Slavery and Anglo‐American capitalism revisited

@article{Wright2020SlaveryAA,
  title={Slavery and Anglo‐American capitalism revisited},
  author={Gavin Wright},
  journal={The Economic History Review},
  year={2020}
}
  • Gavin Wright
  • Published 1 May 2020
  • Economics
  • The Economic History Review
British and American debates on the relationship between slavery and economic growth have had little interaction with each other. This article attempts intellectual arbitrage by joining these two literatures. The linkage turns on the neglected part two of the ‘Williams thesis’: that slavery and the slave trade, once vital for the expansion of British industry and commerce, were no longer needed by the nineteenth century. In contrast to recent assertions of the centrality of slavery for US… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Slavery and Development in Nineteenth Century Brazil
Abstract:This article brings new evidence on the legacy of slavery in nineteenth-century Brazil to bear on the history of economic development. Its conclusions contribute to the debate raised by the
Slavery, Atlantic trade and skills: a response to Mokyr�s �Holy Land of Industrialism�
We challenge the idea that Britain�s short-lived industrial primacy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries is explained by �comparative advantage� in high-level artisan skills possessed by an
The failure of cotton imperialism in Africa: Did agricultural seasonality undermine colonial exports?
European colonizers sought to extract cotton from sub-Saharan Africa. However, while some African farmers generated substantial cotton output, most others did not. I revisit a thesis proposed by John
When Cape slavery ended: Introducing a new slave emancipation dataset
Abstract When the enslaved were emancipated across the British Empire in 1834, slave-owners received cash compensation, and four years of unpaid labour as the former slaves became apprentices. In the
American slavery and labour market power
ABSTRACT In this article I discuss the micro-economics of American slavery in light of recent research on monopsonistic labour markets. I argue that the defining characteristic of coerced labour, the
The Antebellum Slave Trade: Numbers and Impact on the Balance of Payments
We develop the concept of the slave-trade balance of payments, and generate its table for the United States for 1790-1860. In the process, we construct new data for the slave trade, including both
The Emancipation of the Enslaved in the Cape Colony: Historiography and Introduction
The First of December 1838 is one of the most significant dates in South African colonial history, marking as it does the final emancipation of the enslaved within the Cape Colony. Together with
When Do Economic Elites Support Increasing Taxation? Evidence from the American South
When do economic elites support the expansion of the state’s ability to tax? Despite the disproportionate influence that elites are theorized to exert on politics, answers to this question remain
Were slaves cheap laborers? A comparative study of labor costs in the antebellum U.S. South
What was the rationale of exploiting slave laborers instead of employing non-slave laborers? The question has given rise to a long-standing debate among historians. One key controversy in this deba...
An appeal to supersede the slave trade triangle in English museums
In 2007 several permanent museum galleries were created in England that discuss the subject of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery. This article critiques one recurring image within many of t...
...
1
2
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 269 REFERENCES
The Mighty Experiment: Free Labor versus Slavery in British Emancipation
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
Capitalism and Slavery
Was slavery capitalist? For today’s historians the question can evoke musty, long-winded debates from the 1970s. Yet in the last year three books by prominent scholars have reopened the question,
Capitalism and Slavery and the Civil War
  • James Oakes
  • Political Science
    International Labor and Working-Class History
  • 2016
They push in different directions, these two great debates. The first, on the relationship between capitalism and slavery, invites us to consider how closely the two systems were connected, to the
The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815–1860
Calvin Schermerhorn's provocative study views the development of modern American capitalism through the window of the nineteenth-century interstate slave trade. This eye-opening history follows money
British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery: “Dreadful Idlers” in the Cane Fields: The Slave Labor Pattern on a Jamaican Sugar Estate, 1762–1831
Labor Pattern on a Jamaican Sugar Estate, I762I83I Ever since Curtin published his seminal study of The Atlantic Slave Trade, in which he pointed out the glaring disparity between the massive traffic
This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders At The Helm Of American Foreign Policy
Matthew Karp’s This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy seeks to explain the worldview of elite Southern slave-owners in the antebellum era. Karp does not simply
The Importance of Slavery and the Slave Trade to Industrializing Britain
John Stuart Mill's comment that the British Caribbean was really a part of the British domestic economy, because almost all its trade was with British buyers and sellers, is used to make a new
Slaves as Fixed Capital: Slave Labor and Southern Economic Development
ACCORDING to Eugene D. Genovese: "Slavery requires all hands to be occupied at all times."'1 The statement implies that the requirement is peculiar to slavery, differentiating it from other forms of
Cotton, slavery, and the new history of capitalism
Abstract The “New History of Capitalism” grounds the rise of industrial capitalism on the production of raw cotton by American slaves. Recent works include Sven Beckert's Empire of Cotton, Walter
Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
This study is the first to consider the consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade for British imperial expansion and the world economy. It argues that the British led the way in
...
1
2
3
4
5
...