Counter to what the left claims, the American record on slavery is a pretty good one. While all of us wish we could live in a country that had never allowed slavery, the reality is that slavery has existed in most cultures throughout history. Some estimates place the number of slaves at the beginning of the 19th century at three-quarters of the world’s population. Moreover, the number of people thought to be currently living in slavery ranges from 12 to 27 million. None of whom reside in the United States.
Trusting Wikipedia, here is a timeline of when slavery was outlawed around the world:
- 1777 Vermont outlaws slavery
- 1807 Britain outlaws slavery
- 1808 Importation of slaves to U.S. outlawed
- 1843 British India outlaws slavery
- 1865 U.S. outlaws slavery
- 1866 Russia emancipates all state-owned serfs
- 1894 Korea outlaws slavery
- 1905 French outlaw slavery in French West Africa
- 1906 China outlaws slavery
- 1948 U.N. declares freedom from slavery a human right
- 1962 Saudi Arabia outlaws slavery
No one alive in the U.S. today has owned a slave. No one alive in the U.S. today has been a slave. The slave trade did not begin in America, and America was not the worst offender when it came to slavery. In fact, it was Americans who debated the morality of slavery since our founding, with many in opposition. Instead of being one of the last nations to outlaw slavery, the U.S. was one of the first.
There is no excuse for having supported and legalized slavery, but the loss of historical perspective is unfortunate. Slavery has existed since at least 8000 BC and was active worldwide at the time of America’s founding. Slavery is a stain on mankind and the world; it is not a stain on America. The left needs to figure that out.