Racial issues in the 17th century

Colonists continually tried to allure laborers to the colony and chiefly relied on Indentured Servitude. The headright system was a method of getting cheap laborers as well as increasing the population of the colony by giving the indentured servant independence after a certain number of years of service. When this method did not suffice and laborers were still scarce, the colonists turned to a different labor force, African slaves.

Racial issues in the 17th century

His article reminds us that persons of African ancestry resided across Europe. Their numbers ranged from a few hundred scattered across Germany, Scandinavia and Russia in the period between the 16th and 18th Centuries to approximatelyon the Iberian peninsula.

His discussion below is excerpted from a larger article written for the American Historical Society in There is a risk in asking 20th-century questions of earlier times because today's terms of discourse may not find a meaningful context there. It is likewise problematic to project onto European history social and cultural constructs that have evolved in the United States, and perhaps nowhere else, in quite the same form.

Such is the dilemma we face in considering the influence of blacks in European history for a primarily American audience. A discussion of the influence of black Africans on Europe and on Europeans is complicated by the absence of a universal definition of black.

In general, the designation black in Europe, unlike in the United States, has been reserved for those of dark color, not the broader definition based on known black African ancestry. Consequently, awareness of a black population in Europe has been limited by the fact that when interracial marriage occurred, subsequent light-complexioned generations might never be referred to again as black.


Consistent with the predominant European attitude, he emphatically rejected the notion that he was. Besides, in his France —as in all the other European societies—class was far more important than color, at least until the 20th century.

The great Russian poetAlexander Pushkin, who took pride in his African ancestry, shrugged off aspersions cast on that score, but took great offense at those who did not respect the centuries of nobility on his father's side.

Is it legitimate, therefore, for a historian to count these two 19th-century literary giants as evidence of an African influence?

Racial issues in the 17th century

Has racial thought in Europe had the same degree of significance as in the United States? Have blacks in Europe experienced a kind of positive " invisibility " in contrast to the destructive American type chronicled by Ralph Ellison? On the surface the European racial definition seems more egalitarian.

However, the history in question suggests also the possibility of an attempt to ignore or minimize the influence of a group considered sufficiently undesirable to have been excluded by law from European countries at various times.

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For teachers and students of history a resultant practical problem is the absence of clear references to race in documents such as census data where it might be quite useful. Moreover, among scholars, few have found the experience of blacks in Europe to merit special attention; and even those few of African descent who have achieved high status have done so by following the accepted conventions and by avoiding drawing attention to either their African heritage or to African characteristics in their societies.

This has been left to blacks in former colonies, not in Europe. This brief essay uses selected examples from continental European societies to discuss some of the issues that must be confronted in studying the influence of Africa and Africans on continental Europe.

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Africa and Africans have had an influence on European thought and culture far disproportionate to the size of the small black population which, for example, approachedin the Iberian peninsula in the 16th century, and by the 18th Century amounted to just several thousand in France, a few thousand in the Netherlandsand several hundred scattered through GermanyScandinavia, and Russia.

Only in the 20th century would the combined numbers reach the hundreds of thousands. The most striking example of that disproportionate influence can be seen in the 20th century, in Soviet Russia, which as part of its messianic role chose Black Africa and blacks in America as symbols for the Communist championing of the downtrodden; elected blacks as honorary members of the Moscow City Council; and named a mountain after Paul Robeson.

Three interesting examples of people of African ancestry who had distinguished careers in Germany, Russia and the Netherlands suggest the ways in which race is mediated in Modern Europe.Photographer Uses 17th-Century Art To Talk About Racial Politics Today 17th Century Art Politics today Old paintings White image Beautiful things Men and .

B. Late 17th-century efforts to integrate Britain's colonies into a coherent, hierarchical imperial structure and pursue mercantilist economic aims met with scant success due largely to varied forms of colonial resistance and conflicts with American Indian groups, and were followed by nearly a half-century of the British government's relative.

By the end of the 17th century, racism had become an established, systematic and conscious justification for the most degrading forms of slavery.

Racial anti-semitism was a useful way to deflect attacks for the real problems created by capitalism in general. Facism.

Racial issues in the 17th century

Find this Pin and more on Activism, Justice & Social Change by Toniann Read. Social Justice: YOUSOUP: a graphic for understanding diversity and the intersections of identity -- Social Studies Social Justice: YOUSOUP: This is a perfect illustration that can be used for understanding diversity and the intersections of identity.

Essays and Scholarly Articles on the Poetry and Prose Works of Renaissance Authors, including Donne, Bacon, Jonson, Herbert, Herrick, Milton, Wroth, Carew, Lovelace. History of Racism and Immigration Time Line Key Events in the Struggle for Racial Equality in President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation as the nation Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor influences public conscience about poor government treatment of Indians.

Conflict between East Indians and Blacks