget this and live as 1 happy family.

     
  • At 4:57 AM, Blogger compton19 said…

    Yes, because black people were treated unfairly cos at the end of the everyone is equal.

     
  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger compton14 said…

    I think we should say sorry for the atlantic slave trade, because we had no right to take the africans from thir home country and sell them for slaves

     
  • At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. The people of Bristol today have no responsibility for what their ancestors did. It is like saying the Government should apologise for hanging and capital punishment once having been legal, or a school having to apologise for using the cane on its pupils in the nineteenth century. The past is past, let us understand it and move on.

     
  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No I don't think the city of Bristol should apologise. Slavery needs to be seen in the context of the time. People in England were worked as slaves in factories and had to endure similar treatment. Furthermore, it is pointless to apologise for other peoples crimes.

     
  • At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We should apologize for the slave trade because of the barbaric treatment of the poor Africans, but we should apologize as a whole country, not just Bristol. However, this raises more questions. The Romans took people as slaves, so should Italy apologize? And really, many countries in the world had slaves. We are all guilty in some way. Apologizing for the slave trade is important, but it won't actually do anything. The people who died because of the slave trade won't come back to life. The slaves were treated this way, and that's that. It's cruel, and inhumane, but thankfully it's over now. We need to concentrate on the problems in the world today, and forget the past. The past is over.

     
  • At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Nick Cliffe said…

    What r u guys talkin about? NO! we shouldn't apologise, we didn't keep slaves, racist (ignorant) people in the past kept and used slaves. We should celebrate the abolition and show the people how time has changed humanity, slaves have been kept for thousands of years and because of British outlaw it now happens nowhere in the world (legally) unless you class the hierarchical dominance over the working class using fear, debt and taxes as slavery then perhaps somebody owes you an apology?! Ever thunk bout that? ;)
    The working class people of this country, are not the same
    of the people of the past nor the people of the present

    We made this country great, not kings.

     
  • At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Nick Cliffe said…

    What r u guys talkin about? NO! we shouldn't apologise, we didn't keep slaves, racist (ignorant) people in the past kept and used slaves. We should celebrate the abolition and show the people how time has changed humanity, slaves have been kept for thousands of years and because of British outlaw it now happens nowhere in the world (legally) unless you class the hierarchical dominance over the working class using fear, debt and taxes as slavery then perhaps somebody owes you an apology?! Ever thunk bout that? ;)
    The working class people of this country, are not the same
    of the people of the past nor the people of the present

    We made this country great, not kings.

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Having been educated at three Bristol schools which were directly funded by a slave trader, I would very much like to apologise for the slave trade to the descendants of slaves today. It doesn't matter to me that me or my ascendents were not directly involved: I have profited from slavery by living in a country made wealthy (in part at least) by slavery and I hope an apology, or ongoing multiple apologies, can go some small way towards healing the terrible harm caused by this sickeningly long period in which people were dehumanised and tortured. Does anyone know of a forum where it is possible to make personal apologies?

     
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