Question: How Many Countries INvoluntarily Gave Up Slavery?

Its a question worth asking in light of:

A member of Colorado’s state Board of Education argued that the fact that the United States voluntarily ended slavery proved “American execptionalism” and this perspective should be taught to students in a recent Facebook post about the AP U.S. History curriculum.

Businesswoman Pam Mazanec, who was elected to represent Colorado’s 4th Congressional district on the board, jumped into a discussion about the AP History course framework Saturday on a Facebook page that describes itself as “a place where teachers and parents are encouraged to speak freely about their issues, questions, and concerns in the Douglas County School District.” The Colorado Independent flagged her comment on Thursday.

Mazanec’s first posts in the thread raised the possibility that the AP History course framework may have been conceived by people with an “agenda,” prompting an AP English teacher to respond by explaining that experienced AP teachers compile the courses’ exams.

She then wrote that her concern for the course “is an overly negative view of our history and many of our historical figures (if mentioned)” and cited history professors with “impressive credentials” who told her that the AP History curriculum is designed to “downplay our noble history.”

She used slavery to illustrate the point:

As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH Framework support or denigrate that position?

I wonder if she’s aware that Saipan is part of the United States?

But I digress….

So what exactly would Mazanec consider to be ‘involuntarily’ giving up slavery? And what would be some examples of countries that ‘involuntarily’ did so?

I mean, other than the Confederate States of America.

The deadbeat former Americans who first settled (well, settled by non-Native Americans) the area now known as Texas were forced by the government of Mexico to renounce slavery, but they just ignored Mexican law and did what they wanted to – as part of Mexico, as independent Texas and as the state of Texas until….

well, I already mentioned the Confederate States of America, didn’t I?

Ultimately, the ‘involuntary’-ness is always on the part of hegemonic corporate interests – the same ones that, if the 13th Amendment was not standing in their way, would ensure that EBay had a special slave auction section.  Its always some force within the nation that causes the end of slavery.

Under Manzanec’s standard, even Czarist Russia would also be an example of “American Exceptionalism.”

Think about that.


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