The BestNewsInc Network

- a free regional press release distribution service.

Simple and Ultra-Efficient News Platform

– that targets businesses, business professionals and consumers throughout the southeast.

Engaging More People

- with the stories about your news and events.

Latest Posts

 
The BestNewsInc Network

The BestNewsInc Network

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state that existed between 1801 and 1922. It was established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into a unified state. The establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922 led to the country later being renamed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, which continues to exist in the present day.

The United Kingdom, having financed the European coalition that defeated France during the Napoleonic Wars, developed a large Royal Navy that enabled the British Empire to become the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia was a relatively small operation in a century where Britain was largely at peace with the Great Powers.[3] Rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the state's formation continued up until the mid-19th century. The Great Irish Famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the mid-19th century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland and increased calls for Irish land reform.

The 19th century was an era of rapid economic modernisation and growth of industry, trade and finance, in which Britain largely dominated the world economy. Outward migration was heavy to the principal British overseas possessions and to the United States. The empire was expanded into most parts of Africa and much of South Asia. The Colonial Office and India Office ruled through a small number of administrators who managed the units of the empire locally, while democratic institutions began to develop. British India, by far the most important overseas possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In overseas policy, the central policy was free trade, which enabled British and Irish financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. London formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with JapanFrance and Russia, and moved closer to the United States.

Growing desire for Irish self-governance led to the Irish War of Independence, which resulted in most of Ireland seceding from the Union and forming the Irish Free State in 1922. Northern Ireland remained part of the Union, and the state was renamed to the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927. The modern-day United Kingdom is the same country—a direct continuation of what remained after Ireland's secession—not an entirely new successor state.

Friday, 01 August 1800 17:50

Acts of Union 1800

The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes referred to as a single Act of Union 1801) were parallel acts of the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland which united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The acts came into force on 1 January 1801, and the merged Parliament of the United Kingdom had its first meeting on 22 January 1801.

Both acts remain in force, with amendments, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,[2] but have been repealed in the Republic of Ireland.[3]

Before these Acts, Ireland had been in personal union with England since 1541, when the Irish Parliament had passed the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, proclaiming King Henry VIII of England to be King of Ireland. Since the 12th century, the King of England had been technical overlord of the Lordship of Ireland, a papal possession. Both the Kingdoms of Ireland and England later came into personal union with that of Scotland upon the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

In 1707, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were united into a single kingdom: the Kingdom of Great Britain. Upon that union, each House of the Parliament of Ireland passed a congratulatory address to Queen Anne, praying that, "May God put it in your royal heart to add greater strength and lustre to your crown, by a still more comprehensive Union".[4] The Irish Parliament at that time was subject to a number of restrictions that placed it subservient to the Parliament of England (and following the union of England and Scotland, the Parliament of Great Britain); however, Ireland gained effective legislative independence from Great Britain through the Constitution of 1782.

By this time access to institutional power in Ireland was restricted to a small minority, the Anglo-Irish of the Protestant Ascendancy, and frustration at the lack of reform among the Catholic majority eventually led, along with other reasons, to a rebellion in 1798, involving a French invasion of Ireland and the seeking of complete independence from Great Britain. This rebellion was crushed with much bloodshed, and the subsequent drive for union between Great Britain and Ireland that passed in 1800 was motivated at least in part by the belief that the rebellion was caused as much by reactionary loyalist brutality as by the United Irishmen.[citation needed]

Furthermore, Catholic emancipation was being discussed in Great Britain, and fears that a newly enfranchised Catholic majority would drastically change the character of the Irish government and parliament also contributed to a desire from London to merge the Parliaments.[citation needed]

Complementary acts had to be passed in the Parliament of Great Britain and in the Parliament of Ireland.

The Parliament of Ireland had recently gained a large measure of legislative independence under the Constitution of 1782. Many members of the Irish Parliament jealously guarded this autonomy (notably Henry Grattan) and a motion for union was legally rejected in 1799.

Only Anglicans were permitted to become members of the Parliament of Ireland, though the great majority of the Irish population were Roman Catholic, with many Presbyterians in Ulster. In 1793 Roman Catholics regained the right to vote if they owned or rented property worth £2 p.a. The Catholic hierarchy was strongly in favour of union, hoping for rapid emancipation and the right to sit as MPs – which was however delayed after the passage of the acts until 1829.

From the perspective of Great Britain, the union was desirable because of the uncertainty that followed the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and the French Revolution of 1789; if Ireland adopted Catholic Emancipation, willingly or not, a Roman Catholic Parliament could break away from Britain and ally with the French, while the same measure within a united kingdom would exclude that possibility. Also the Irish and British Parliaments, when creating a regency during King George III's "madness", gave the Prince Regent different powers. These considerations led Great Britain to decide to attempt merger of the two kingdoms and their Parliaments.

The final passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was achieved with substantial majorities, in part according to contemporary documents through bribery, namely the awarding of peerages and honours to critics to get their votes.[5] Whereas the first attempt had been defeated in the Irish House of Commons by 109 votes against to 104 for, the second vote in 1800 produced a result of 158 to 115.[5]

Sunday, 09 April 1775 16:38

American Revolutionary War

he American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was initiated by the thirteen original colonies against the Kingdom of Great Britain over their objection to Parliament’s direct taxation and its lack of colonial representation.[q] The overthrow of British rule established the United States of America as the first republic in modern history extending over a large territory.[r]

Early British policy for empire in North America was one of salutary neglect. It largely left the settlers there alone to govern themselves. After 1763 Britain gained a new expanded Empire, and Parliament turned to the Navigation Acts to increase revenues. That provoked unrest among the Thirteen Colonies that continued into the next decade. To punish the 1773 Boston Tea Party, Parliament’s Intolerable Acts closed the port of Boston and suspended their colonial legislature, as Royal Governors then did elsewhere. Twelve colonial house assemblies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress[s]. It coordinated a systematic boycott of British goods, then called for a second congress. The Second Continental Congress appointed George Washington in June 1775 as its commander in chief to create a Continental Army and to oversee the Siege of Boston. Their July 1775 Olive Branch Petition was answered by King George III with a Proclamation of Rebellion. Congress then passed the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.

After evicting the British from Boston in 1775, Congress then sponsored an attack on British Quebec, but it failed. The British commander in chief, General Sir William Howe then launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City. Washington retaliated with harassing attacks at Trenton and Princeton. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec to isolate New England. Howe’s 1777-78 Philadelphia campaign captured the city. But the British lost an army at Saratoga in October 1777. At Valley Forge that winter, Washington built a professional army. The American victory at Saratoga convinced the French to enter into treaties for trade and to defend US independence from Britain in 1778.

Spanish Louisiana Governor Bernardo Gálvez cleared British forces from Spanish territory. This allowed supplies north from the Spanish and American privateers for the 1779 Virginia militia conquest of Western Quebec (later the US Northwest Territory).[34] He then expelled British forces from Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, cutting off British military assistance to their Indian allies in the interior South. Howe's replacement, General Sir Henry Clinton, then mounted a 1778 "Southern strategy" from Charleston. After initial success taking Savannah, their losses at King's Mountain and Cowpens led to the British southern army retreat to Yorktown. A decisive French naval victory brought the October 1781 surrender of the second British army lost in the American Revolution.

In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, and in December 1782 George III spoke from the British throne for US independence. In April 1783, Congress accepted the British-proposed treaty that met its peace demands including independence and sovereignty west to the Mississippi River. On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the United States, recognizing the United States, making peace between the two nations, and formally ending the American Revolution.

Sunday, 11 July 1526 14:22

Atlantic Slave Trade

The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage, and existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The vast majority of those who were enslaved and transported in the transatlantic slave trade were people from Central and West Africa, who had been sold by other West Africans, or by half-European 'merchant princes' [1] to Western European slave traders (with a small number being captured directly by the slave traders in coastal raids), who brought them to the Americas.[2] Except for the Portuguese, European slave traders generally did not participate in the raids because life expectancy for Europeans in sub-Saharan Africa was less than one year during the period of the slave trade (which was prior to the development of quinine as a treatment for malaria).[3] The South Atlantic and Caribbean economies were particularly dependent on labour for the production of sugarcane and other commodities. This was viewed as crucial by those Western European states which, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, were vying with each other to create overseas empires.[4]

The Portuguese, in the 16th century, were the first to engage in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1526, they completed the first transatlantic slave voyage to Brazil, and other Europeans soon followed.[5] Shipowners regarded the slaves as cargo to be transported to the Americas as quickly and cheaply as possible,[4] there to be sold to work on coffee, tobacco, cocoa, sugar, and cotton plantations, gold and silver mines, rice fields, the construction industry, cutting timber for ships, in skilled labour, and as domestic servants. The first Africans kidnapped to the English colonies were classified as indentured servants, with a similar legal standing as contract-based workers coming from Britain and Ireland. However, by the middle of the 17th century, slavery had hardened as a racial caste, with African slaves and their future offspring being legally the property of their owners, as children born to slave mothers were also slaves (partus sequitur ventrem). As property, the people were considered merchandise or units of labour, and were sold at markets with other goods and services.

The major Atlantic slave trading nations, ordered by trade volume, were the Portuguese, the British, the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, and the Danish. Several had established outposts on the African coast where they purchased slaves from local African leaders.[6] These slaves were managed by a factor, who was established on or near the coast to expedite the shipping of slaves to the New World. Slaves were imprisoned in a factory while awaiting shipment. Current estimates are that about 12 million to 12.8 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years.[7][8]:194 The number purchased by the traders was considerably higher, as the passage had a high death rate with approximately 1.2–2.4 million dying during the voyage and millions more died in seasoning camps in the Caribbean after arrival to the New World. Millions of slaves also died as a result of slave raids, wars and during transport to the coast for sale to European slave traders.[9][10][11][12] Near the beginning of the 19th century, various governments acted to ban the trade, although illegal smuggling still occurred. In the early 21st century, several governments issued apologies for the transatlantic slave trade.

Friday, 11 July 0870 13:45

Slavery in Britain

Slavery in Great Britain existed and was recognized from before the Roman occupation until the 12th century, when chattel slavery disappeared, at least for a time, after the Norman Conquest. Former slaves merged into the larger body of serfs in Britain and no longer were recognized separately in law or custom.

From the 17th century into the 19th century, transportation to the colonies as a criminal or an indentured servant served as punishment for both serious and petty crimes, or for simply being poor and viewed as an 'undesirable', facilitated by the Transportation Act of 1717. During the same period, workhouses employed people whose poverty left them no other alternative than to work under forced labor conditions.

International Slave Trade:

Britain exported slaves from pre-Roman times, but British merchants became major participants in the Atlantic slave trade in the early modern period. Then British people living within the British Isles, as well as in British colonies, might own African slaves. In a triangular trade-system, ship-owners transported enslaved West Africans, as well as British natives, to the New World (especially to the Caribbean) to be sold there. The ships brought commodities back to Britain then exported goods to Africa. Some entrepreneurs brought slaves to Britain,[5] where they were kept in bondage. After a long campaign for abolition led by Thomas Clarkson and (in the House of Commons) by William WilberforceParliament prohibited dealing in slaves by passing the Slave Trade Act 1807, which the Royal Navy's West Africa Squadron enforced. Britain used its influence to persuade other countries around the world to abolish the slave trade and to sign treaties to allow the Royal Navy to interdict slaving ships.[6]

Abolition:

Somersett's case in 1772 held that slavery had no basis in English law and was thus a violation of Habeas Corpus. This built on the earlier Cartwright case from the Reign of Elizabeth I which had similarly held the concept of slavery was not recognised in English law. This case was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law. Legally ("de jure") slave owners could not win in court, and abolitionists provided legal help for enslaved black people. However actual ("de facto") slavery continued in Britain with ten to fourteen thousand slaves in England and Wales, who were mostly domestic servants. When slaves were brought in from the colonies they had to sign waivers that made them indentured servants while in Britain. Most modern historians generally agree that slavery continued in Britain into the late 18th century, finally disappearing around 1800.[7] Slavery elsewhere in the British Empire was not affected--indeed it grew rapidly especially in the Caribbean colonies. Slavery was abolished by buying out the owners in 1833 by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. Most slaves were freed, with exceptions and delays provided for the East India CompanyCeylon, and Saint Helena. These exceptions were eliminated in 1843.[8]

The prohibition on slavery and servitude is now codified under Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in force since 1953 and incorporated directly into United Kingdom law by the Human Rights Act 1998. Article 4 of the Convention also bans forced or compulsory labour, with some exceptions such as a criminal penalty or military service.

Before 1066:

From before Roman times, slavery was normal in Britain, with slaves being routinely exported.[9][10] Slavery continued as an accepted part of society under the Roman Empire and after; Anglo-Saxons continued the slave system, sometimes in league with Norse traders often selling slaves to the Irish.[11] In 870, Vikings besieged and captured the stronghold of Alt Clut (the capital of the Kingdom of Strathclyde) and in 871 took most of the site's inhabitants, most likely by Olaf the White and Ivar the Boneless, to the Dublin slave markets.[12] Maredudd ab Owain (d. 999) paid a large ransom for 2,000 Welsh slaves,[12] which demonstrates the large-scale slave raiding upon the British Isles. Vikings traded with the Gaelic, Pictish, Brythonic and Saxon kingdoms in between raiding them for slaves.[12]

Some of the earliest accounts of the Anglo-Saxon English comes from the account of the fair-haired boys from York seen in Rome by Pope Gregory the Great. In the 7th century the English slave Balthild rose to be queen of the Frankish king Clovis II. Anglo-Saxon opinion turned against the sale of English abroad: a law of Ine of Wessex stated that anyone selling his own countryman, whether bond or free, across the sea, was to pay his own weregild in penalty, even when the man so sold was guilty of crime.[13]

Nevertheless, legal penalties and economic pressures that led to default in payments maintained the supply of slaves, and in the 11th century there was still a slave trade operating out of Bristol, as a passage in the Vita Wulfstani makes clear.[14][2]

Norman England:

According to the Domesday Book census, over 10% of England's population in 1086 were slaves.[15] In 1102, the Church Council of London convened by Anselm issued a decree: "Let no one dare hereafter to engage in the infamous business, prevalent in England, of selling men like animals."[16] However, the Council had no legislative powers, and no act of law was valid unless signed by the monarch.

The influence of the new Norman aristocracy led to the decline of slavery in England. Contemporary writers noted that the Scottish and Welsh took captives as slaves during raids, a practice which was no longer common in England by the 12th century. By the start of the 13th century references to people being taken as slaves stopped. While there was no legislation against slavery,[17] William the Conqueror introduced a law preventing the sale of slaves overseas.[18] According to historian John Gillingham, by about 1200 slavery in the British Isles was non-existent.[17]

Transportation:

Transportation to the colonies as a criminal or an indentured servant served as punishment for both great and petty crimes in England from the 17th century until well into the 19th century. A sentence could be for life or for a specific period. The penal system required convicts to work on government projects such as road construction, building works and mining, or assigned them to free individuals as unpaid labour. Women were expected to work as domestic servants and farm labourers. Like slaves, indentured servants could be bought and sold, could not marry without the permission of their owner, were subject to physical punishment, and saw their obligation to labour enforced by the courts. However, they did retain certain heavily restricted rights; this contrasts with slaves who had none.

A convict who had served part of his time might apply for a "ticket of leave", granting them some prescribed freedoms. This enabled some convicts to resume a more normal life, to marry and raise a family, and enabled a few to develop the colonies while removing them from the society[clarification needed]. Exile was an essential component, and was thought to be a major deterrent to crime. Transportation was also seen as a humane and productive alternative to execution, which would most likely have been the sentence for many if transportation had not been introduced.

The transportation of English subjects overseas can be traced back to the English Vagabonds Act 1597. During the reign of Henry VIII, an estimated 72,000 people were put to death for a variety of crimes.[19] An alternative practice, borrowed from the Spanish, was to commute the death sentence and allow the use of convicts as a labour force for the colonies. One of the first references to a person being transported comes in 1607 when "an apprentice dyer was sent to Virginia from Bridewell for running away with his master's goods."[20] The Act was little used despite attempts by James I who, with limited success, tried to encourage its adoption by passing a series of Privy Council Orders in 1615, 1619 and 1620.[21]

Transportation was seldom used as a criminal sentence until the Piracy Act 1717, "An Act for the further preventing Robbery, Burglary, and other Felonies, and for the more effectual Transportation of Felons, and unlawful Exporters of Wool; and for declaring the Law upon some Points relating to Pirates", established a seven-year penal transportation as a possible punishment for those convicted of lesser felonies, or as a possible sentence to which capital punishment might be commuted by royal pardon. Criminals were transported to North America from 1718 to 1776. When the American revolution made transportation to the Thirteen Colonies unfeasible, those sentenced to it were typically punished with imprisonment or hard labour instead. From 1787 to 1868, criminals convicted and sentenced under the Act were transported to the colonies in Australia.

After the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and subsequent Cromwellian invasion, the English Parliament passed the Act for the Settlement of Ireland 1652 which classified the Irish population into several categories according to their degree of involvement in the uprising and the subsequent war. Those who had participated in the uprising or assisted the rebels in any way were sentenced to be hanged and to have their property confiscated. Other categories were sentenced to banishment with whole or partial confiscation of their estates. While the majority of the resettlement took place within Ireland to the province of Connaught, perhaps as many as 50,000 were transported to the colonies in the West Indies and in North America.[22] During the early colonial period, the Scots and the English, along with other western European nations, dealt with their "Gypsy problem" by transporting them as slaves in large numbers to North America and the Caribbean. Cromwell shipped Romanichal Gypsies as slaves to the southern plantations, and there is documentation of Gypsies being owned by former black slaves in Jamaica.[23]

Long before the Highland Clearances, some chiefs, such as Ewen Cameron of Lochiel, sold some of their clans into indenture in North America. Their goal was to alleviate over-population and lack of food resources in the glens.

Numerous Highland Jacobite supporters, captured in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden and rigorous Government sweeps of the Highlands, were imprisoned on ships on the River Thames. Some were sentenced to transportation to the Carolinas as indentured servants.[24]

Slavery and bondage in Scottish collieries:

For nearly two hundred years in the history of coal mining in Scotland, miners were bonded to their "maisters" by a 1606 Act "Anent Coalyers and Salters". The Colliers and Salters (Scotland) Act 1775 stated that "many colliers and salters are in a state of slavery and bondage" and announced emancipation; those starting work after 1 July 1775 would not become slaves, while those already in a state of slavery could, after 7 or 10 years depending on their age, apply for a decree of the Sheriff's Court granting their freedom. Few could afford this, until a further law in 1799 established their freedom and made this slavery and bondage illegal.[25][26]

Workhouse slavery:

From the 17th century to the 19th century, workhouses took in people whose poverty left them no other alternative. They were employed under forced labour conditions. Workhouses took in abandoned babies, usually presumed to be illegitimate. When they grew old enough, they were used as child labourCharles Dickens represented such issues in his fiction. A life example was Henry Morton Stanley. This was a time when many children worked; if families were poor, everyone worked. Only in 1833 and 1844 were the first general protective laws against child labour, the Factory Acts, passed in Britain.[27]

Barbary pirates:

From the 16th to the 19th centuries it is estimated that between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and Barbary slave traders and sold as slaves. The slavers got their name from the Barbary Coast, that is, the Mediterranean shores of North Africa – what is now Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. There are reports of Barbary raids and kidnappings of those in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom and as far north as Iceland and the fate of those abducted into slavery in North Africa and the Ottoman Empire.[28]

Villagers along the south coast of England petitioned the king to protect them from abduction by Barbary pirates. Item 20 of The Grand Remonstrance,[29] a list of grievances against Charles I presented to him in 1641, contains the following complaint about Barbary pirates of the Ottoman Empire abducting English people into slavery:

And although all this was taken upon pretense of guarding the seas, yet a new unheard-of tax of ship-money was devised, and upon the same pretense, by both which there was charged upon the subject near £700,000 some years, and yet the merchants have been left so naked to the violence of the Turkish pirates, that many great ships of value and thousands of His Majesty's subjects have been taken by them, and do still remain in miserable slavery.

Enslaved Africans:

Admiral Sir John Hawkins of Plymouth, a notable Elizabethan seafarer, is widely acknowledged to be "the Pioneer of the English Slave Trade". In 1554–1555, Hawkins formed a slave trading syndicate of wealthy merchants. He sailed with three ships for the Caribbean via Sierra Leone, hijacked a Portuguese slave ship and sold the 300 slaves from it in Santo Domingo. During a second voyage in 1564, his crew captured 400 Africans and sold them at Rio de la Hacha in present-day Colombia, making a 60% profit for his financiers. A third voyage involved both buying slaves directly in Africa and capturing a Portuguese ship with its cargo; upon reaching the Caribbean, Hawkins sold all the slaves. On his return, he published a book entitled An Alliance to Raid for Slaves.[30] It is estimated that Hawkins transported 1,500 enslaved Africans across the Atlantic during his four voyages of the 1560s, before stopping in 1568 after a battle with the Spanish in which he lost five of his seven ships. The English involvement in the Atlantic slave trade only resumed in the 1640s after the country acquired an American colony (Virginia).[31]

By the mid 18th century, London had the largest African population in Britain, made up of free and enslaved people, as well as many runaways. The total number may have been about 10,000.[32] Owners of African slaves in England would advertise slave-sales and rewards for the recapture of runaways.[33][34]

A number of freed slaves managed to achieve prominence in British society. Ignatius Sancho (1729–1780), known as 'The Extraordinary Negro', opened his own grocer's shop in Westminster. He was famous for his poetry and music, and his friends included the novelist Laurence SterneDavid Garrick the actor and the Duke and Duchess of Montague. He is best known for his letters which were published after his death. Others such as Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano were equally well known, and along with Ignatius Sancho were active in the abolition campaign.

Triangular trade:

By the 18th century, the slave trade became a major economic mainstay for such cities as BristolLiverpool and Glasgow, engaged in the so-called "Triangular trade". The ships set out from Britain, loaded with trade goods which were exchanged on the West African shores for slaves captured by local rulers from deeper inland; the slaves were transported through the infamous "Middle Passage" across the Atlantic, and were sold at considerable profit for labour in plantations. The ships were loaded with export crops and commodities, the products of slave labour, such as sugar and rum, and returned to Britain to sell the items.

The Isle of Man and the transatlantic slave trade:

The Isle of Man was involved in the transatlantic African slave trade. Goods from the slave trade were bought and sold on the Isle of Man, and Manx merchants, seamen, and ships were involved in the trade.[35]

Judicial decisions:

No legislation was ever passed in England that legalised slavery, unlike the Portuguese Ordenações Manuelinas (1481–1514), the Dutch East India Company Ordinances (1622), and France's Code Noir (1685), and this caused confusion when Englishmen brought home slaves they had legally purchased in the colonies.[36][37] John Locke, the philosophical champion of the Glorious Revolution, asserted that "every man has property in his own person" but allowed for the enslavement of war captives --a popular defense of slavery throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries in England (§27, Ch.V=; II.iv.24). Locke also had stock in the Royal Africa Company. By the 18th century African slaves began to be brought into London and Edinburgh as personal servants.[citation needed] In a number of judicial decisions between slave merchants, it was tacitly accepted that slavery of Africans was legal.[citation needed] In Butts v. Penny (1677) 2 Lev 201, 3 Keb 785, an action was brought to recover the value of 10 slaves who had been held by the plaintiff in India. The court held that an action for trover would lie in English law, because the sale of non-Christians as slaves was common in India. However, no judgment was delivered in the case.[38][39]

An English court case of 1569 involving Cartwright who had bought a slave from Russia ruled that English law could not recognise slavery. This ruling was overshadowed by later developments, particularly in the Navigation Acts, but was upheld by the Lord Chief Justice in 1701 when he ruled that a slave became free as soon as he arrived in England. [40]

Agitation saw a series of judgments repulse the tide of slavery. In Smith v. Gould (1705–07) 2 Salk 666, John Holt (Lord Chief Justice) stated that by "the common law no man can have a property in another". (See the "infidel rationale".)

In 1729 the Attorney General and Solicitor General of England signed the Yorke–Talbot slavery opinion, expressing their view (and, by implication, that of the Government) that slavery of Africans was lawful in England. At this time slaves were openly bought and sold on commodities markets at London and Liverpool.[citation needed] Slavery was also accepted in Britain's many colonies.

Lord Henley LC said in Shanley v. Harvey (1763) 2 Eden 126, 127 that as "soon as a man sets foot on English ground he is free".

After R v. Knowles, ex parte Somersett (1772) 20 State Tr 1 the law remained unsettled, although the decision was a significant advance for, at the least, preventing the forceable removal of anyone from England, whether or not a slave, against his will. A man called James Somersett was the slave of a Boston customs officer. They came to England, and Somersett escaped. Captain Knowles captured him and took him on his boat, Jamaica bound. Three abolitionists, saying they were his "godparents", applied for a writ of habeas corpus. One of Somersett's lawyers, Francis Hargrave, stated "In 1569, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a lawsuit was brought against a man for beating another man he had bought as a slave overseas. The record states, 'That in the 11th [year] of Elizabeth [1569], one Cartwright brought a slave from Russia and would scourge him; for which he was questioned; and it was resolved, that England was too pure an air for a slave to breathe in'." He argued that the court had ruled in Cartwright's case that English common law made no provision for slavery, and without a basis for its legality, slavery would otherwise be unlawful as false imprisonment and/or assault.[41] In his judgment of 22 June 1772, Lord Chief Justice William Murray, Lord Mansfield, of the Court of King's Bench, started by talking about the capture and forcible detention of Somersett. He finished with:

So high an act of dominion must be recognized by the law of the country where it is used. The power of a master over his slave has been exceedingly different, in different countries.

The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory.

It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged.[42]

Several different reports of Mansfield's decision appeared. Most disagree as to what was said. The decision was only given orally; no formal written record of it was issued by the court. Abolitionists widely circulated the view that it was declared that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law, although Mansfield later said that all that he decided was that a slave could not be forcibly removed from England against his will.[43]

After reading about Somersett's Case, Joseph Knight, an enslaved African who had been purchased by his master John Wedderburn in Jamaica and brought to Scotland, left him. Married and with a child, he filed a freedom suit, on the grounds that he could not be held as a slave in Great Britain. In the case of Knight v. Wedderburn (1778), Wedderburn said that Knight owed him "perpetual servitude". The Court of Sessions of Scotland ruled against him, saying that chattel slavery was not recognised under the law of Scotland, and slaves could seek court protection to leave a master or avoid being forcibly removed from Scotland to be returned to slavery in the colonies.[44]

Abolition:

William Wilberforce, a member of the House of Commons as an independent, became intricately involved in the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. His conversion to Evangelical Christianity in 1784 played a key role in interesting him in this social reform.[45] William Wilberforce's Slave Trade Act 1807 abolished the slave trade in the British Empire. It was not until the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 that the institution finally was abolished, but on a gradual basis. Since land owners in the British West Indies were losing their unpaid labourers, they received compensation totaling £20 million.[46]

The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron (or Preventative Squadron) at substantial expense in 1808 after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act. The squadron's task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa, preventing the slave trade by force of arms, including the interception of slave ships from Europe, the United States, the Barbary pirates, West Africa and the Ottoman Empire.[47]

The Church of England was implicated in slavery. Slaves were owned by the Anglican Church's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPGFP), which had sugar plantations in the West Indies. When slaves were emancipated by Act of the British Parliament in 1834, the British government paid compensation to slave owners. Among those they paid were the Bishop of Exeter and three business colleagues, who received compensation for 665 slaves.[48]

Modern evaluations of economic impact:

Historians and economists have debated the economic effects of slavery for Great Britain and the North American colonies. Many analysts[who?] suggest that it allowed the formation of capital that financed the Industrial Revolution[citation needed], although the evidence is inconclusive. Slave labour was integral to early settlement of the colonies, which needed more people for labour and other work. Also, slave labour produced the major consumer goods that were the basis of world trade during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: coffeecottonrumsugar, and tobacco. Slavery was far more important to the profitability of plantations and the economy in the American South; and the slave trade and associated businesses were important to both New York and New England.[49]

In 2006, the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, expressed his deep sorrow over the slave trade, which he described as "profoundly shameful".[50] Some campaigners had demanded reparations from the former slave trading nations.[51]

In recent years, several institutions have begun to evaluate their own links with slavery. For instance, English Heritage produced a book on the extensive links between slavery and British country houses in 2013, Jesus College has a working group to examine the legacy of slavery within the college, and the Church of England, the Bank of EnglandLloyd's of London and Greene King have all apologised for their historic links to slavery.[52][53][54][55][56] UCL has developed a database examining the commercial, cultural, historical, imperial, physical and political legacies of slavery in Britain (see 'external links').

 

Sunday, 14 October 1066 11:29

Norman Conquest of England

The Norman conquest of England (in Britain, often called the Norman Conquest or the Conquest) was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.

William's claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged William's hopes for the throne. Edward died in January 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson. The Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in September 1066 and was victorious at the Battle of Fulford, but Godwinson's army defeated and killed Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Within days, William landed in southern England. Harold marched south to oppose him, leaving a significant portion of his army in the north. Harold's army confronted William's invaders on 14 October at the Battle of Hastings; William's force defeated Harold, who was killed in the engagement.

Although William's main rivals were gone, he still faced rebellions over the following years and was not secure on his throne until after 1072. The lands of the resisting English elite were confiscated; some of the elite fled into exile. To control his new kingdom, William granted lands to his followers and built castles commanding military strongpoints throughout the land with the Domesday Book, a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales being completed by 1086. Other effects of the conquest included the court and government, the introduction of the Norman language as the language of the elites, and changes in the composition of the upper classes, as William enfeoffed lands to be held directly from the king. More gradual changes affected the agricultural classes and village life: the main change appears to have been the formal elimination of slavery, which may or may not have been linked to the invasion. There was little alteration in the structure of government, as the new Norman administrators took over many of the forms of Anglo-Saxon government.

Sunday, 31 December 1600 06:33

East India Company

The East India Company, also known as the Honorable East India Company, East India Trading Company, the English East India Company or the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Company Bahadur, or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the East Indies (India and South East Asia), and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control of large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonized parts of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong after the First Opium War, and maintained trading posts and colonies in the Middle Eastern Gulf called Persian Gulf Residencies.

Originally chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East-Indies", the company rose to account for half of the world's trade, particularly in basic commodities including cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, spices, saltpeter, tea, and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. In his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, Lord Macaulay explained that since the beginning, the East India Company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.

The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, coming relatively late to trade in the Indies. Before them the Portuguese Estado da India had traded there for much of the 16th century and the first of half a dozen Dutch Companies sailed to trade there from 1595. These Dutch companies amalgamated in March 1602 into the Dutch East India Company, which introduced the first permanent joint stock from 1612 (meaning investment into shares did not need to be returned, but could be traded on a stock exchange). By contrast, wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the East India Company's shares. Initially the government owned no shares and had only indirect control until 1657 when permanent joint stock was established.

During its first century of operation, the focus of the company was trade, not the building of an empire in India. Following the First Anglo-Mughal War, the company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the French East India Company during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s in southern India. The battles of Plassey and Buxar, in which the company defeated the Nawabs of Bengal, left the company in control of the proto-industrialized Mughal Bengal with the right to collect revenue, in Bengal and Bihar, and a major military and political power in India. In the following decades it gradually increased the extent of the territories under its control, controlling the majority of the Indian subcontinent either directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force by its Presidency armies, much of which were composed of native Indian sepoys. The company invaded the Dutch island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1795.

By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the East India Company had a private army of about 260,000 - twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561 (equivalent to £229.9 million in 2019) and expenses of £14,017,473 (equivalent to £239.3 million in 2019). The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and seizing administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown's assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new British Raj.

The company’s army played a notorious role in the unsuccessful Indian Uprising (also called the Indian Mutiny) of 1857–58, in which Indian soldiers in the company’s employ led an armed revolt against their British officers that quickly gained popular support as a war for Indian independence. During more than a year of fighting, both sides committed atrocities, including massacres of civilians, though the company’s reprisals ultimately far outweighed the violence of the rebels. The rebellion brought about the effective abolition of the East India Company in 1858.

Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances. It was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless, and obsolete. The official government machinery of British India assumed the East India Company's governmental functions and absorbed its navy and its armies in 1858.

Monday, 10 July 1150 22:32

House of Stuart

The House of Stuart, originally Stewart, was a royal house of Scotland, England, Ireland and later Great Britain, with historical connections to Brittany. The family name itself comes from the office of High Steward of Scotland, which had been held by the family scion Walter fitz Alan (c. 1150). The name "Stewart" and variations had become established as a family name by the time of his grandson, Walter Stewart. The first monarch of the Stewart line was Robert II whose descendants were kings and queens of Scotland from 1371 until the union with England in 1707. Mary, Queen of Scots was brought up in France where she adopted the French spelling of the name, Stuart.

In 1503, James IV married Margaret Tudor, thus linking the royal houses of Scotland and England. Elizabeth I of England died without issue in 1603, and James IV's great-grandson James VI of Scotland succeeded to the thrones of England and Ireland as James I in the Union of the Crowns. The Stuarts were monarchs of Britain and Ireland and its growing empire until the death of Queen Anne in 1714, except for the period of the Commonwealth between 1649 and 1660.

In total, nine Stewart/Stuart monarchs ruled Scotland alone from 1371 until 1603, the last of which was James VI, before his accession in England. Two Stuart queens ruled the isles following the Glorious Revolution in 1688: Mary II and Anne. Both were the Protestant daughters of James VII and II by his first wife Anne Hyde and the great-grandchildren of James VI and I. Their father had converted to Catholicism and his new wife gave birth to a son in 1688, who was brought up a Roman Catholic and preceded his half-sisters; so James was deposed by Parliament in 1689, in favor of his daughters. But neither had any children who survived to adulthood, so the crown passed to the House of Hanover on the death of Queen Anne in 1714 under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701 and the Act of Security 1704.

After the loss of the throne, the descendants of James VII and II came to be known as the Jacobites and continued for several generations to attempt to reclaim the English (and later British) throne as the rightful heirs, though since the early 19th century there have been no more active claimants from the Stuart family.

Saturday, 10 July 1497 18:34

British Empire

The British Empire comprised the dominionscoloniesprotectoratesmandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.[1] By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time,[2] and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi),[3] 24% of the Earth's total land area.[4] As a result, its political, legallinguistic, and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.[5]

During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, and in the process established large overseas empires. Envious of the great wealth these empires generated,[6] England, France, and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia.[7] A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and then, following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America. It then became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence caused Britain to lose some of its oldest and most populous colonies. British attention soon turned towards Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century.[8] Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was later described as Pax Britannica ("British Peace"), a period of relative peace in Europe and the world (1815–1914) during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.[9][10][11] In the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution began to transform Britain; so that by the time of the Great Exhibition in 1851, the country was described as the "workshop of the world".[12] The British Empire expanded to include most of India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its own colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America.[13][14]

During the 19th century, Britain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, which caused significant social and economic stresses.[15] To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in EgyptSouth Africa, and elsewhere. CanadaAustralia, and New Zealand became self-governing dominions.[16]

By the start of the 20th century, Germany and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War, during which Britain relied heavily upon its empire. The conflict placed enormous strain on the military, financial and manpower resources of Britain. Although the British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent immediately after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power. In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan. Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire. The Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power. The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire.[17][18] Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states. The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

Saturday, 10 July 1756 18:27

Seven Years' War

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict that took place between 1756 and 1763, arising largely from issues left unresolved by the 1740 to 1748 War of the Austrian Succession. The first was colonial rivalries between Britain and France, particularly in North America. The other was a struggle for supremacy between Prussia and Austria, which wanted to regain Silesia, captured by Prussia in the previous war.

In a realignment of traditional alliances, known as the 1756 Diplomatic Revolution, Prussia became part of a coalition led by Britain, which included its long-time competitor, Hanover. At the same time, Austria ended centuries of conflict by allying with France, along with SaxonySpainSweden, and Russia, until 1762. Portugal became involved when it was attacked by Spain in 1762, while some smaller German states either joined the war, or supplied mercenaries.

Although Anglo-French skirmishes over their American colonies had begun in 1754, with what became known in the United States as the French and Indian War, the large-scale conflict that drew in most of the European powers was centered on Austria's desire to recover Silesia from Prussia. The Anglo-Prussian coalition prevailed, and Britain's rise among the world's predominant powers destroyed France's supremacy in Europe, and Prussia confirmed its status as a great power challenging Austria for dominance within Germany, thus altering the European balance of power.

Page 1 of 28
Find Georgia Gas Prices
City,State or Zip Code (eg. Atlanta, GA)

Tag Cloud

Latest Comments

About Us

The BestNewsInc Network is a Free Regional Press Release Distribution Service.

The BestNewsInc Network has been helping southeastern organizations Get the Word Out about their business news and events since 2012.

Regional and national companies as well as nonprofit organizations use The BestNewsInc Network platform for simple and ultra-efficient news, event and press release distribution – that targets businesses, business professionals and consumers throughout the southeast.

Engaging more people with the stories about your news and events – The BestNewsInc Network distributes your information online, through our opt-in email service, and through our other social media channels:

 

What We Do

How do you Get Started?

It’s Easy!

Contact us at contributor@bestnewsinc.com and let us know that you would like to become a BestNewsInc Network Contributor.

We will then set you up with a unique user name and password to access the platform.

Then you just submit your press release or community announcement and we will review it for content and then publish it in the category you chose.