While reading that, as a Native American, I kept in mind this realizing the more things change the more things stay the same:Rev 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. Rev 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living." Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev 18:6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, 'I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.' Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her." Rev 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. Rev 18:10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come." Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, Rev 18:12 cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, Rev 18:13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls. Rev 18:14 "The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!" Rev 18:15 The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, Rev 18:16 "Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! Rev 18:17 For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste." And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off Rev 18:18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, "What city was like the great city?" At the end of the day, that great day, that angel will come and declare that Babylon is done and there won't be anymore music sung or fun and dust will be flung in the air as we witness she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her! Now of course when the world's music and song is finished, ours will begin!Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!"
I'm wondering how much of this affluence was the result of cheap labor via the slave trade. It's easy to generate profits when you pay your employees only enough to keep them alive, I'd think. It also helped to have Christian pastors across the nation soothe their congregations' consciences by quoting Exodus and Paul. (It's entertaining to read of how these models of manhood were fond of "superfine scarlet plush and a vest[s] of light blue plush" as well as silk stockings and powdered wigs. Who's defining what is "manly", anyhow?)The halcyon days of America! We have our social ills today, but I'm not so sure things were any better then. It's just that there was a veneer of social respectability.