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By , it had been reduced by one-third to 1,, The technology for their complete extermination did not exist, however.

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So Cromwell decreed a plan for the wholesale clearance of the land of native Irish except boys of 14 and girls of 12 in the provinces of Ulster, Munster and Leinster. They were to be transplanted to Connaught, the bleakest and poorest of the provinces, where they received 10 percent of the acreage that they had formerly occupied. Cromwell had earlier thought of the idea of selling between 30,00 and 40,00 Irish prisoners of war as slaves to the Barbados but it had not been possible.

The idea came up again in as an answer to the resistance to the land clearances that had sprung up throughout the country. This time it was put into force. On Aug. But the order also included women, many of whom had been left destitute because of the loss of their husbands, either killed in the wars or compelled to flee overseas, where they became mercenaries in the Spanish and French armies.

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The order stated that "Irish women, as being too numerous now — and therefore, exposed to prostitution — be sold to merchants, and transported to Virginia, New England, or other countries, where they may support themselves by their labor. The sugar planters wanted them as sex slaves, "having had only Negresses and Maroon women to solace them.

Man-catchers were paid 4 pounds or 4 pounds, 10 shillings for every young woman or child they brought in.

He describes the horrors of the voyage to the Caribbean on the slave ships, the humiliations of the auctions in Bridgetown, and then the brutality of the conditions on the sugar plantations. Some planters kept stud farms, where young Irish women bred with African slaves because it was thought the female offspring of such unions made particularly good concubines and fetched a high price in the brothels of Bridgetown.


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There were rebellions. One in composed of Irish indentured servants and slaves along with African slaves. They launched attacks on the sugar plantations, dragging owners from their beds and hacking them to death.

It is not known how many of the rebels eluded capture. Those who were hunted down often preferred to commit suicide rather than endure the sadistic cruelties inflicted upon them before they were executed. This book reminds us of the fact that civilization often, if not usually, coexists with barbarity. Indeed, at times it can only thrive through the use of barbarities.

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The sorry history of mankind unfolds this paradox in every age. About the Book Find at your local library Description Paperback edition of this fascinating exploration of the previously untold story of the thousands of Irish men, women and children who were transported to Barbados and Virginia in the 17th century. Fall Clearance! It's the perfect time to enjoy a hot drink and good book!

To Hell or Barbados

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The ethnic cleansing of Ireland

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