Talk:Essay:Greatest Myths of American History

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Triangular Trade?

Manufactured goods from Europe to Africa. Slaves from Africa to the Americas. Sugar, timber and cotton to Europe from the Americas. A gross oversimplifiction, perhaps, but how is this not "triangular trade?" Moreover, how would the author of this little point-form "essay" describe the Atlantic system in place of the "triangular trade" model - and what sort of "conservative insight" is being offered with this contribution? AliceBG 19:38, 1 September 2008 (EDT)

The term was invented by an historian more than 100 years later. - Clueless.

Whoever wrote this is clueless as to what historians do - and one of the things that they do is look at the past, analyze events and then come up with typologies and taxonomies and categorizations and even just plain old names and titles for those events. Even if no-one in the 17th and 18th centuries used the term "triangular trade," that doesn't mean such a thing did not exist - nobody called the Middle Ages "the Middle Ages" until much later, but we can still point to a certain time and call it so. An overwhelming amount of documentary evidence exists to justify thinking about the Atlantic system this way - after all, do you think the Africans just gave away a valuable economic resource such as slave labor? AliceBG 10:43, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

You ignore the main point: no actual, specific triangular trade route has ever been found. This term was a creative suggestion by a historian over 100 years later, one that apparently captured your imagination. Africa was too poor at the time to engage in any meaningful purchase of goods.--Aschlafly 11:15, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
And you ignore basic economic history. Africa was by no means poor - it was rich in the resource that drove the Atlantic system - the labor of enslaved human beings. How else would the colonies have been able to grow the cotton and sugar? And you're evading the most important part of the argument towards the existence of "triangular" trade system - the fact that something had to be traded for that slave labor - often guns, but also other types of manufactured goods. Maybe you should read "Capitalism and Slavery" by Williams, or the introduction to "The Black Jacobins" by CLR James- or if you find those too difficult, the article on the slave trade in the Encyclopedia Britannica. AliceBG 11:29, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
You still ignore the main point, which I've now repeated several times, and I'm not going to waste my time further on this discussion until you address it.--Aschlafly 11:32, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
This is me addressing your main point: - the fact that the label was created years later is irrelevant to your argument, such as it is. Historians often create labels for things years, decades and centuries after they happen. In all likelihood, nobody called the Barbarian invasions "the Barbarian invasions" (historians now use the term "migrations," anyways...) as they were happening. And I have addressed your other "main point" - that Africa was too poor to participate in a "triangular" mode of trade - above. AliceBG 11:38, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

What exactly do you mean by "trade route"? Isn't the "route" the ocean? MichaelR 11:56, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Thomas Jefferson

Um, since when has Thomas Jefferson not written the Declaration of Independence? Do we have a citation or some proof otherwise? --Ampersand 11:34, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Aschlafly, I've figured out what your problem is...

...I think - you read somewhere that there is no evidence that no one ship ever completed all three sides of the triangle, and therefore you think that the triangle never existed - or something to that effect. But the triangle as a model still holds true even in the light of that understanding - material goods to Africa's west coast; slaves to the New World; cotton, sugar, timber etc. back to Europe. Even if different ships are taking cars of different parts of that network, the network itself still existed. If the Europeans could not use goods from the Americas to trade for slaves in Africa, the system collapses. If the Africans could not provide the slave labor that produced the cheap cotton that was an important part of the manufactured goods being traded with Africa, the system falls apart. And if the European economy was not being driven by resources created by slave labor in the New World, the system would fall apart. Likewise, without cheap food - especially salted cod - brought down from North America to feed the slaves in the Caribbean, the system would have fallen apart. AliceBG 12:49, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

I think the "no ship" evidence was from a review of New England records, ie American orginating ships. So, for complete quesswork: could it not be that Europeans took goods to Africa to trade for slaves and then slaves to America to trade for raw materials (Triangular). Once America had developed enough to produce its own finished goods slavers from America could increase profit by cutting out the middle man (Europe) and deal direct. --Toffeeman 13:14, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Says who?

Aschlafly, you appear to have written this. If you want to make such a statement, shouldn't each point have at least a few citations proving that someone actually makes the arguments that you say are myths? LughR 17:01, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Also, citations proving that they are myths. -CSGuy 17:02, 2 September 2008 (EDT)
LughR, you're begging the obvious. No one has doubted these myths are taught. The only questions have been whether they are myths or are true.--Aschlafly 18:38, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

Who built the great Christiansborg (now Osu) Castle and why?

Who built the fort of Sao Jorge da Mina (Elmina) in 1482, and why?

Why did the English politician and economist, Charles Davenant, write in about 1700 that Britain's share of the "Triangular Trade" accounted for more than a third of the total profits of British exports?

Etc etc etc etc!

(It is not 930AM here yet, and I have a day's things to do. I will be locked out when I am free again. It seems that 500 hundred average words of NEW information per day is not good enough these days.) Anyway....AlanE 19:25, 2 September 2008 (EDT)

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