Restitution and British Reparations for Slavery?

The Old Testament affirms the principle of restitution, compensation for wrong done and in the New Testament, Zacchaeus, the tax collector gives a charming example.

In the 1830s Britain gave the slave owners £20m compensation for the abolition of slavery but the slaves got nothing.

Might restitution imply reparations even today? The big objection is why should a present generation pay for past and distant sins. But as a gracious gesture couldn’t the £20m be updated to modern values and be given to the West Indies to fund, say, technical and commercial education?


Thesis Background
--Ian studied history at Cambridge and has been involved in the work of L'Abri Fellowship and Christian Heritage.-- The trauma of slavery has long term results. It's very difficult to work out present values for past money but the £20 million in the 1830s might be today about £ 20 billion, a third of the Brexit Bill. Since 1952 Germany has paid Israel reparations but of course the crimes are very recent. A further objection might be, what about West Africa that was heavily involved in the slave trade? Some of the slave kings like the King of Dahomey in the 18th century became obscenely rich from the trade. The point would be that British reparations were just a gesture of goodwill and contrition.

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