I have been trying to wrap my head around this for years. I must say I’m still trying to wrap my head around it even now.
Why were slave owners compensated?
So slavery is “abolished”, at the beginning of the 19th century, because it is a vile practice: but the slave owners get paid billions of pounds (at the current exchange rate) to compensate for their losses.
They called it compensated empancipation:
The British Empire enacted a policy of compensated Emancipation for its colonies in 1833, followed by Denmark, France in 1848, and the Netherlands in 1863. Most South American and Caribbean nations emancipated slavery through compensated schemes in the 1850s and 1860s, while Brazil passed a plan for gradual, compensated emancipation in 1871, and Cuba followed in 1880 after having enacted freedom at birth a decade earlier.
The British enacted the Slave Compensation Act of 1837 to oversee this process. The Act empowered the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt, “under the direction of the Treasury, to either pay the compensation that was still owing to slave owners out of the West India Compensation Account, or to transfer a proportionate amount of 3½% government annuities”.
Slave owners were paid approximately £20 million in compensation in over 40,000 awards for enslaved people freed in the colonies of the Caribbean, Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope according to a government census that named all owners as of 1 August 1834
Whoever has an answer to my question will probably have answered the follow up question that I have, concerning all forms of stolen wealth drained from around the world, and from Africa and Africans, since the 1500s.
Essentially, what conditions warrant awarding a thief compensation? Should a thief get compensation?
Is theft ever a business transaction?
Is theft, and looting, covered under contract laws? What is its contractual basis?
Is stolen property covered by property laws?
That is, are the proceeds of theft protected by property laws?
Yes, or No?
Help me understand.
While you are at it, please take a peek at the work of the The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave–ownership