British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery: The Legacy of Eric by Barbara Lewis Solow, Stanley L. Engerman

By Barbara Lewis Solow, Stanley L. Engerman

Glossy scholarship at the dating among British capitalism and Caribbean slavery has been profoundly prompted by means of Eric Williams's 1944 vintage, Capitalism and Slavery. the current quantity represents the court cases of a convention on Caribbean Slavery and British Capitalism convened in his honour in 1984, and comprises essays on Dr Williams's scholarly paintings and effect. those essays, by means of 13 students from the U.S., England, Africa, Canada and the Caribbean, discover the connection among nice Britain and her plantation slave colonies within the Caribbean.

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42. 50 Bridenbaugh and Bridenbaugh, No Peace Beyond the Line, p. 33. The Bridenbaughs strongly emphasize the role of the Dutch in the early development of Barbados; see pp. 63-68. 51 Bean and Thomas, "Adoption of Slave Labor," pp. 381-382. 52 By 1636 the Dutch had conquered and pacified the sugar-producing districts of northeastern Brazil where, after years of turmoil, the demand for slaves was intense. In 1637, the company captured Elmina and subsequently took Luanda, Benguela, Axim, Sao Tome, and other West African slave-trading ports.

40 38 Population estimates vary from author to author. John Scott's contemporary claim (Sloane Manuscript, British Museum, 3662/54-62) that in 1645 the island contained nearly 6,000 slaves and over 18,000 whites, 11,200 of whom were landowners, has been adopted by most historians. See, for example, Vincent T. Harlow, A History of Barbados 1625— 1685 (Oxford, 1926), p. 45; Alfred D. Chandler, "The Expansion of Barbados," Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, XIII (1945), pp. 106-114; Carl and Roberta Bridenbaugh, No Peace Beyond the Line: The English in the Caribbean 1624—i6go (New York, 1972), p.

Buying and selling and owning people was wrong; buying and selling and renting labor was not only morally acceptable but positively desirable. This formulation can be made to fit perfectly into the rhetoric of laissez-faire capitalism. If property rights are clearly defined and confirmed, then when individuals pursue their own self-interest, the invisible hand of the unfettered market will ensure an optimal result for society. Economic as well as moral problems ensue when one's labor is someone else's property.

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