Tuesday 27 October 2009
Islam and the English Revolution
Image - Le marché aux esclaves / Slave Market (1866) - Jean-Léon Gérôme
Image - The White Slave (1888) - Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte de Nouy
The last time that Islamists were in Britain and causing as a much of an impact on British politics and societ as today was in the 17th Century.
Back then they caused a revolution.
I suspect this will occur again.
Many have argued that barbary slavery between 1625-1640 was one of the reasons for the outbreak of civil war in England. King Charles I succeeded to the throne in 1625, and immediately faced tension with the English sailors, ship owners, and other coastal inhabitants.
At this time, there were already hundreds of captives in the Barbary States. Merchants would not only lose their employees to the barbary corsairs, but also their vessels and goods. They were furious that King Charles I was not putting enough of the money that was earned from taxes and other forms of revenue toward security along the coastline.
Furthermore, many of the captives were members of distraught families, who thought that anything that could be done to have their family members returned should be done. The King attempted to appease the masses and pay ransoms for the captives, but his efforts were thwarted by corruption in his government. King Charles I proposed having members of his government collect ransom money from townspeople, but often, the government official would claim to have freed many captives but instead keep the collected money to himself.
By 1640, there were thousands of English captives in North Africa. As a result, King Charles I was very unpopular around the coast of England, and this helped lead to the Civil War in 1642.