The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 / Edition 2

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The Making of New World Slavery argues that independent commerce, geared to burgeoning consumer markets, was the driving force behind the rise of plantation slavery. The baroque state sought—successfully—to feed upon this commerce and—with markedly less success—to regulate slavery and racial relations. To illustrate this thesis, Blackburn examines the deployment of slaves in the colonial possessions of the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the English and the French. Plantation slavery is shown to have emerged from the impulses of civil society, not from the strategies of individual states.

Robin Blackburn argues that the organization of slave plantations placed the West on a destructive path to modernity and that greatly preferable alternatives were both proposed and rejected. Finally, he shows that the surge of Atlantic trade, predicated on the murderous toil of the plantations, made a decisive contribution to both the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the West.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Blackburn’s book has finally drawn the veil which concealed or made mysterious the history and development of modem society.”—Darcus Howe, Guardian

“A magnificent work of contemporary scholarship.”—Eric Foner, The Nation

“Sombre, dark and masterly.”—Linda Colley, Independent on Sunday

“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”—Anthony Pagden, Times Literary Supplement

“Extremely well-researched and readable ... . Highly recommended.”—Raymond J. Palin, Library Journal

Library Journal
In his companion volume to The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery (Routledge, 1988), Blackburn, editor of the New Left Review, traces the development of slavery in the New World. He argues that independent traders and businessmen intent on capitalizing on the birth of consumer societies were the driving force behind the rise of the Atlantic slave trade and the sustenance of the plantation system. Thus, although early-modern European states endorsed and profited from slavery, private commercial interests are held primarily responsible for the cruelties of slave traffic and the inhumane conditions of the plantation. In his extremely well-researched and readable book, the author also explains how an emerging racial consciousness was used to legitimize New World slavery and how the plantation contributed to the industrial and military success of the United States and Europe. Highly recommended for academic collections.-Raymond J. Palin, St. Thomas Univ., Miami, Fla.
Eric Foner - The Nation
“A magnificent work of contemporary scholarship.”
David Brion Davis - New York Review of Books
“A landmark of twentieth-century historiography.”
Linda Colley - The Independent on Sunday
“Sombre, dark and masterly.”
Anthony Pagden - Times Literary Supplement
“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”
The Nation
“A magnificent work of contemporary scholarship.”— Eric Foner
New York Review of Books
“A landmark of twentieth-century historiography.”— David Brion Davis
The Independent on Sunday
“Sombre, dark and masterly.”— Linda Colley
Times Literary Supplement
“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”— Anthony Pagden
The Nation - Eric Foner
“A magnificent work of contemporary scholarship.”
New York Review of Books - David Brion Davis
“A landmark of twentieth-century historiography.”
The Independent on Sunday - Linda Colley
“Sombre, dark and masterly.”
Times Literary Supplement - Anthony Pagden
“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844676316
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 8/2/2010
  • Series: Verso World History Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 1,511,931
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Blackburn teaches at the New School in New York and the University of Essex in the UK. He is the author of many books, including The Making of New World Slavery, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, Age Shock, Banking on Death, and The American Crucible.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

Introduction: Slavery and Modernity 1

Civil Slavery and the Colonial State 5

Shifting Identity and Racial Slavery 12

From the Baroque to the Creole 20

Part 1 The Selection of New World Slavery

I The Old World Background to New World Slavery 31

Rome and the Christian Embrace of Slavery 34

Christian Resurgence and the Challenge of Islam 42

Feudal Expansion and Ideologies of Persecution 44

Slavery in Iberia's Christian Kingdoms 49

Slavery and the Slavs 54

The Eclipse of Serfdom and the Rise of Agrarian Capitalism 56

The Bible, Slavery and the Nations of Man 64

The Mediterranean, the Atlantic and Black Bondage 76

Africans and the Islamic Slave Trade 79

Conclusion 83

II The First Phase: Portugal and Africa 95

Exploring the African Coast 99

The Beginnings of a Slave Trade 102

The Atlantic Islands 108

African Slaves in the Peninsula 112

Imperial Portugal, Africa, and Atlantic Civilization 114

III Slavery and Spanish America 127

False Start in the Caribbean 137

Silver and Revenue: Exploitation without Enslavement 144

Slaveholding in a Baroque Empire 147

Projects and Arguments 150

IV The Rise of Brazilian Sugar 161

La France Antarctique 164

The Takeoff of the Sugar Economy 166

The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Africa 174

Arguments over Slavery 177

Slavery and the Looming Battle for the Americas 181

V The Dutch War for Brazil and Africa 185

The West India Company 188

The Dutch in Brazil and Africa 192

The Luso-Brazilian Recoil 198

Sources of Dutch Weakness 201

The New Role of the Dutch 211

VI The Making of English Colonial Slavery 217

The First Colonies 223

Barbados and the Rise of Sugar 229

The Role of Captains and New Merchants 232

Tobacco and Sugar 234

Plantation Labour, Slavery and Fear of Strange Women 235

Civil War: Empire and Bondage 243

The Restoration and the Codification of Colonial Slavery 250

Bacon's Rebellion and Virginian Slavery 256

The New Slavery and the Caribbean Plantation 258

The Glorious Revolution and the Colonies 261

VII The Construction of the French Colonial System 277

An Experiment in Mercantilism 281

The Testimony of Du Tertre 287

The Code Noir 290

Royal Ambitions and the Spirit of Colonial Autonomy 292

Dynastic Calculation, Baroque Spectacle and Colonial Development 298

VIII Racial Slavery and the Rise of the Plantation 307

Planters, Merchants, Captains 312

Plantation Labour: From Indenture to Slavery 315

The Supply of Slaves and the Turn to Slavery 326

The New Plantation 332

The Plantation Regime and the Question of Security 344

Alternatives to Slavery? 350

Part 2 Slavery and Accumulation

IX Colonial Slavery and the Eighteenth-Century Boom 371

Europe and the Atlantic 377

The Slave Trade in the Eighteenth Century 383

The Pattern of Trade and Shipping 395

X The Sugar Islands 401

Economics and Demography in the British Caribbean 404

The French West Indies 431

Anglo-French Patterns of Colonial Trade 444

The Brilliance of French Creole Society 449

XI Slavery on the Mainland 457

North America and the Reproduction of Slavery 459

Slavery in Brazil's Golden Age 483

Slavery in Spanish America 494

The Lesser Producers and the Logic of the Plantation Trade 500

XII New World Slavery, Primitive Accumulation and British Industrialization 509

Markets in Africa and the New World 518

Profits and Investment 527

Sectors of Investment and New Financial Instruments 545

Raw Materials 554

Plantation Products and the New World of Consumption 558

War, Colonies and Industrialization 562

The Anglo-French Wars of 1793-1815: A Test 568

Epilogue 581

Index 594

List of Maps and Illustrations

The Atlantic in the early colonial period 2

Jacob Jordaens, Moses and Zipporah 32

Albert Eckourt, The Kongolese Envoy to Recife 186

Richard Ligon, A Map of Barbados, 1657 218

The Coffee-Man 278

Jamaican music, from Hans Sloane, Voyage to the Islands 348

Scold's bridle and iron mask 325

Map of the Caribbean, c. 1770 372

Dam in Saint Domingue 402

Map of the Americas, c. 1770 458

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