[Marxism] White supremacy and slavery: Gerald Horne on the real story of American independence - Salon.com

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat May 31 06:11:45 MDT 2014

Q: You note in the book that there was a cultural gulf between Londoners 
and colonists when it came to how they thought of people of African 
descent and slavery. What was the disconnect — and why do you think it 

A: To be fair, there were only about 15,000 Africans in London in the 
1770s. They were not the essential component of the English economy nor 
the Scottish economy. The exploitation of Africans basically took place 
thousands of miles away. And thus it became easier, it seems to me, for 
Londoners to have a more civilized attitude. It became easier for 
William Hogarth, the painter, to invest Africans with a kind of humanity 
that was marginally absent in terms of the consideration and 
contemplation of many in the colonies. And I think this also helps to 
generate the schism between the metropolis London and the mainland 
provinces that ultimately leads to an eruption causing a unilateral 
declaration of independence in July 1776. Increasingly, Londoners were 
coming to see the colonists as being rather uncivilized with regard to 
their maltreatment of Africans. This was particularly the case when the 
colonists showed up in London itself and would engage in beating 
enslaved Africans on the streets of London and this did not go down very 
well amongst the Londoners. It did not go down very well amongst the 
British subjects, generally. I do think that this is a factor amongst 
many that creates this yawning gap — in some cases wider than the 
Atlantic Ocean — between the colonies, on the one hand, and the colonial 
master in London, on the other.


More information about the Marxism mailing list