Darwin's Theories Blog

New Theories for a New Time

Things you probably never learned in high school history

A million and a half whites taken as slaves by blacks?
None of this is to disparage the truly massive harm done (and still being done!) to persons of color, especially in the United States of America, which are well known and well documented. But just to point that violence against ethnic groups is not limited to whites.

Strange but true - estimates from Ohio State history professor Robert Davies put the estimate at 1 to 1.5 million whites taken as slaves by the North Africans - that's about 10% of the number of black slaves taken by whites to North America. Davies' 2003 book with the full-page title Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800 (Palgrave Macmillan) covers the history of this period and is among the first to seriously address the question of how many whites were taken by the black North Africans. Furthermore, reading about the Barbary Wars on Wikipedia reveals that it may be the American reaction to this slave trade that started the United States on the road to its present global superbully status, rather than its illegal invasion and conquest of independant Hawaii in the late 1800's.

This blog post came about because reader Bryan Irvine took me to task on this issue, writing

> The regime change started much earlier than the whole thing with Hawaii. 
> We started that with President Jefferson and Tripoli circa 1804.  :-)

Oh, I guess I should have started with a warning: this blog entry is not politically correct. It is, however, as near as I can tell, factually correct.