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Econocide

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807899595
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In this classic analysis and refutation of Eric Williams's 1944 thesis, Seymour Drescher argues that Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807 resulted not from the diminishing value of slavery for Great Britain but instead from the British public's mobilization against the slave trade, which forced London to commit what Drescher terms "econocide." This action, he argues, was detrimental to Britain's economic interests at a time when British slavery was actually at the height of its potential. Originally published in 1977, Drescher's work was instrumental in undermining the economic determinist interpretation of abolitionism that had dominated historical discourse for decades following World War II. For this second edition, which includes a foreword by David Brion Davis, Drescher has written a new preface, reflecting on the historiography of the British slave trade since this book's original publication.

The Mighty Experiment

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190291966
Size: 65.59 MB
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By the mid-eighteenth century, the transatlantic slave trade was considered to be a necessary and stabilizing factor in the capitalist economies of Europe and the expanding Americas. Britain was the most influential power in this system which seemed to have the potential for unbounded growth. In 1833, the British empire became the first to liberate its slaves and then to become a driving force toward global emancipation. There has been endless debate over the reasons behind this decision. This has been portrayed on the one hand as a rational disinvestment in a foundering overseas system, and on the other as the most expensive per capita expenditure for colonial reform in modern history. In this work, Seymour Drescher argues that the plan to end British slavery, rather than being a timely escape from a failing system, was, on the contrary, the crucial element in the greatest humanitarian achievement of all time. The Mighty Experiment explores how politicians, colonial bureaucrats, pamphleteers, and scholars taking anti-slavery positions validated their claims through rational scientific arguments going beyond moral and polemical rhetoric, and how the infiltration of the social sciences into this political debate was designed to minimize agitation on both sides and provide common ground. Those at the inception of the social sciences, such as Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, helped to develop these tools to create an argument that touched on issues of demography, racism, and political economy. By the time British emancipation became legislation, it was being treated as a massive social experiment, whose designs, many thought, had the potential to change the world. This study outlines the relationship of economic growth to moral issues in regard to slavery, and will appeal to scholars of British history, nineteenth century imperial history, the history of slavery, and those interested in the history of human rights.

Capitalism And Slavery

Author: Eric Williams
Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc
ISBN: 1329560086
Size: 62.27 MB
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The present study is an attempt to place in historical perspective the relationship between early capitalism as exemplified by Great Britain, and the Negro slave trade, Negro slavery and the general colonial trade of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is strictly an economic study of the role of Negro slavery and the slave trade in providing the capital which financed the Industrial Revolution in England and of mature industrial capitalism in destroying the slave system.

Capitalism And Antislavery

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195205340
Size: 47.27 MB
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The age of British abolitionism came into consolidated strength in 1787-88 with the first mass campaign against the slave trade and ended just half a century later in 1838 with a mass petition movement against Negro Apprenticeship. Drescher focuses on this critical fifty-year period, when the people of the Empire effectively pressured and eventually altered national policy. Presenting a major reassessment of the roots, nature, and significance of Britain's successful struggle against slavery, he illuminates a novel turn in the history of antislavery, when for the first time, the most effective agents in the abolition process were non-slave masses, including working men and women. This not only set Britain off from ancient Rome, medieval western Europe, and early modern Russia, but, in scale and duration, it distinguished Britain from its 19th-century continental European counterparts as well. Viewing British abolitionism against the backdrop of larger national and international events, this provocative study challenges readers to look anew at the politics of slavery and social change in a prominent era of British history.

The Shell Money Of The Slave Trade

Author: Jan Hogendorn
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521541107
Size: 39.19 MB
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A study of the role of cowrie-shell money in West African trade, particularly the slave trade.

From Slavery To Freedom

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1349148768
Size: 34.67 MB
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The entries in this volume focus upon the rise and fall of the Atlantic slave system in comparative perspective. The subjects range from the rise of the slave trade in early modern Europe to a comparison of slave trade and the Holocaust of the twentieth century, dealing with both the history and historiography of slavery and abolition. They include essays on British, French, Dutch, and Brazilian abolition, as well as essays on the historiography of slavery and abolition since the publication of Eric Williams's Capitalism and Slavery more than fifty years ago.

Abolition

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139482963
Size: 37.90 MB
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In one form or another, slavery has existed throughout the world for millennia. It helped to change the world, and the world transformed the institution. In the 1450s, when Europeans from the small corner of the globe least enmeshed in the institution first interacted with peoples of other continents, they created, in the Americas, the most dynamic, productive, and exploitative system of coerced labor in human history. Three centuries later these same intercontinental actions produced a movement that successfully challenged the institution at the peak of its dynamism. Within another century a new surge of European expansion constructed Old World empires under the banner of antislavery. However, twentieth-century Europe itself was inundated by a new system of slavery, larger and more deadly than its earlier system of New World slavery. This book examines these dramatic expansions and contractions of the institution of slavery and the impact of violence, economics, and civil society in the ebb and flow of slavery and antislavery during the last five centuries.

Dilemmas Of Democracy

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 0822975688
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Alexis de Tocqueville has been extensively chronicled as a pioneer sociologist and political philosopher of democracy during the early nineteenth century. However, his writings on the problems of social and economic transitions to an industrial society have been largely overlooked. In this book, Seymour Drescher presents a thorough analysis of Tocqueville's concern for the lower classes of society, viewing his thoughts on slavery, poverty, criminality, and working class conditions, and their place in an evolving egalitarian society.

A Historical Guide To World Slavery

Author: Seymour Drescher
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195120912
Size: 38.29 MB
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Eminent scholars provide an overview of what we now know about slavery as an institution and way of life in cultures around the globe from ancient times to the present day. Drawing on the virtual explosion of empirical research and theoretical discussion on the subject over the past thirty years, many of the articles overturn conventional wisdom and illuminate little-known aspects of the subject, with essays on topics such as concubinage, eunuchs, and occupational mobility.

British Capitalism And Caribbean Slavery

Author: Barbara Lewis Solow
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521533201
Size: 66.48 MB
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Modern scholarship on the relationship between British capitalism and Caribbean slavery has been profoundly influenced by Eric Williams's 1944 classic, Capitalism and Slavery. The present volume represents the proceedings of a conference on Caribbean Slavery and British Capitalism convened in his honour in 1984, and includes essays on Dr Williams's scholarly work and influence. These essays, by thirteen scholars from the United States, England, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, explore the relationship between Great Britain and her plantation slave colonies in the Caribbean.