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View Full Version : European race-mixing in Africa similar to Latin America?


Strategos' Risk
December 4th, 2008, 09:21 AM
What if there was a development of an extensive mulatto race in certain African colonies (probably Portuguese) not unlike the mestizo/zambo/mulatto/etc. populations in Latin, especially South, America?

Hierophant
December 4th, 2008, 11:23 AM
I've been toying with the idea of Spain absorbing Portugal around the early 1500s, in a timeline where Columbus never sails across the Atlantic.

The Spanish inherit a colonial empire in the making around Africa and into the Indies. Imagine if all of Iberia had focused towards the east instead.

South Africa becomes a very import keystone in the Spanish Empire. It's climate is similar to Southern Europe, and gold is discovered early on. What eventually forms there is a mix of Brazil and Latin America, except of course in South Africa.

Archangel
December 4th, 2008, 07:53 PM
What if there was a development of an extensive mulatto race in certain African colonies (probably Portuguese) not unlike the mestizo/zambo/mulatto/etc. populations in Latin, especially South, America?

I believe it would require a much heavier white male settlement in Africa, and tolerant policies (at least de facto as in OTL) regarding Europeans creating families with local women, but it could give birth to a very interesting group of nations.
I've been toying with the idea of Spain absorbing Portugal around the early 1500s, in a timeline where Columbus never sails across the Atlantic.

The Spanish inherit a colonial empire in the making around Africa and into the Indies. Imagine if all of Iberia had focused towards the east instead.

South Africa becomes a very import keystone in the Spanish Empire. It's climate is similar to Southern Europe, and gold is discovered early on. What eventually forms there is a mix of Brazil and Latin America, except of course in South Africa.
It could be done either with Portuguese or Spaniards.
IMO, holding South Africa would probably help, but it wouldn't be essential.

Tyr
December 4th, 2008, 08:01 PM
A bit iffy due to the sheer number of blacks already there. In America both whites and blacks were being imported so there was a moderatly more even mix.
For race mixing in Africa your best bet is between Asians and whites.

ArKhan
December 4th, 2008, 08:32 PM
I read a book that talked about how the constant death of the natives due to small pox, the meztesos where able to fill in the gaps. In Angola, due to massive numbers of the population thining due to the slave trade, we do see exactly this.

virgulino
December 5th, 2008, 01:27 AM
Actually, the coloureds are major ethnic group in western South Africa. They are a mix of the dutch/huguenot settlers with the native khoi people(there is as well coloureds from malay background), most of them speak afrikaans. They are the proof that the white afrikaners lived just fine with the natives before the great trek.

But if you are looking for a latin country, there is Cape Verde. It's not in continental Africa, but around 70 percent of the population have a mixed background.

Nicksplace27
December 5th, 2008, 03:16 AM
Actually, the coloureds are major ethnic group in western South Africa. They are a mix of the dutch/huguenot settlers with the native khoi people(there is as well coloureds from malay background), most of them speak afrikaans. They are the proof that the white afrikaners lived just fine with the natives before the great trek.

Yeah... no. Afrikaners ejected and killed the khoi people very, very often even before the British got there. Just becuase they had sex with the native women and fathered a few children, which were then more often than not ostracised in the society doesn't mean that afrikaners lived 'just fine' with the natives originally.

Now, if this coloured segment of the south African population gets larger somehow, maybe they could muddle the racial distinctions enough in the country where an aparthied or segregated government and society wouldn't be able to work, leading to a more equitable society beginning around 1900.

Tyr
December 5th, 2008, 12:20 PM
Coloureds are getting larger. Its quite inevitable really, all it takes is one generation of mixing, sort of a anti-one drop rule. It takes a fair few generations or some very lucky gene choices to have a kid be 'black' or 'white' again.

virgulino
December 5th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Yeah... no. Afrikaners ejected and killed the khoi people very, very often even before the British got there. Just becuase they had sex with the native women and fathered a few children, which were then more often than not ostracised in the society doesn't mean that afrikaners lived 'just fine' with the natives originally.

Just as fine as the iberians in America. It's hard to think in a racial utopia by the 1700's.

Condottiero
December 5th, 2008, 02:26 PM
Just as fine as the iberians in America. It's hard to think in a racial utopia by the 1700's.

There were American natives that were writers, saints and soldiers. Their languages were given a writen form and studied. There were tens of universities in the XVII century and there were laws to protect the amerindians. Sure it was not utopia, but their situation was not worse than that of many people in Europe.

Strategos' Risk
December 5th, 2008, 08:17 PM
Why are the Anglo-Americans and Germanics so much more brutal colonizers than the French and the Iberians?

Hendryk
December 5th, 2008, 08:28 PM
Why are the Anglo-Americans and Germanics so much more brutal colonizers than the French and the Iberians?
One reason was that they sent entire families to settle their colonies, while the French and the Iberians sent single men. In the latter case, rather than exterminate everyone, the settlers find it preferable to at least keep the women around and take them up as wives.

Ran Exilis
December 6th, 2008, 03:39 AM
A bit iffy due to the sheer number of blacks already there. In America both whites and blacks were being imported so there was a moderatly more even mix.
For race mixing in Africa your best bet is between Asians and whites.

At least in southern Africa, the numbers of blacks aren't neccesarily a problem, depending on the POD you use.

The main reason why the native population levels increased as much as they did in OTL, was the introduction of corn - ever since the introduction of corn, it has been the most important staple food in southern Africa.

In a scenario without corn and with large scale colonization of southern Africa by, say, Spain, it's quite possible that the native population levels remain low enough to allow large scale race-mixing in southern Africa, similar to what happened in the Americas.

Strategos' Risk
December 6th, 2008, 11:39 AM
One reason was that they sent entire families to settle their colonies, while the French and the Iberians sent single men. In the latter case, rather than exterminate everyone, the settlers find it preferable to at least keep the women around and take them up as wives.

So ironically sending trappers and conquistadores proved to be more humane to the natives in the long run.

virgulino
December 6th, 2008, 06:42 PM
The spanish conquest of america was the biggest ethnocide of the history of mankind. The situation of the indians in the spanish colonies was MUCH worst than any kind of european serfdom, witch, by the way, barely existed in the colonial powers. In the spanish part of America, the natives were subdued by a system of quasi-slavery. I'm not an expert in the colonial spanish america, but the Encomienda system was so bad that it was almost the same system used with the jews and the muslims after the reconquista. A spanish guy translating the Popol Vuh or an aztec becoming a saint does not proof that the situation of the indians were like the situation of european peasants, I'm sorry, that sounds really naïve to me.

Even with the papal bulls "protecting" the natives of America, in colonial Brazil, the portuguese never managed (or never really wanted) to stop the indian slavery. That is, actually, a big chapter in brazilian history, try to read something about the Guarany Wars, the Bandeirantes or even the Beckman's Revolt.
Ah, only for the record: There was african slavery in ALL parts of Latin America.

Back in the topic's subject, what I was trying to proof, talking about the Cape Coloured, is that the european colonization policy of the early modern age (1500-1700) was never the nazi-like "kill'em all and populate the land with our people". The only example of a colonization like that is in the US, the settlers came there with their families because of the religious persecution in their homeland: They were fleeing Europe, in the other parts of America the europeans were only trying to get rich quickly and to get back to their homes. Remember that Canada was mostly french by that time and there was there the Métis people (the french word of mixed). I think the best way to look at the dutch colonization of the cape is to compare it with the early american colonization, it was very similar.

ArKhan
December 6th, 2008, 08:22 PM
Actually, the coloureds are major ethnic group in western South Africa. They are a mix of the dutch/huguenot settlers with the native khoi people(there is as well coloureds from malay background), most of them speak afrikaans. They are the proof that the white afrikaners lived just fine with the natives before the great trek.

But if you are looking for a latin country, there is Cape Verde. It's not in continental Africa, but around 70 percent of the population have a mixed background.
That is because they where voulnerable to small pox, while the average bantu african was more resitent to it than the average european.

Condottiero
December 9th, 2008, 08:54 AM
The spanish conquest of america was the biggest ethnocide of the history of mankind. The situation of the indians in the spanish colonies was MUCH worst than any kind of european serfdom, witch, by the way, barely existed in the colonial powers.

Please read something else apart from those old Black Legend texts. The Spanish America was far from a paradise but the legal and real situation of the natives was much better than in most colonial systems of the era and after that. As for the ethnocide, I suppose that explains that for instance 80% of the population in Mexico or Peru is from native origin whereas in the US, Brazil or Canada it is... how much is it? There were a lot of dead people due to being exposed to illnesses to which they were not prepared, the amerindians that died during the conquest were much less (please read about the conquest and see who composed the vast majority of the spanish forces) and there was a high toll death during the first years of the conquest. Have you ever heard about the Leyes de Burgos (1510), Francisco de Vitoria relectio's (1535) and the 1550 Controversial of Valladolid. The situation of the natives was carefully studied and Carlos I (Charles V) even considered abandoning the Americas! Finally it was decided that the hispanic presence should be kept in order to protect the new christians. One of the points that was agreed was the end of the Encomienda system (that implied a social responsability although it was used greedily) and the importation of african slaves that were considered as more resilient to illnesses than the amerindias. Probably this will sound repugnant to our XXI century ears but consider that slavery was not something unusual in the XVI century.

I recommend you to read about Francisco de Vitoria and about the Las Casas-Sepulveda debate in Valladolid and to consider that even in the XVIII english authors denied that amerindias had a soul!

The usage of an european system by the spanish was not a sign of cruelty, the spanish peasants were treated in the same way! In fact the laws that protected them were less severe. Although it is true that is was easier to enforce the law in Castille where your case could be seen in a few months that in the other side of the world where law would barely arrive in less than three or four years.



In the spanish part of America, the natives were subdued by a system of quasi-slavery. I'm not an expert in the colonial spanish america, but the Encomienda system was so bad that it was almost the same system used with the jews and the muslims after the reconquista. A spanish guy translating the Popol Vuh or an aztec becoming a saint does not proof that the situation of the indians were like the situation of european peasants, I'm sorry, that sounds really naïve to me.

That is not true the Encomienda was not used with jews and muslims. Jews lived in towns, had the same problems as other jews in the rest of Europe, but they were never subject to encomiendas. The muslims were not either subject to the encomienda system although they were usually assigned to the territory of noblemen that employed them and protected them. Something similar to a feudal contract in Europe. Late in the XVI when there were islamic revolts in Spain that made the spanish kings fear an ottoman invassion the muslims were scattered in central Spain, but no encomiendas where created then,



Even with the papal bulls "protecting" the natives of America, in colonial Brazil, the portuguese never managed (or never really wanted) to stop the indian slavery. That is, actually, a big chapter in brazilian history, try to read something about the Guarany Wars, the Bandeirantes or even the Beckman's Revolt.
Ah, only for the record: There was african slavery in ALL parts of Latin America.


It was not papal bulls what protected natives in Spanish America, it was Spanish Common Law (the Leyes de Indias). And if you killed an indian and you were brought before a royal officer you should expect a harsher punishmen than if you killed a castillian (you may say that royal officers suffered abuse by encomenderos, that there were even royal officers killed by encomenderos, but again think about the situation of the communications in the XVI-XVII centuries).

The situation of Brazil was slightly different. Portugal has enjoyed a better image than Spain in the Americas, although their behavior there was almost similar to that of the English in North America.

Of course there was african slavery in all parts of the Americas. But a slave in Spanish America had a better treatment than in English America or in Brazil. Please look for the first person to grow wheat in the Americas or for Fort Mose (and the Capitán Menéndez). An african slave could become a full free person in spanish America (and being treated in the same way as a white, indian or black commoner).

When the Independence wars started it was usually the black and indian population the one that sided with the Royalists and the creole elites the ones that supported the Libertadores. The new republics were the ones to impose spanish as common language.

virgulino
December 9th, 2008, 01:38 PM
The Spanish America was far from a paradise but the legal and real situation of the natives was much better than in most colonial systems of the era and after that. As for the ethnocide, I suppose that explains that for instance 80% of the population in Mexico or Peru is from native origin whereas in the US, Brazil or Canada it is...


Seriously, do you really know what an ethnocide is?

It was not papal bulls what protected natives in Spanish America, it was Spanish Common Law (the Leyes de Indias). And if you killed an indian and you were brought before a royal officer you should expect a harsher punishmen than if you killed a castillian (you may say that royal officers suffered abuse by encomenderos, that there were even royal officers killed by encomenderos, but again think about the situation of the communications in the XVI-XVII centuries).

All laws to protect the american natives were influenced by early papal bulls. The fact that you could not kill a indian doesn't mean that they were equal to the regular spaniards. Everywhere in world you could not kill a slave either... The natives were still in a tought work system that reflects until today the social condition of the region. And remember, we are in the middle of latin america by the 1600s and 1700s, the laws were virtually inexistent! I remember that the first trial in colonial Brazil was never finished because they couldn't even find ONE portuguese code (the Código Manuelino) to apply the punishment! How effective it is?

Of course there was african slavery in all parts of the Americas. But a slave in Spanish America had a better treatment than in English America or in Brazil. Please look for the first person to grow wheat in the Americas or for Fort Mose (and the Capitán Menéndez). An african slave could become a full free person in spanish America (and being treated in the same way as a white, indian or black commoner).

Spanish slavery was better then the other ones? For god's sakes! Slavery is slavery in the Arab World, in Africa, in Cuba, in Virginia, in Haiti, in Brazil, everywhere! Here it comes... The same naive argument... That's not because ONE guy became a free man that EVERY slave could become free someday! Seriously, do I really have to explain that?

Condottiero
December 9th, 2008, 02:17 PM
Slavery is not the same if you can be used as food, if you can be killed without legal consequences, if you cannot be given freedom, if you can be freed but you cannot access to full rights... Please look for the people I mentioned to you, you will find that africans were slaves, but there were also monks, saints, conquistadores and settlers.

As I told you the situation in Portuguese America, English America or French America was different from Spanish America. As I told you the Spanish dominions were not the paradise and it was extremely hard to enforce law, but there fact is that Spanish domination was questioned by the Spanish crown (Charles V considered abandoning the Americas), jurists (please look for Francisco de Vitoria's relectio "De Indis") and theologians from a legal, moral and even theological point of view. For us people of the XXI century it may not be something important, but the fact that it was acknowledged that amerindians had a soul (something that english thinkers denied in the XVIII century!), that they could not be converted by force and that war could only be declared on them under very special circumstances was something many people in XVI century Spain and in Europe and in many parts of the world that could not be understood.

Please do not judge XVI-XVII actions from point of view of the XXI century. Just think of a world were it was hard to be a peasant in England, Spain or in Mexico; a world where a denounce to the king's officers in Peru could take two years to reach Spain...


And by the way there was no ethnocide, native languanges were given a written form, priests were required to learn native languages. Just think of Paraguay and the Philippines (not to mention the wide usage of quechua, nahuatl and mayan languages). Do you know why there's so small presence of Spanish language in the Philippines after three centuries of domination? I'll give you a clue the only printing machines when the US occupation troops arrived to the Philippines were in Tagalog and in Chinese.

Dathi THorfinnsson
December 9th, 2008, 02:28 PM
Almost irrelevantly, but the ?first? governor of Vancouver Island, later BC was what we would today call 'black' or 'African-American'. Douglas was the son of a Scot and a 'creole' woman from Guyana (so he was probably 1/4 black). That, admittedly, happened in the Americas, rather than Africa.

Also, Alexandre Duma (of three musketeers fame) was ~half black (his mother was Haitian, IIRC).

Skokie
December 9th, 2008, 02:52 PM
There would have to have been a very strong pull factor (like gold) for the Spaniards or Portuguese to settle in Africa at this time. Europeans were notoriously ill-suited to the torrid climate of much of Africa and they had no resistance to tropical disease.

If they started a colony in the Cape, with its climate so very similar to the Iberian peninsula, I think they would end up with more of a homogenous/white society rather than a mulatto one. But then why would they want to go through the hassle of investing in a New Iberia when the old one was right there at their fingertips? They already had all the olives and wine they needed. What use would the Mediterranean climate of South Africa be to them? They were after the manufactured products, textiles, silks and spices that only India, China and the Indies could offer.

Perhaps it's possible if we move the date later on into the late 18th and 19th centuries, but then you have to look to the political fortunes of Spain and Portugal during that time….

virgulino
December 9th, 2008, 03:25 PM
That's not a racial thing, Aleksandr Pushkin, the founder of the russian literacture, was himself a descendant of a african former slave, and it was Russia, one of the most autocentric nations of Europe that barely had contact with Africa. Most of the brazilian élite has some degree of african blood, as all the caribbean countries. To think that some slaves became free and eventualy gained social status, doesn't mean that the slavery system granted social mobility as the work systems that were being applied in Europe. That's also true to the Encomienda system. Latin American society was much more stratified then any European or Anglo-American society. And, seriously, I feel like an idiot to have to proof that the situation of a latin american in the colonial times was much worse then the Western European society. If you want to rewrite history you have to show documents, you can't do history without document.

The only places that the native languages had survived were barely controlled by Spain, Paraguay was a great jesuit mission and the Philippines was itself a colony of New Spain.And, be careful, in some latin american cicles, to deny the ethnocide of the indians is racism and it's as worse to deny the holocaust in Europe.

Hendryk
December 9th, 2008, 03:45 PM
But then why would they want to go through the hassle of investing in a New Iberia when the old one was right there at their fingertips? They already had all the olives and wine they needed. What use would the Mediterranean climate of South Africa be to them?
Gold, diamonds, more gold... The kind of stuff the Spanish looted an entire continent in search of.

Just have Spain claim the Cape (probably in order to skim off the spice trade with the East Indies), then some Spanish settler strikes gold, and before you know it TTL's South Africa will be like Peru in OTL, complete with a mestizo class.

Skokie
December 9th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Gold, diamonds, more gold... The kind of stuff the Spanish looted an entire continent in search of.

Just have Spain claim the Cape (probably in order to skim off the spice trade with the East Indies), then some Spanish settler strikes gold, and before you know it TTL's South Africa will be like Peru in OTL, complete with a mestizo class.

Yeah, that could work. :p It's the logical choice. I could also see a tri-racial thing happening with the addition of East Indian workers.

Devil's advocate: Were gold and diamonds recoverable in the period of Spanish/Portugues dominance? Wasn't the emergence of a mixed-race culture of the Americas a result of the lack of Spanish/Portuguese women plus guns, germs and steel--and wouldn't it be different in South Africa?

CanadianGoose
December 9th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Why are the Anglo-Americans and Germanics so much more brutal colonizers than the French and the Iberians?Protestantism. Catholics were seeing "savages" as human beings in need of enlightement. Protestants believed that Allmighty blessed them by giving them tool to rule over sagaves and cursed "natives" by denying them those tools.

corourke
December 10th, 2008, 01:30 AM
There was a lot of mixing in the early Portuguese empire. Colonial administrators in forts all along Africa took native wives. However because of the very light nature of early Portuguese colonial administration (usually just a representative of the crown working within the existing native administrative structure) the offspring of such marriages were often entirely integrated in their mother's society. They were perhaps of more political utility to the Portuguese crown because of their mixed background and native grasp of the language than a comparable person of full African descent, but they were still seen as (and probably self-identified as) African.

The main problem, as touched on before, is the huge numbers of Africans already in Africa, but I think the best European nation to start with is Portugal. The Cape (also mentioned before) is probably the best place to create this fictional mulatto nation, as the Khoisan were less resistant to European diseases, as well as the Cape simply being less densely populated than most places in Africa.

A good book that touches on the subject is Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World (http://www.amazon.com/Africans-Atlantic-1400-1800-Studies-Comparative/dp/0521627249)

Strategos' Risk
December 10th, 2008, 02:22 AM
Judging by Brazil alone, the Portuguese are really into interbreeding with natives.

William Blake
December 10th, 2008, 08:16 AM
Judging by Brazil alone, the Portuguese are really into interbreeding with natives.BTW, since the life
expectancy of a portuguese on certain african colonies was really low, the
portuguese crown was in the habit of putting brazilians there to make up for
the lack of administrative manpower.