The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Michael A. Ding­wall

One of the rea­sons why it is be­ing claimed that there was a holo­caust dur­ing slav­ery is the num­ber of slaves sent to the Bri­tish Caribbean com­pared to the num­ber of slaves who were alive in 1834. The “small” frac­tion of re­main­ing slaves has been cited as a strong case for these holo­caust claims. How­ever, a good look at the num­bers will re­veal that there was in­deed no holo­caust.

Ja­maica’s case can be used as the stan­dard for most of the Bri­tish Caribbean. It is claimed that the three hun­dred thou­sand slaves that re­mained out of the over one mil­lion that were im­ported proves that a holo­caust oc­curred. How­ever, any statis­ti­cian who val­ues his cred­i­bil­ity will tell you that pop­u­la­tion growth is not so straight-for­ward.

Look­ing at the fig­ures, we can see what the true pop­u­la­tion would have been with­out slav­ery. The 1.2 mil­lion slaves that were im­ported were shipped to Ja­maica be­tween 1650 and 1810. As such, the av­er­age yearly im­por­ta­tion would be seven thou­sand five hun­dred slaves. Two-thirds of the im­ports were male – a very im­por­tant pop­u­la­tion growth con­sid­er­a­tion.

It must be noted that while the av­er­age life ex­pectancy of a slave in the 1600s was un­der thirty years, that for the rest of the world wasn’t much bet­ter – just un­der forty, at best. Ex­clud­ing slav­ery, and con­sid­er­ing that Africans were im­ported dur­ing the prime of their lives, we can ex­pect that the av­er­age per­son would live for another twenty years once here.

As such, af­ter twenty years, Ja­maica’s slave pop­u­la­tion would have been one hun­dred and fifty thou­sand (the seven thou­sand five hun­dred yearly im­por­ta­tion times the twenty years). How­ever, the fol­low­ing year that num­ber would drop by a third – on ac­count of the fact that two thirds of the slave im­por­ta­tion was male. There­fore, af­ter the death of half of the males, on ac­count of an in­abil­ity to re­pro­duce, the pop­u­la­tion would be one hun­dred thou­sand in around 1670.

Af­ter 1670, the pop­u­la­tion re­place­ment mech­a­nism (PRM)

would chip in, as the new slave im­ports would just be re­plac­ing those who would have been here twenty years be­fore – and who would have died. As such, the true pop­u­la­tion base and year that should be used to de­ter­mine the pop­u­la­tion of Ja­maica with­out slav­ery in 1830 was one hun­dred thou­sand and 1670 re­spec­tively. Now, what was the non-slav­ery growth rate like?

Up to the first few decades of the 1800s, the global pop­u­la­tion was grow­ing slowly. Rapid growth ac­tu­ally started in the mid-1800s. Be­tween the years 1600 and 1800, the world’s pop­u­la­tion grew from five hun­dred mil­lion to nine hun­dred mil­lion or eighty per­cent. In the ab­sence of any cred­i­ble birth, death or in­fant mor­tal­ity rates for Ja­maica at that time, the global growth rate must be ap­plied. That would move Ja­maica’s African pop­u­la­tion, with­out slav­ery, in 1830, to one hun­dred and eighty thou­sand.

Now some will ar­gue that con­di­tions in a Ja­maican so­ci­ety with­out slav­ery would still have been much bet­ter than in Africa. As such, I will be very gen­er­ous and in­crease that num­ber by a fur­ther eighty per­cent, to over three hun­dred and twenty thou­sand. This is very con­sis­tent with the three hun­dred thou­sand slaves in Ja­maica at that time.

Even if we should in­flate the vari­ables some more, there is no way that Ja­maica’s African pop­u­la­tion in 1830 would be any­where near one mil­lion, as some would want us to be­lieve. The same is also true of the other Bri­tish is­lands. As such, it is very clear: As far as the African pop­u­la­tion in the Bri­tish Caribbean is con­cerned, there was no slav­ery holo­caust.

Was the African slave trade com­pa­ra­ble to the

Jewish Holo­caust?

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