Capitalism & Slavery

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University of North Carolina Press, 1944 - Political Science - 285 pages
24 Reviews
Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams's study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies.
In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.

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Review: Capitalism and Slavery

User Review  - David Anderson - Goodreads

Slavery was integral to the early development of capitalism, following the period of primitive accumulation of capital. The rise of industrial capitalism would not have been possible without the ... Read full review

Review: Capitalism and Slavery

User Review  - Goodreads

I've read this book several times, as a graduate student and professor, and I have always found fault with the arguments. I don't disagree that economics plays a part in abolition but that isn't the ... Read full review

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Contents

The Origin of Negro Slavery
3
The Development of the Negro Slave Trade
30
British Commerce and the Triangular Trade
51
Copyright

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About the author (1944)

The late Eric Williams was prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1961 until his death in 1981. Prior to entering politics, he was professor of political and social science at Howard University.

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