- Oct 4, 2016
That's about what I said. I'm not claiming there was never any Dutchman or any of the 20.000 Dutch ships was ever involved in the slavetrade before 1636 and moral corruption doesn't happen overnight. But the Dutch trading post and settlements in North America were run by the WIC, which was a state controlled and it's main private funder was an abolitionist (Usselincx) and policy was not to get involved in the slave trade. When Recife in Brazil was captured from the Portuguese, there were already slaves on the sugar plantations of the Portuguese and the governor, Johan Maurits, wrote to WIC board in Amsterdam urging them to give up on their principles because he 'couldn't run this colony without slaves', and the board conceded helped by theologians who had came up with the theory that blacks were descendents of Cham, who were cursed to slavery in Genesis 9.On 1 July 1863, slavery was abolished in the former Dutch colonies of Suriname and the Dutch Antilles. This ended a period of around 200 years of slavery in these colonies. To mark the 150th anniversary of Dutch abolition in 2013, various activities have been organized, including exhibitions in...www.ascleiden.nl
So they sailed out to capture Elmina on the gold coast (Ghana) from the Portuguese. From that moment, 1637, they (as in both the WIC and the Dutch state), didn't hold back at all and even became the biggest Atlantic slavetraders for a couple of decades until they were outcompeted by the English because these managed to keep more slaves alive on the ships. In the Netherlands itself everybody stayed free and most people had no involvement with what happened far away at all, so it was easy to look to other way and be a hypocrite. But that's all well after the establishment of New Netherland and New Amsterdam in North-America, which didn't have plantations so there would not even be the desire for slaves to test their ethics of that time.
I'm not contesting the democratic tradition of the Iroquoi, I just don't believe it's very likely the founding fathers would be open minded enough to study their tradition thoroughly (through talks it would have to be), instead of taking the easy way and just look at a document a more closely related culture had produced almost 200 years before that only needed a translation and a touch up, had proven to be extremely successful, had gained in philosophical foundation and had left it's marks in New York.What was American democracy 'fashioned' on?
The DoI isn't really as much about democracy, but about republicanism, which is of course a good foundation but certainly not the finished product. On American democracy, it seems to me the founding father should have listened much better to the Iroquoi because it never really came off. The Dutch should have too, because allthough they had all kinds of democratic structures since at least the 11th century, real democray only happened in the early 20th century.