By 1860 there were approximately 4,000,000 slaves in the United States, the second largest slave society—slave population—in the world. The only one larger was Russian serfdom. Brazil was close. But in 1860 American slaves, as a financial asset, were worth approximately three and a half billion dollars—that’s just as property. Three and a half billion dollars was the net worth, roughly, of slaves in 1860. In today’s dollars that would be approximately seventy-five billion dollars.
In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself, and no one can really put a dollar value on all of the land of North America.
Going through my book shelf I stumbled upon an old book “Roots by Alex Haley”. I was introduced to the book when I was a kid,by my mother, who read a translated version of the book. She would explain painstakingly about the evils of slavery and the emphasize the virtues of self respect, human rights and humility. The name of the book always remained embedded in me and was reinforced when I read Uncle Toms Cabin, as part of my English course in School.
Years Later I was given this book as a gift by a good friend and it stayed close to my heart and on by bookshelf. I saw the book again the same question came back. WHY?…… For the greater good of the world economic and industrial growth, we humans have sacrificed the smile of a whole generations. This is not limited to USA, we see this in Every part of the world. The mechanics may vary, but the concept remains the same.
We again face the same problem again, in the form of a financial crisis, for the greater good of an individual banks, the smiles of millions were gambled upon.
Forget the times we walked the trail,
The gentle grass, the leaves falling,
Peeping flower and its drowsy leaves,
The lazy owl, the moonlit stream,
Aah!, no road is long when I walked with thee.
Forget the times we played the wind,
The gentle spray, the rain pouring,
Gloomy willow and its flashy grain,
The sullen clouds, the roaring wind,
Aah! No Storm is strong, when I walked with thee.
Forget the times we played the time,
The gentle touch, the smile gleaming,
Walking dream and its silent smile,
The envious time, a losing race,
Aah! No hour is late, when I walked with thee.
Forget the times, you say…Forget the times we were one
The broken heart, soul shrinking
Unimpassioned grief and its melancholy soul
Looming mist, a life galore
Aah! No life is life, when I walk without thee.
A tardy promise…. I will be through,
Broken heart, a tragic wound,
Denies life, forbids death
As soon as eternity is through, I promise, I will be over you.
Model’s Face Sketch by ~dahyun
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