Archive for October, 2018

ARTHUR PHILLIP – TRADE – THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ARTHUR & THE DEFENCE OF TRADE

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

There can be no question of right or wrong in such a case [as New Holland]. The only right is that of superiority of race, and the greater inherent capability on the part of the whites; the only real wrong on the part of the blacks their all-round inferiority and their inability to till the ground or even make use of its natural pastures. Their disappearance was a natural necessity’. James Collier, The Pastoral Age in Australasia, London, 1911. Reprint, Forgotten Books, 2018

‘The essentials of Britain’s foreign policy are bound to be basically two; trade and defence, particularly the defence of trade. There is no hard and fast line between foreign policy and other aspects of policy; domestic, economic and colonial’. C.M. Woodhouse, British Foreign Policy since WW II, 1961

As the 1600s morphed into the 1700s science progressed and maritime technology advanced exploration. Competing territorial and trade ambitions burgeoned throughout Europe, none as fierce as those between traditional enemies Britain and France.

The Treaty of Utrecht (1713) a series of agreements brought a formal end to the War of Spanish Succession (1701-14). Under its terms Britain became the largest exporter of ‘chattel’ slaves.

‘When the expanding [colonial] plantation economy demanded more labor than could be supplied by white servants, Africans were imported as slaves: that is ‘chattel’ slaves…chattel slavery, the most debased form of bondage.

In its most extreme form it evolved in British America, took form in British-American law, in response to the need for a totally reliable, totally exploitable, and infinitely recruitable labour force’. Professor Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of the British Peripheries, Esso Lecture, 1988, Canberra.

In 1772 Britain’s participation in the cruel but very profitable Atlantic Negro slave trade came under close scrutiny.

‘Lord Mansfield made his famous judgement in Somerset’s case (1772), by which slavery was declared illegal in this country‘. J.H. Plumb, England In The Eighteenth Century (1714-1815), Pelican 1965, p. 159 

Following the Mansfield decision William Wilberforce and the anti-slavery movement in general redoubled efforts to abolish all forms of human trafficking including England’s export of her convicted criminals.

Since legislation, Transportation Act of 1717[18], Britain had off-loaded to America many prisoners reprieved death on condition they be transported ‘out of the realm’.

At the rate of 1000 per year these prisoners were shipped to America and sold at regular ‘slave scrambles’. To be more precise – their labour was sold. Sex, skill, physical and mental condition determined the sale price, buyers were mainly plantation owners.

‘The factors who handled convict sales often had pre-existing customer orders that they met when convicts with the desired appropriate skills became available’. Edith M. Ziegler, Harlots, Hussies & Poor Unfortunate Women, Crime, Transportation & The Servitude of Female Convicts 1718-1783, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2014

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