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Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

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This watershed study is the first to consider in concrete terms the consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Why did Britain pull out of the slave trade just when it was becoming important for the world economy and the demand for labor around the world was high? Caught between the incentives offered by the world economy for continuing trade at full This watershed study is the first to consider in concrete terms the consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Why did Britain pull out of the slave trade just when it was becoming important for the world economy and the demand for labor around the world was high? Caught between the incentives offered by the world economy for continuing trade at full tilt and the ideological and political pressures from its domestic abolitionist movement, Britain chose to withdraw, believing, in part, that freed slaves would work for low pay which in turn would lead to greater and cheaper products. In a provocative new thesis, historian David Eltis here contends that this move did not bolster the British economy; rather, it vastly hindered economic expansion as the empire's control of the slave trade and its great reliance on slave labor had played a major role in its rise to world economic dominance. Thus, for sixty years after Britain pulled out, the slave economies of Africa and the Americas flourished and these powers became the dominant exporters in many markets formerly controlled by Britain. Addressing still-volatile issues arising from the clash between economic and ideological goals, this global study illustrates how British abolitionism changed the tide of economic and human history on three continents.


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This watershed study is the first to consider in concrete terms the consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Why did Britain pull out of the slave trade just when it was becoming important for the world economy and the demand for labor around the world was high? Caught between the incentives offered by the world economy for continuing trade at full This watershed study is the first to consider in concrete terms the consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Why did Britain pull out of the slave trade just when it was becoming important for the world economy and the demand for labor around the world was high? Caught between the incentives offered by the world economy for continuing trade at full tilt and the ideological and political pressures from its domestic abolitionist movement, Britain chose to withdraw, believing, in part, that freed slaves would work for low pay which in turn would lead to greater and cheaper products. In a provocative new thesis, historian David Eltis here contends that this move did not bolster the British economy; rather, it vastly hindered economic expansion as the empire's control of the slave trade and its great reliance on slave labor had played a major role in its rise to world economic dominance. Thus, for sixty years after Britain pulled out, the slave economies of Africa and the Americas flourished and these powers became the dominant exporters in many markets formerly controlled by Britain. Addressing still-volatile issues arising from the clash between economic and ideological goals, this global study illustrates how British abolitionism changed the tide of economic and human history on three continents.

30 review for Economic Growth and the Ending of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  1. 4 out of 5

    Baris

    This is a good book for revising some of the earlier misconception for the economic reasonings behind the grand abolition. Eltis makes a convincing argument for the link between the rise of "wage-labour" in Europe and abolition of slavery in New World.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  3. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Domingues

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave Blair

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tom Oman

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dick Tinto

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sciosarah

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pseudoerasmus (Econ History Only)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Terica Betton

  13. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Shestakov

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eren Buğlalılar

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sinan Akkuş

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bruno Torres de sousa

  17. 4 out of 5

    N.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Camilla Rohde

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brian Jackson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Todd Burst

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hayati

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ethar Abu Hashish

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kjǫlsigʀ

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mwanafunzi

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andres

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adujen

  28. 4 out of 5

    أميرة هاني

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rajesh Akinapalli

  30. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Guilbert

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