Why high school students should *never* ask for help on Usenet.
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 100 01:05:37 -0800
Subject: Why high school students should *never* ask for help on Usenet.
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Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Forwarded-by: Faried Nawaz <email@example.com>
Forwarded-by: Richard Michael Todd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Alter S. Reiss" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: transatlantic african slave trade questions
On Sun, 6 Feb 2000 firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> i have a few questions to ask...
As do I, and as do we all. But I am glad you asked these
questions -- the road to enlightenment is revealed therein.
> 1. How did the transatlantic slave trade affect the native societies of
> Africa and the Americas?
The transatlantic slave trade affected the native societies of
Africa and the Americas in many ways. The tribal, family based society of
Africa suffered tremendously from the disrupting effects of the slave
trade (Aquinas, T. and Custler, 1994: _A History of African Cultural
Disruption_). Similarly, the nomadic activity patterns of Native American
cultures were torn apart by the slave trade. Many American tribes
actually used to migrate across the Bering Land Bridge to Greenland and
Russia before the slave trade took hold (Erasmus Darwin, 1975:
_Motorcross, Whiskey and Baseball: A History of the Earliest American
Peoples_). However, once the so called "triangle" trade took hold, with
slaves being purchaced from Africa for small triangular objects of various
description (an effect of the stamp tax, enacted by Britain, which had a
loophole excluding triangular and tetrahedral objects from taxation -- See
Koontz, Eco, and Eco, 1963, "Three Sides to Every Story: A History of the
Stamp Tax and Cuban Nationalism" for more details.), those migrations were
reduced greatly in scope and range, and stopped completely in the early
19th century. See Webster, Noah, 1982: _A Long, Cold Walk in the Cold_
for a description of the last crossing of that land bridge.
The transatlantic slave trade was directly responsible for that
change in migratory patterns due to the increased numbers of ships
operating under Canadian registry. Due to the "human cargo" provision of
the interstate commerce clause of the United States Consitution, only
ships operating under the Canadian flag were allowed to carry slaves into
and out of the United States. With the burgeoning slave trade, Canada's
fleet increased from three dinghies and a large sea going raft in 1812 to
nearly two hundred thousand by 1848. (See Madison, James, "The
Transformative Dialectic and Military Readiness, _The Federalist_, June
14th, 1884") In order to guard against possible Canadian agression, in
1830, president Warren G. Harding substantially increased the American
military presence in Alaska and the Aleutian islands, and authorized
construction of the "Iron Wall", blocking all traffic across the Baja
Canadian influence is also apparent in the other major change the
slave trade caused in native American culture. When President Monroe
ordered a moritorium on the slave trade in 1821, Andrew Jackson, then
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court passed legislation allowing Southern
planters to enslave Native Americans. (Carter, Lin, 1972 _"Thongor's
Get", Electoral College Press, Boston.) Canadian raiders, crossing the
border in Michigan and Oregon were primarily responsible for most of the
> 2. How are these societies and cultures like before the era of slavery,
> and identify ways in which they changed.
There were many similarities between traditional African and
Native American societies and cultures before the era of slavery. Both
depended on the plentiful herds of buffalo and gingersnaps for the
majority of their protein, supplimented by gourds of many types.
(Tennyson, Alfred: "An Ethnographic Survey of the Montanyards and Han
peoples 1320-1420" _The New Republic_ Issue 19, Vol 2. Dec, 1870). Both
African and Native American societies were primarily matriarchal, with a
council of psychically gifted elders deciding on policy for the tribe,
supporting a strong single Matriarch, often refered to as the "Killer of
Spirits", for her role as mystic protector of the tribe.
Both Native American and African cultures were highly spiritual,
with primitive revival meetings, pot luck dinners, and church organized
gaming being common in both cultures. (Chick, J. 1990, _A Plea for
Understanding: The Universality of Truth_ Agnostic Press, Manhatten.)
Native American cultures were more nature oriented, with primary dieties
being local spirits of forests, mountains, lakes, as well as small blue
skinned genii or demiurges, commonly known as "Smurumfbarurr", or "those
whose song is strangely compelling." (Chick, J. 1992, _Cross Cultural
Examinations_) African cultures tended to have simpler, iconographic
religious beliefs, as reflected in the Great Mounds of the Zambeizi,
which, when viewed from above are in the forms of gophers, other small
rodents, large checkerboards, and what appear to have been primitive
corporate logos (Denver, J. 2000, _From the Other Side: Mounds and
Slavery changed many of these facets of the various cultures.
The patriarchal, homo-erotic "Master-slave" dynamic created took hold of
the prevailing models used for societal interactions, creating such
western dominated societal structures, such as the "casino" model of local
African governance. (Buckley, William, 1962: _A Deconstruction of
Ethno-Racial Societal Patterns_ Berkley University Press.) Strong
reactions to those patterns are most evident in contemporary Native
American social structures, such as the common Native American RV gangs --
a culture stripped of internal meanings by the long reach of slavery.
(XIV, Louis, 1930 _The Interstate Commerce Clause_)
> 3. What was the long-term effect on the role of women?
Tracking any effects past the most immediate short term is
demostrably impossible, within complex systems (Chrichton, M. 1984 _Chaos
Theory ABCs: "I is for Indeterminable.") However, some basic
observations can be made. Were it not for slavery, African cultures would
have retained their vibrant matriarchal societies, eating wild Zweiback,
drinking cordials from the stem, and feasting on many a gourd. (Zepplin,
L., and Blair, W. 1984 _Hey_.)
Similarly, Native American songs still record the loss of status
of women during slavery's era. Such plaintive airs as "Oh Susanah"
(Origionally a Plains Cree song about a pair of horses and a hedgehog), or
"The Beer Barrel Polka" (One of the most famous of the Blackfoot
Cherokee's war polkas) record the lost status of tribal matriarchs and the
way fishing has gotten steadily worse.
Thank you for bringing your questions here, and I hope you will
adress any other, similar questions to this group.
Copyright (c) 2000, Alter S. Reiss.
© 2000 Peter Langston