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Even Steam Engines are "racist" it seems

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by davidarnold, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    I'm sorry but from your limited posting history on here (which is all i have to judge you on), it seems to me that it you who wants to gloss over the past and are easily offended.
     
  2. goldfish

    goldfish Resident of Nat Pres

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    Buzzword bingo! Only need a ‘woke’ and I’ll have a full house…

    Why do we think Alan is so scared of accurate and honest historic portrayal of industrial artefacts?

    Simon
     
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  3. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    Simon,

    Thank you for sharing that, its fascinating

    John
     
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  4. bluetrain

    bluetrain Well-Known Member

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    Put another way, £9K is about 4 months average salary. One surely cannot expect a large amount of research work for that relatively small sum.

    The Roman Empire built a fine road network, partly to facilitate troop movements and control of conquered territories. The roads also supported trade, no doubt including trade in slaves. So were Roman roads a good or bad thing? Was the Roman Empire a good or bad thing? A historian might tell me to read 10 volumes on the book-shelf and then produce a reasoned answer. And different people will come to different reasoned answers – which will certainly not be a simple yes/no.

    Moving forward to the railway age, Russia still had serfdom when its first railways were being built in the mid-19th Century. Under both the Tsars and the Soviets, an important railway role was the transport of prisoners to inhospitable locations. The USA retained slavery during its first 30 years of railway operation. The American Civil War then became one of the earliest major conflicts in which railways played an important role. But on both sides, operations were impeded by the numerous breaks of gauge and transhipment points that then existed.

    In 1860, only about half of North American route mileage was to 4ft 8½in gauge, the other half being a variety of broad gauges – 4ft 10in, 5ft 0in, 5ft 6in and 6ft 0in. The Civil War experience helped turn opinion in favour of gauge unification, and all the broad gauge routes changed to standard gauge by 1890 – as happened with the GWR in Britain but on a bigger scale.

    America’s first railway, the Baltimore & Ohio, was built to 4ft 8½in gauge, but next was the 5-foot gauge South Carolina Railroad from Charleston to Hamburg, serving an area of slave-worked cotton plantations. Some of that cotton would be shipped across the Atlantic, to be received for onward transport by the Liverpool & Manchester Rly. Without making any moral judgements here, railways did have links with a slave-supported economy.
     
  5. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Well-Known Member

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    more news : man on internet is still angry......

    If there's a couple of things I can take from this thread is that firstly, one shouldn't think too deeply when angry and more importantly, the Daily Telegraph should probably issue free blood pressure tablets for their readers. :) I find humorous how seemingly for those claiming that their culture is being cancelled by somebody, is achieving only to cancel their credibility on the internet.

    For more good news though, worry not men of the internet, I'll make a conscious effort to visit the NRM more often to make up for those who choose to cancel their day out. :)
     
  6. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Great post. Two adds:

    Railroads were used to transfer runaway slaves from the South to the free North, even though federal law would have them returned. Growing numbers made it to Canada

    (Non-railway) The South actively cultivated intervention by the UK in the cotton processing areas of England, based on the Northern blockade of trade from the South. Including British flagged ships.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  7. WesternRegionHampshireman

    WesternRegionHampshireman New Member

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    Honestly, it's become a witch hunt this.
    Pretty much thought this was over when Nia was added into Thomas The Tank Engine but clearly they will keep pushing and pushing until....

    Well, anyone read the book or watched the program Noughts & Crosses?
    Something exactly like that!
     
  8. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    The S & D 200 celebration in 2025 should be a fine railway occasion but the L & M 2030 seems likely to have undertones and a different emphasis, source funding being apparently tainted.
     
  9. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    I've done a little digging. There is a 2015 BBC documentary entitled 'Britain’s Forgotten Slave-Owners' which gives us some insight.

    Link here https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b063db18/britains-forgotten-slave-owners

    The biggest single benefactor of compensation following the abolition of slavery was one John Gladstone of Liverpool (£105,000). In modern day figures he received the equivalent of £80 million. If the name seems familiar it should do because William Ewart Gladstone was his son.

    John Gladstone was a major shareholder in the Liverpool and Manchester.

    Just five years after they received the compensation they invested in the Grand Junction railway and here we have some actual figures: John Gladstone bought 165 of the £100 shares and 102 of the £50 shares. (William also invested, and another son Robertson was deputy chair) All together, the Gladstone family's total investment in the Grand Junction Railway came to a figure that today would be around £26 million and they were the biggest investors in this line.

    Robertson (plantation owner) was involved in the Trent Valley Line and the Birmingham and Shrewsbury.


    The compensation that the Gladstone's received following the abolition of slavery was invested in railways on a large scale and I'd suggest that the Grand Junction, Trent Valley and Birmingham and Shrewsbury could not and would not have been built if the slave owners such as the Gladstones had not been financially compensated and had the ready cash available to invest.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  10. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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  11. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    It's interesting to dig into the next layer. Where did the compensation come from? The answer, as yet incomplete, reveals that it came from a huge loan to the government which was not repaid until 2015! The loan had effects on the development of the British colonial, economic and industrial system which continue to this day.
    https://taxjustice.net/2020/06/09/slavery-compensation-uk-questions/
     
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  12. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I remember the programme and the Gladstone reference, but had forgotten the railway link.

    Patrick


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  13. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    This is a seriously interesting post, apologies for missing it and thank you for that link, I will watch the video shortly.

    Those figures are eye popping. Think on the moral issues surrounding this: you're compensated for the removal of your industry - slavery - and then immediately invest your compensation in railways.

    This is the underlying missing link, and is perhaps a very good indication of the role the slave trade had on the development of railways in this country.

    Truly astonishing.
     
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  14. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

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    I suggest that the slavery compensation money must have had a massive impact on the whole of the Industrial Revolution, not just railways
     
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  15. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    Quite agree.
     
  16. eldomtom2

    eldomtom2 New Member

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    The fact that you use the phrase "moral issues" is highly indictive of the problems with this project: the no doubt massive amounts of moral assumptions it will make.
     
  17. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    I feel sorry for you.
     
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  18. eldomtom2

    eldomtom2 New Member

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    Don't patronise me. I am not arguing that there are not moral questions, I am arguing that the project (and you) will/are make/making assumptions about morality that not everyone would agree with, and are not making such assumptions clear.
     
  19. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Part of the furniture

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    You’ve made two indignant posts about my interpretation of morality from the relative comfort and anonymity of a keyboard. Your only two posts on this forum. I will happily hear you out if you actually have something constructive to bring.

    I would also be interested to hear your alternative morality on the issues of slavery. I’m anti-slavery, by the way. What’s your position?

    Some moral issues that everyone should be in agreement on are painfully clear and not up for debate, given they’re long held and much fought for rights.
     
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  20. eldomtom2

    eldomtom2 New Member

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    I like how you neatly imply I am pro-slavery. In actual fact, the moral questions I was talking about are:

    * The morality of judging actions taken two centuries ago

    * The morality of compensated emancipation

    * The morality of investing funds gained by compensated emancipation

    * The morality of accepting said funds

    * The morality of using or profiting from something funded partially by said funds
     

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