Exactly five centuries ago, on 18th August 1518 (28th August, using the current Gregorian calendar) King Charles I of Spain issued a charter authorising the transportation of slaves direct from Africa to the Americas. Prior to that (since at least 1510), African slaves had usually been transported to Spain or Portugal and had then been “freighted-on” to the Caribbean or (occasionally) sold to European-based buyers.
Charles’s decision to create a direct, more economically viable Africa to America slave trade changed the nature and scale of this profitable human trafficking industry. Over the subsequent 350 years, around 11 million Africans were transported between the two continents. Almost a further 2 million died en route
This month’s quincentenary is of a tragic event that caused untold suffering and still today leaves a legacy of poverty, racism, inequality and elite wealth across four continents.
Funny how so few of the “great and the good” seem to care, isn’t it?
Hard to believe, but the blog is 2 years old today.
“He fell in October, 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.
He had fallen forward and lay on the earth as though sleeping. Turning him over one saw that he could not have suffered long; his face had an expression of calm, as though almost glad the end had come.”
All Quiet on the Western Front
– Erich Maria Remarque
28th July 1914 – 11th November 1918
Dear Agony Aunts
I have decided that I can no longer bear to live with a husband who has made my life a misery for over 60 years. The final straw came when he drank too much at our diamond wedding anniversary, threw-up over our youngest great-grandson & passed-out in the anniversary cake.
What can I do & where can I turn for help?
60 years? You have left it a bit late to start life anew but, as the old saying goes, “better late than never.” We’d suggest that it is time to let someone else take the strain of supporting your odious husband – pall-bearers come instantly to mind – so perhaps it’s time to let him begin that last, long journey; leaving you to enjoy a last few years of well-earned pleasure.
An accident with medication, staircases or matches always seems to garner the sympathy of all involved without exciting the undue attention of the Coroner & we’ve sent you an e-mail copy of our small pamphlet “Accidents in the home & how to engineer them” which offers many helpful tips & practical suggestions.