Friday, October 18, 2013

SUN , SEA, SAND AND SCOTLAND: Our role in Empire,Slavery and Caribbean

During Glasgows Black History Month there is a growing trend to accept, repent and atone for Scotlands role in the Triangular Slave Trade , a role that is not officially recognised by the Glasgow Council or Scotlands Government.
The Official narrative is that Scotland was the first victim of English expansionism and imperialism , but more studies and dedicated searches of surviving archives at home and abroad are beginning to tell a story in which Scotland provided the Intellectual brainpower, skilled administrators, banking mechanisms, middle-managers , legal clerks , missionaries and accountants and political policies which elevated the British Empire from a large though ad-hoc international trading entity like the Spanish in the mid-millennium to the first effective International Global dominating World Industrial scale Empire influencing and directing nearly every asset of inter-continental trade.
At the time of the Union in the early 18th century Scotland has 4 established Universities churning out International Class Scholars in fields secular and divinity at a time when England ( 10 times the population of Scotland) had only 2 Universities which only had divinity departments with no real specialisations in the fields of trade,banking and macro-management which Scotlands Universities boasted,  having curricula from the very modern advanced techniques from Germanic lands where the aftermath of the 30 Years War had created the fore-runners of the modern state civil services and advanced bureaucracies and macro-management.
The video below examines The  Slavery and Emancipation in the Caribbean with special perspective of Scottish involvement.

You can see the whole series of lectures examining many aspects of the trade in this link series.

A major reason for the Scottish denial of the role in the Slave trade is that there has not been any national educational curriculum which deals with the countrys links to the Caribbean , a circumstance highlighted when the Great Homecoming festivities invited the diaspora from North America but failed to send any invitations to the considerable numbers of Scots descent from Jamaica or the other islands which had many Scottish immigrants as well as a sizable creole population.

One other factor is the negligible amount of Afro-Caribbean community in Glasgow to articulate demands for their forefathers experience to be commemorated and remembered with due dignity , something which was a major drive in Bristol and Liverpool creating Museums , Exhibitions and permanent markers of recognition.

Slowly more and more academics and researchers are beginning to bring to light Scotlands unrecognised involvement in the Slavery trade.Hopefully Glasgow will join Liverpool and Bristol following the lead of Hull which was one of the first places to accept the responsibilities and start the long process of atonement.

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