This case arises out of the institution of human chattel slavery as it existed in the North American colonies and the later formed United States of America. The allegations in Plaintiffs' Second Consolidated and Amended Complaint (“SCAC” or “Complaint”) retell the generally acknowledged horrors of the institution of slavery, and the malignant actions of the sovereigns, entities, and individuals, foreign and domestic, that supported that institution. Plaintiffs' Complaint asks the courts to reexamine a tragic period in our Nation's history and to hold various corporate defendants liable for the commercial activities of their alleged predecessors before, during, and after the Civil War in America. Defendants acknowledge that slavery marked a deplorable period in our Nation's history. However, they assert that Plaintiffs' claims, which arise from that period, cannot be heard in 2005 in a court of law.