- African Manifesto
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Medieval History






Of major importance, was Portugal’s Conquest when they modified their caravel's triangular sails into a rectangle one on its ships circulating around African's coastline. As results, they had a huge advantage when utilizing this technique during their “Voyages of Discovery." Consequently, at the end of the fifteenth century, Portugal's merchants gained political, as well as military strongholds in both North Africa and in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.  With  African slavery the started with Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, who sent a trading expedition to explore the little-known continent, in 1441.
 
By 1444, a ‘cargo’ of 235 enslaved Africans was brought from Lagos, Nigeria. The Portuguese used these slaves on sugar plantations in Madeira, a Portuguese island off the West Coast of Africa, by 1460. They built Elmira Castle in 1481, in  modern Ghana. Which was Portugal's slave trade headquarters in the early 17th century. At that time, they supplied slaves for themselves in Brazil, along with Spain's colonies in their so-called New-World. Mindfully, a century later they supplied African slaves to England's colonies in North America.
 
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine the number of Slaves imported but an educated guess is between 8 and 12 millions  over a period o two and half centuries. Notably, the city of Lisbon was a major port involved in the Portuguese slave trade. From there, ships went to West Africa exporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil and back to Europe.
 
Another  important historical event occurred  in 1453, when the Muslim Ottoman Turks successfully captured Christian Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). This blocked Europe's main source for spices, silks, paper, porcelain, glass, as well as other luxury goods produced in India, China, Japan, along with the spice islands (Indonesia).  In those days these areas were known as the East Indies in contrast to the West Indies in the Caribbean Islands. However, all trades were shut down by the Muslims after their victory at Constantinople.

Much to the chagrin of Europe’s aristocrats,  their passage to the East Indies was blocked  by the Ottoman  Turks who controlled overland routes to the Orient.  Which  made this trip virtually impossible.  At the other end of this spectrum,  it  was a great opportunity for Portugal. This  leap frogged  them  into a world power during their  " Age of Discovery " as it built up a vast empire, focusing on colonizing Brazil along with a seperate  slave   kingdoms  on islands off the African coast.

At first, a few slaves were sent to Europe as servants or trophies. Then there was uncontrollable demand for them in the agricultural development in both South and North  America. As a historical note, when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil in the early 1500s, their situation as colonialist was very different from Spain arriving in the establish Aztec, Incas,   and Mayan empires. They did not find established civilization with hoards of precious metals for plunder, or discipline organizations geared to provide steady tribute which they could be appropriated and shipped back to Portugal.

In reality, in  developing  their agricultural  settlements, it became clear  it was counter-productive  to use indigenous people as slaves. Not only, they had a high mortality rate when exposed to Western diseases.   They often would  ran away and disappear  into their natural habitat. This is together with unintended consequences  of not having immunity to European diseases,   like smallpox,  and the common cold.  Consequently,  their population was decimated with these illnesses.

Consequently, Portugal had complete control of the Slave Trade. Some were sent directly to Brazil, and others were sold to Spain for their colonies as well. Mindfully, these slave plantations were managed by single young white men who created an assortment of mulattoes. This was similar to the Moorish occupation whose sexual needs were satisfied by their female captives.  A larger proportion of Portugal gains in Brazil came from the development of commodity exports with commercial profit than those of Spain from its colonies.
 
On one hand, slavery removed a plethora of African customs and traditions, but on the other, it created a subculture of new traditions and customs that is ingrained into western societies in today’s contemporary world.
 
For example  Gospel music,  Jazz,  Rhythm and  Blues, along with   Brazilian samba music. And also,  there is a multitude of other African dances and customs that were disguised during slavery. Which has transformed into today's modern-day music. In African music in the Caribbean Islands, there are types of music like   calypso in Trinidad, Mambo in Cuba, Reggae in Jamaica, Dominican republic merengue dance,   jitterbug Jive in America and so on.  

This is not only in Brazil, but all of South, Central, and North America along with the Caribbean Islands.
As you will, since the late 19th century, samba music sprouted into several directions, and today we observe more than 20 different types of samba.  As an example, the samba performed at the carnival parades in Rio is only one of these variations.  In the other hand, samba schools in Rio who perform Carnaval show are intrinsically related to the samba music community itself.  The evidence of this mutual relationship goes back to origins of the samba-schools, when many samba composers were, in fact, their founding members.  In terms of the Carnaval parades themselves, not only the samba music brings life to the show, but sometimes serves as inspiration for plot-themes.

Spain's Conquest

Spain's conquest  was quite different from Portugal's.   It was orchestrated  by  Christopher Columbus so-called a discovery of his “New-World”.   Whose  idea  was different from Portugal's   navigating around African shorelines and eventually crossing the Indian ocean to the Silk Road to the  East Indies. 

By contrast   Columbus's  theory was sailing west in the opposite directions  was quicker.   However, his theory was not popular and he was unable to get sponsoring.     However, by happen chance King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain sponsored his voyages.    They accepted his new found idea  and  outfitted him with three ships, Two of them were caravels the Niña and Pinta along with his flagship the Santa Maria, which was a larger Carrack ship that   was captained by Columbus.
 
For the record,  his first voyage was  a miserable  failure. Mindfully, he beached his flagship the Santa Ana and was forced to leave  a third of his crew behind with orders to form a colony in the name of the Spanish Monarchy. Nevertheless, upon his arrival in Europe, this was good news for the peasants and serfs who were oppressed by landlords for centuries. For them, this was  an opportunity for a new beginning with thoughts of acquiring wealth they couldn't obtain in Europe.

  This was  a watershed moment in history which began with Columbus's second voyage on September 23, 1493.  Mindfully, his sole purpose  the sole purpose was to conquer. This was Spain's transformation from being conquered by the Moors for over 700 years  into becoming a conqueror themselves.  Which Iberian  kingdom  embraced, and has been modified over the centuries and  still is being used  by western culture.  

Noteworthy, this voyage  was  mandated by Queen Isabella together with  King Fernando with a blessing of the Pope. The evidence is Christopher   Columbus was given a flotilla of 17 ships, domesticated animals, along with 1,200 men, attack dogs, as well as canons with several priests. His orders were to colonize Hispaniola, then continue his journey to locate mainland India.

Although he died  on May 20, 1506, his  conquering initiative was carried out by  Conquistadors, who pillaged, stole  and robbed to make Spain the envy of the western world. The indigenous population was no match against these strangers who had horses, giving them mobility along with their weapon superiority. Even more devastating was their lack of immunity from Europeans diseases such as smallpox, measles or a common cold causing millions of them to die.

Within a few short decades after Columbus landed   on the Caribbean shores, Spain created one of the most formidable empires in European history by conquering and colonizing vast stretches of the Americas.

In 1508, about 16 years after he  first stumbled upon his so-called New World. There was a total of 45 ships that  had crossed the Atlantic to bringing settlers and supplies. They introduced crops, especially sugarcane, and animals, including cattle, mules, sheep, horses, along with pigs.

At first, slavery begins with a trickle into Brazil by the Portuguese.  This was followed by Spain's colonies, especially when gold was found in Mexico,  and Peru along with silver discovered in Bolivia. Slavery is an old business that has been since the dawn of humanity. In Europe, by the sixteenth century, there was a tremendous demand for laborers in their colonies. The Spanish and Portuguese led the way, that was later followed by England, who also imported  slaves from Africa.

Trading for slaves was an ancient practice among Africans as well as other cultures. Although, many societies recognized them merely as property, but others saw them as dependents, which eventually might be integrated into the families of the slave owners. Still, other societies allowed slaves to attain positions of military or administrative power. Most often, both owners and also, the slaves themselves were Africans, although they were frequently of different micro-nations (known in western societies as tribes).

Traditionally, African slaves were brought to perform menial or domestic labor, to serve as wives or concubines, or to enhance statuses of the slave owner. However, treatment of slaves was vastly different and less cruel than the treatment of slaves by Arabs and  Protestants. European traders took refuge in the fact that Arab's and even the Africans themselves had already sold slaves before them.  Which gave them an opportunity to justify their slave institutions.

When Christopher Columbus accidental arrived on a Caribbean island that he called Hispaniola, he planted a flag declaring it a protectorate of Spain. This was the first colony outside of Europe. What followed was King Ferdinand together with Queen Isabella sending conquistadors across the Atlantic to claim land for their kingdom.

This is solid evidence of their conquering intentions. This accusation cannot be denied because of the Spanish Requirement of 1513 that was a declaration by the monarchy of its divinity. Giving the conquistadors or mercenaries an ordained right to take possession of the territories of the New World and to subjugate, exploit and to fight the indigenous people by the name of God.

The Requirement was read in Spanish to inform them of Spain’s rights to conquer them. The Spaniards thus considered those who resisted as defying God’s plan, and so used Catholic theology to justify their conquests. Using this rationale, Hernan Cortez  in 1519 arrived in Mexico with horses along with 500 soldiers. These Aztecs were not sure what to think about these strangers because they had never seen men dressed in metal armor let alone riding horses. They thought Cortes was their Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, and they welcomed him as if he was a great god, but soon realized their mistake.

Which later led to a devastation of its people with the major help of epidemic diseases that they had no immunity. The conquistadors had brought with them smallpox, which killed huge numbers of Aztec warriors. Without these warriors, the Aztecs were unable to fight off Cortes, who with help of surrounding indigenous foes, who hated Aztec rulers. He could conquer Aztecs and other empires.  

The Inca Empire met the same fate as the Aztecs. Smallpox would also help another Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro; who conquered Incas in South America. His  victory would be easy because lucky for him smallpox had reached Peru many months before him. The disease killed thousands of Incas leaving this empire. Which was badly divided. He captures Inca's ruler, Atahualpa, easily. >

Pizarro promised that he would release Atahualpa if the Incas gave him gold. The Incas complied in order to save their ruler, but he never kept his promise. Once he received this gold and silver, Pizarro killed him. Another great empire fell. Spain would continue to conquer most of South America growing from an insignificant country in Europe into a world power. It was because of their stolen gold artifacts as well as silver along with everything else of value. Noteworthy, more than a few of these ships were so overloaded with treasure a few of them sunk.

Simultaneously, more  artifacts were stolen from Spain's treasure ships at sea by pirates. This was in conjunction with England, who commissioned Sir Frances Drake, vice admiral who was a sea captain, pirate privateer, slaver, and politician all in the service of Queen Elizabeth. Soon afterward, other European nations hired pirates on their behalf.

Spanish  Armada 1588

Initially, Spain and England had cordial relations; however, that slowly deteriorated. Especially, when Spain's monarchy got tired of them pirating their treasury ships. Mindfully, these stolen artifacts were results of Spain plundering and destroying the Aztec’s, Inca’s,  and Maya’s civilizations. Another thorn in Spain's side is England was Protestant and Spain was Catholic.

Therefore, this was another justification for destroying England and in order to accomplish this task, Spain proceeded to build a fleet of ships or Spanish Armada. Notably, this was the first time in the western culture that a fleet of this magnitude was built. The Armada was new technology and supposedly invincible. However, that was not the case at all.  This so-called indestructible fleet was decisively defeated in 1588. The defeat of the Spanish Armada is one of the most famous events in English history.

On the other hand, it was arguably Queen Elizabeth's finest hour. England was victorious, which catapult them into a world sea power which they have maintained until this day.  Using their new status, they began to colonize areas not yet occupied by Spain or Portugal . In 1606, King James I of England gave the Virginia Company of London the charter to establish a new colony in North America. They financed an expedition of 144 men (105 settlers and 39 crewmen) to travel to America aboard three ships named the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. They set sail on December 20, 1606. This settlement would be named James town in honor of its King. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America.

It was founded in 1607 and served as the capital of the Virginia colony for over 80 years. The first settlers of Jamestown were all men. Most of them were aristocrats looking for gold. They hoped to get rich quick and then return to England. Few of them were used to the hardships of hard work. They didn't know how to fish, hunt, or farm. Their lack of basic survival skills would make the initial years very difficult or better yet impossible because the first year was a disaster for them. More than half of the original settlers died during a harsh winter. Most of them died from diseases, germs from the water, and starvation.

It wasn't until Captain John Smith took over the leadership of the colony that relationships improved. When Smith attempted to visit the Powhatan Chief, he was taken captive. Smith was saved when the chief's daughter, Pocahontas, intervened and saved his life. After this event, this relationship between the two groups improved, and the settlers could trade with the Powhatan for much-needed goods. It was in the summer of 1608 that Captain John Smith became the president of the colony. Unlike the other leaders, Smith was not an "aristocrats", but an experienced seaman and a soldier. Smith's leadership gave the colony a chance to survive.

The winter after John Smith left (1609-1610) turned out to be the worst year in the history of the settlement. It is often called the " starving time " because only 60 of the 500 settlers living in Jamestown survived that winter.  After a harsh winter, these few settlers left were determined to abandon the colony. When fresh supplies and colonists arrived from England in the spring, they decided to stay. Things began to turn around. This is when John Rolfe introduced tobacco. Tobacco became a cash crop for Virginia and helped the colony to grow rapidly over the next several years.  At first,  indenture servants  develop this colony.

Indentured  European men and women who signed a contract by which they agreed to work for a certain number of years in exchange for transportation to Virginia. Once they arrived, food, clothing, along with shelter was supplied. Adults usually served for four to seven years and children sometimes for much longer, with most working in the colony's tobacco fields. With a long history in England, indentured servitude occurred, during most of the seventeenth century, a primary means by which Virginia planters filled their inexhaustible need for labor.

In 1619, twenty Africans were bartered for tobacco at Jamestown. It was not aboard a Dutch ship as reported by John Rolfe, but an English warship, White Lion. Sometime later, a shipment of 100 white women indentured servants was bought to expand its population. Jamestown began to grow and its early days, Africans together with European indentured servants fraternize with each other without any racial issues. Moreover, they ate, work alongside each other having babies among themselves. However, the status of Africans in colonial America underwent a rapid revolutionary change.

One early judicial decision signaled the change in European attitudes toward Africans. In 1640, three Virginia servants—John Punch, James Gregory, along with a man named Victor, were all indentured servants contracted to Virginia's planter Hugh Gwyn. Upon recapture, these three men each performed a similar task as slaves, each suffered unimaginable cruelty was willingly escaping  in pursuit of freedom. John, James, along with Victor ran away but were captured within days.

Though fleeing similar circumstances, the fates of these runaways differed under the court's interpretation. A judge sentenced all three to whippings. He then added four years to the indenture terms of James and Victor, both white Europeans. However, John Punch an  African was condemned to lifelong servitude with harsher treatment. This lone historical event was a precursor to chattel slavery.

Bacon Rebellion 1676

Forty years later was Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 which covers a wide range of events that was a precursor to America's Revolution against England. Early colonies had a difficult time surviving under England's rule using indentured servants along with African slaves to develop their settlements. In order to fill this endless need, prisons were emptied along with brothels together with children from orphan homes. As  a matter of historical importance, resistance to  English rule  was exhibited by desertions,   rebellions, mutinies on seas, as well as work slowdowns. Court records from Virginia in 1671 inform us that Governor Berkeley had reported in previous years, that four out of five servants died of disease after their arrival.

This is the year when births and deaths were recorded by color giving  birth to the WHITE RACE. Finally, the worst fears of the plantation's elite crystallized in Virginia in 1676 by Nathaniel Bacon. Who formed an anti-aristocratic movement symbolizing a mass resentment against the Virginia establishment. This began when hundreds of European freedmen, bond-servants joined by African slaves staged an armed insurrection against Virginia's colonial elite.color giving  birth to the WHITE RACE. Finally, the worst fears of the plantation's elite crystallized in Virginia in 1676 by Nathaniel Bacon. Who formed an anti-aristocratic movement symbolizing a mass resentment against the Virginia establishment. This began when hundreds of European freedmen, bond-servants joined by African slaves staged an armed insurrection against Virginia's colonial elite.freedmen, bond-servants joined by African slaves staged an armed insurrection against Virginia's colonial elite.

Noteworthy, white European and African slaves  were forced into servitude are now united with each other in his army. Prior to the Beacon Rebellion they  ate, work, stole hogs and often times ran away together as well as socialized and had babies between each other. Notably,  the freed Africans could vote, participate in the colonies, politics, militia as well as owning indentured servants. Most disturbing was they fought in removing Aristocrats from power. This ended with burning Jamestown by Bacon's rebels, in 1676, gave the ruling class reasons for concern.

Which eventually caused a creation of institutionalized racism based on color that eliminates Europeans along with Africans fraternizing together.  In the early days of Jamestown, the  slaves and indentured servants form friendships among themselves. Subsequently, Britain soldiers defeated Bacon's forces, eventually, restored royal rule over Virginia's Jamestown colony. Bacon's Rebellion was a famous event, but uprisings occurred throughout the colonies. Notably, before this colony was restored, the Aristocrats were forced to live on ships for a year until England could send reinforcements to put down the rebellion. Surprisingly,  there was never any reference to race by color until 1691.

What followed was a plethora of slave codes involving discipline together with its punishment were passed, by the Virginia Assembly with “benefits” for their European brethren. The Law of 1705 required masters to provide White servants whose indenture were up to 10 bushels of corn, 3 shillings, and a gun plus 50 acres of land; women servants got 15 bushels of corn and 40 shillings. The African servant got a lifetime of servitude together with harsher treatments. Moreover, in 1705, the law forbid any African from owning an indentured servant. In 1721, free Africans were deprived of their voting rights. By 1727, Virginia established slave patrols all Europeans were required as their duty to hunt down Africans who escape.

Contrary to what history teaches, the American Revolution was not ignited by taxation on tea. According to Benjamin Franklin, it was because " the conditions [became] so reversed that the era of prosperity ended. " In the mid-1700s the American Colonies were prospering, in part because they were issuing their own money called " Colonial Scrip, " which was strictly regulated and did not require the payment of any interest. When the bankers in Great Britain heard this, they turned to the British Parliament, which passed a law prohibiting the Colonial Scrip, forcing the colonists to accept the "Debt " or " Fiat " money issued by the Bank of England.

Notably, poor Europeans were rewarded, giving them a financial incentive. By the 1760s the colonial rulers, the rich elite, had 150 years of ruling experience, and had formulated various tactics to deal with their different fears. And we have seen that the biggest fear among these wealthy plantation owners was the potential combination of European and African slaves. In response, over half a century, the elite passed codes, forcing Africans to be slaves as opposed Europeans. The elite had discovered that if they constructed a race-based system of slavery, and gave the European servants just a bit more than the African servants received, they could effectively “buy-off” the Europeans. However, they had to create “white racism” in order to reach this goal.