The slave trade was big business.

Literally.

In this post, I want to set out some basic information about how the modern slave trade got started, the precedent it set for a global economic model of doing business, and why Portugal – and the Portuguese crypto-Jews – found themselves acting as the main conduits for the slave trade.

Yalla, let’s do it.

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Let’s be clear, that the slave trade has existed since time immemorial.

Every time that one nation, one people, one army, conquered another, they usually sold at least some of the people they’d captured as slaves, or kept them as slaves themselves.

I’m not enough of a Torah learner to give a treatise on how the Torah views slavery, but I can tell you that the Torah limited the period of slavery to 7 years. If the slave wanted to continue being a slave after that, they could – but it was frowned on in the Torah.

And of course, it was the slave’s own choice to continue serving their master after that time. (IF the master was keeping the Torah’s laws. Sadly, a big if.)

Also, the Torah set out a bunch of rules on how to treat slaves that even stated that if there was only one pillow in the house, the slave should get it instead of the master.

So clearly, ‘Torah-sanctioned enslavement’ is a very different beast from what was actually occurring in the slave trade.

With that intro out the way, let’s begin.

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Back in 1711, a few British politicians came up with the idea of creating what became known as ‘The South Seas Company‘, as part of their effort to raise money to cover the United Kingdom’s ever-increasing debts.

The UK was in debt because it was fighting two wars at once, and (just like today…) spending on the army was taking a huge amount of currency out of circulation.

The basic idea is that the people who the UK government owed money to could ‘swap’ their debt for shares in this new company, which was sold as having fantastic prospects for trading in the South Seas. As soon as the company was formed, the UK government started ‘pumping it up’ by promising enormous potential profits – at every turn.

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But, get this: It was all a crock.

At that time, the ‘South Seas’ were controlled by the Spanish, and the corrupt British politicians in charge of the treasury knew that there was effectively zero chance of any ‘trading’ going on, because the British were engaged in a long, drawn out war with Spain at that point.

But the ‘South Seas Company’ had great marketing and fabulous PR, so a lot of people still bought into it, even though it had nothing to really sell, no money to invest in trade, and no real prospects of being able to develop a trade network.

And slowly but surely, the share price started to lift off.

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In 1713, the war over the Spanish Succession finally ended, after a decade, with the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht.

At that point, the South Seas Company finally started to make some cash, as it was granted the Assiento de Negros by the British government, for 30 years.

Long story short, back in 1479, the Spanish and the Portuguese effectively divided the world up between them (I know, the arrogance of all this!)

Spain got South America (amongst other things), while Portugal got Africa.

The only way Spain could make a go of the massive new tracts of land it was conquering in the ‘New World’ was by importing slaves from Africa to work the land.  Of course, this is because Spain effectively murdered most of the ‘New World’s indigenous inhabitants, during the process of conquering it.

So, Spain had gotten used to the idea that it had to import African slaves to its colonies in the New World, primarily via the Portuguese.

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Let’s interject here that many of the merchants involved in international trade and maritime trade at this point were, of course, Jews.

And let’s also state for the record that many of these merchants with a Jewish background were actually crypto-Jews, who’d actually renounced their Jewish religion a long time ago, and had been living as xtians for a couple of centuries, already, by the time we get to 1713.

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Here’s how Wikipedia explains what was going on:

The Spanish were reliant on Portuguese slave traders for all their requirements.

The asiento specified the places of importation and the points of delivery, as well as navigation routes. The contract was usually obtained by foreign merchant banks who cooperated with local or foreign traders, specialized in shipping.

Different organisations and individuals would bid for the right to hold the asiento.

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Notice how merchant banks were mixed up with the slave trade right from the start.

Tuck that piece of info away for now, but be aware that there is nothing new under the sun. And remember that going forward, when more information about human trafficking in our days starts to explode across the internet.

Any day now.

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So, after the Treaty of Utrecht, the British government acquires ‘rights’ to supply 4,800 African slaves a year, for the next 30 years, to the Spanish colonial empire, and they pass those ‘rights’ to the South Seas company.

These are real people we are talking about, who were forcibly taken from their homes and families on the African continent to be worked as slaves in barbarous conditions.

I’m not going to wax heavy on the moralising, but it is just striking me as I write this that the whole Western ‘economic system’ is built, mamash, on human suffering and enslavement – and has been, right from the start.

The ‘Economic Hit Man’ model was just the latest incarnation of it.

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And the enslavement of you and me, in debt; in ridiculous taxes; in a corrupt system that was designed always and only to serve that tiny group of elites at the top – well, it’s just the latest ‘update’ of a model of human enslavement and suffering that has been operating for centuries.

No wonder it has to come crashing down before Moshiach comes.

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So, the South Sea Company now has this ‘contract’ to supply 144,000 slaves to the Spanish colonies.

And they also have competition from Dutch merchants (where a large number of ‘conversos’ also ended up), because Holland had been granted ‘rights’ to supply slaves to Spain under the Treaty of Munster,  75 years earlier, in 1648.

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A lot of people don’t know this, but Spain actually controlled large chunks of Western Europe, for hundreds of years.

This from Wiki:

The Dutch Revolt, also called the Eighty Years’ War, of 1568–1648 was the struggle by the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands for independence from the Spanish Empire…

[B]y 1581 the Northern provinces of the Netherlands were de facto independent…

Despite these successes, the Dutch failed to expel the Spanish from the wealthy provinces of the Southern Netherlands, modern-day BelgiumLuxembourg plus the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Longwy regions of northern France.

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The long arm of the Spanish Inquisition literally reached more than half way around the world.

And with Jews persona non grata in so many other parts of the world during the early Middle Ages – including the British Isles – well.

Many Jews probably felt they had little choice, except to pretend to be xtians at this time.

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It’s a bit of a tangent here, but I think it’s a good time to underline the fact that crypto Jews could be found all over the world, in all different countries by the 17th century.

For example, when the Jews were formally expelled from England in 1290, some of them left. But many of them just became ‘crypto-Jews’ and went underground.

And a lot of those ‘crypto-Jews’ ended up in the neighboring countries of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, which explains what ‘David Yale‘, the crypto-Jewish ‘good protestant’ was doing in the middle of the Welsh countryside; and also, how so many Jews ended up at the highest stratas of Scottish society, too.

It’s totally a post for another time, but if you have time and inclination, there’s an interesting book you can download for free HERE called: ‘When Scotland was Jewish’.

The point is, that there were literally hundreds of thousands of ‘crypto Jews’ who had Jewish roots, but who’d been living mamash like goyim for hundreds of years, but who would ‘recycle themselves’ into the Jewish community, as and when it became expedient to do so.

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There’s a huge discussion to be had here about the whole issue of ‘who is a Jew’, and I certainly am not pretending to be able to provide any answers to that question.

But it does underline the point – again and again and again – that it’s not yichus that matters, but deeds and actions of the individual.

Part of the reason the trail keeps going cold on the genealogy of so many of our leading Sages, before the fifteen hundreds, is because so many of them descend from families who were mamash living like goyim, for centuries.

And don’t tell me that eating traif 24/7, and attending mass, and hanging out in goyish society didn’t leave any lasting impact or scars on those Jewish souls and their descendents, because that’s patently a bunch of c**p.

And that’s also why the modern State of Israel is doing it’s best to close the door on the whole question of recognising modern-day ‘conversos’. It would just bring everything way too close to home.

Ok, back to the slave trade.

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The ‘Asiento’ wasn’t just about slaves.

It was also about conducting international trade.

The Spanish Treasury used ‘asientos’ as a debt tool, whereby the merchants and traders would ‘buy rights’ to operate in their territories, and to ‘sell’ the Spanish colonies things they needed – like African slaves.

And then in return, these traders would also earn the ‘right’ to take the stuff being produced in these colonies (with slave labor), such as tea, coffee, sugar, tobacco, spices, and even gold and gems – and to sell them elsewhere on the open market.

So, the private companies and merchants bore the ‘risks’ involved with the trade, while the Spanish treasury got some safe cash to continue funding its outlay.

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The South Seas Company subcontracted for the slaves required to the Royal African Company – another private company created via Royal Charter, and owned by English royalty – Charles II and his brother, James II – to supply slaves to British colonies:

Between 1662 and 1731, the Company transported approximately 212,000 slaves, of whom 44,000 died en route, around 3,000 per year.

By that time, they also transported slaves to English colonies in North America. By contrast, through Zanzibar, East Africa’s main slave-trading port, Omani Arabs exported as many as 50,000 slaves per year in the 19th century.

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The Arabs were also heavily engaged in the slave trade.

It wasn’t just the British, the Dutch, the Portuguese, and the ‘crypto Jews’ who served them as middlemen, to facilitate the trade.

But I’m concentrating on the Western world, and the ‘crypto-Jewish’ side of things, as that’s the part the Jewish community needs to know about – and to make some real teshuva about.

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Ok, let’s recap what we’ve learned so far.

For around 3-400 years, up until around the 17th century, Spain was the leading imperial force in the world, and had colonies all over the planet.

Portugal also had massive land holdings all over the world.

The expulsion of Jews from Spain occurred in 1492.

Both before and after that time, there were huge numbers of Jews who externally excepted xtianity, and became ‘crypto Jews’, often living as non-Jews for even hundreds of years.

On top of that, there were also many other ‘crypto Jews’ all over the place as a result of tens of forced expulsions, including when Jews were expelled from England, in 1290.

You can see a big long list of those expulsions HERE.

So by the 18th century, much of the Jewish community was either ‘underground’, or had very recently been ‘underground’, and had been immersed in xtian culture – mamash – for centuries.

And people were washing in and out of the Jewish / Xtian / Muslim communities very freely.

So the whole idea of yichus is frankly a big joke.

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This is a huge subject, so let’s just finish today with what happened with the South Sea Company.

Long story short, a new King arose in the UK at this time, called George I from Hanover.

And that lead to a massive reorganisation of the South Seas Company board of directors, as the King started stuffing the board with his own people and politicians.

(Does any of this sound familiar?)

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You’ll recall from THIS post, that ‘Rabbi Jacob Franks’ father, Adam Franks, was a very close advisor to this new ‘German’ King, George 1.

I also just found out that George 1st’s long-time mistress was a woman named Melusine von der Schulenburg.

Isn’t it curious, that she has the strange name of the ‘half woman / half snake’ that we talked about HERE, as the inspiration for the Starbucks logo?

Starbucks Melusine

Clearly, none of this is a coincidence.

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Let’s cut a very long story short.

The South Seas Company board basically engaged in the first modern-style ‘pump and dump‘ scam in history, with the South Seas Company shares.

If you don’t know what a ‘pump and dump’ operation is, read THIS:

They deliberately created what became known as the ‘South Seas Bubble’, where gullible investors were encouraged to trade in stocks which had very little real value supporting them, but which were ‘pumped up’ with false PR and false information in the public arena.

When the greed party finally stopped in September 1720, and the shares eventually collapsed, the economic impact was totally devastating:

“Company failures now extended to banks and goldsmiths, as they could not collect loans made on the stock, and thousands of individuals were ruined, including many members of the aristocracy. With investors outraged, Parliament was recalled in December and an investigation began. Reporting in 1721, it revealed widespread fraud amongst the company directors and corruption in the Cabinet.”

There is nothing new under the sun.

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You can read more about the South Seas Company HERE, and I want to just draw your attention to something interesting:

The South Seas Company was still going in the 19th century, and it’s ‘sub governor’ under the ‘Governor’ Queen Victoria in 1838 was one Charles Franks.

I am willing to bet good money he’s related to ‘Rabbi Jacob Franks’ – and to a bunch of other ‘crypto-Jews’, too.

Nothing about modern history is what we we’ve been taught.

And what was going on then, is still going on now.

Which is why we have to gird our loins, and keep unpeeling this onion until we figure out what’s really happening in our world, in 2021, and who is really behind it.

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Over the next few posts, I want to take a closer look at George I, and his advisors and helpers, many of whom were German-speaking Jews (and crypto-Jews) from places like Hamburg and Frankfurt.

We’ll also take a look at how so many of the Jewish community’s ‘big machers’ actually made their fortunes participating in the slave trade, both in the Sephardi and Ashkenazi world.

(Those were the same people who owned plantations, and who were acting as court factors, and who owned the rights to import stuff like tea and tobacco to Europe.)

And how all this stuff is connected to the rise of ‘Sabbatean Frankists’, and the modern State of Israel.

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There’s a lot to cover!

So much to cover, it’s totally overwhelming…

But once it’s out in the open, more and more of the ‘lies’ propping up the evil in the world will start to implode all by themselves.

So yalla, let’s get on with it!

Wherever it takes us.

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7 replies
  1. Daisy Stern
    Daisy Stern says:

    Rivka,

    I didn’t have time to read this whole post before Shabbat but I did read the first paragraphs where you mention how the Torah views slavery. You forget one very important thing:

    What you are describing is the treatment of EVED IVRI. Yes, that’s true; a person who had to sell themselves, or their young daughter, for financial reasons. However the status of the EVEDKNA’ANI – which corresponds to the status of the black slaves taken by force – is treated much harsher than that.

    If we want to compare, we should compare apples with apples, not apples with oranges. I am no talmidah Chachamah myself, but at least I am aware of that differece, and frankly I have not studied the status of an Eved Kna’ani in detail. Maybe somebody who reads this knows more about that?

    This was actually the first thing that popped into my mind after you wrote the previous post about Jewish slave owners, and I thought: but how come the Torah allows that?

    Can anybody help with this info so Rivka and others can dig deeper? It is quite a troublesome question.

    Thanks!

    Shabbat Shalom

    Reply
  2. Ana
    Ana says:

    -In the Aseres Hadibros, “theft” is kidnapping a person (ie, exactly how these slaves were acquired). There’s a lot to this…

    -An interesting coincidence is that the current PM (of Israel)’s father was a scholarly expert in the Conversos of Spain… here are a few titles he published:
    *Toward the inquisition: Essays on Jewish and converso history in late medieval Spain, Ithaca, 1997.
    *The Marranos of Spain: From the Late XIVth to the Early XVIth Century, 1966. Ithaca, 1999.
    *The origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain. New York: Random House, 1st edition August 1995.

    Reply
    • Daisy Stern
      Daisy Stern says:

      Ana,

      Bibi admits himself that he descends from Jews from the Iberian Peninsula after the Inquisition, I forgot if it was Spain or Portugal, if I recall it was Spain. I saw this when I was doing research about him and the Rebbe, and the info just popped up.

      But so what? How many of us are not descendants of the Jews of Spain or Portugal??? That was the center of Jewish life at that time. There is no shame in that. Some left Spain, some stayed and converted while remaining secret Jews…. who knows who was who?

      Reply
  3. J.
    J. says:

    To my knowledge, the main difference between Jewish and non-Jewish slaves was the period of liberation; a non-Jewish slave was not meant to be freed. But manumission was encouraged after a complete conversion. And we weren’t waiting for the conversion to happen by magic! First, non-Jews had to accept Noah’s laws (at least, if they wanted to live in Israel… they could also run away, or be put to death if they decided to stay while formally rejecting the Noahide code… ok, it’s a bit harsh, but at least they had the choice, and even more than only one). Afterwards, they could become slaves. Families were not systematically broken up. And their master would allowed them to do all mitzvot -except those that are based on time-. To sum up, it was a gentle and slow process of conversion. So much so that marriage between mamzerim and them was allowed (but the children were not Jewish in that case), or between regular Jews and them (if they fully converted first -even if it was precisely for the purpose of getting married-, and got freed by their master). Non-Jewish slaves were also allowed to eat the corban Pessah if they were circumcised. To the contrary, the master of an uncircumcised slave was allowed to eat taref (in other words, shame on him because he was not a good teacher!)
    Slaves were part of the family, and they were working hard to merit this special situation, but got nice possibilities in turn (some food, a roof… but the most important was the spiritual gain: being Canaani slaves in an observant family was like getting a green card to be part of the Jewish people while converting at their own pace… very advantageous position!) They received love and respect from their master who was supposed to act like a protecting father toward them. Finally, after the master’s death, they were given as an inheritance to the master’s son, so the slaves and their children could stay in the family, which meant protection as long as needed for their spiritual journey… (yes, it can take time to become a good Jew; no one learn at the same pace, and it can be even longer if you need to work instead of studying all day ; each life is unique, and so each soul is!) 
    I’m not aware of a harsher life for Canaani slaves than for Jewish slaves. Jews are required to act with compassion toward any servant, Jewish of not, just as G.od do. In a way, I think we can assume that if the Jewish people are willing to serve G.od, the Canani slaves might as well serve the Jewish people without it being a degrading experience. Same kind of “master/servant relationship”… at least, as the Torah sees it. The history may differ. I don’t know. But as I commented in a previous post, I suspect that the conversion process changed a lot at some point (to sadly become cruel and degrading), making “slavery” almost desirable to many noahides. That said, I don’t believe descendant of Black slaves could see their family history as something anything near “desirable”.

    Reply

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