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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.

The Verso World History Series: This series provides attractive new editions of classic works of history, making landmark texts available to a new generation of readers. Covering a timespan stretching from Ancient Greece and Rome to the twentieth century, and with a global geographical range, the series will also include thematic volumes providing insights into such topics as the spread of print cultures and the history of money.

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Editorial Reviews

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

“An exhaustive, powerfully written and compelling book.”—Raymond J. Palin, Library Journal

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

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

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844676323
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 8/2/2010
  • Series: Verso World History Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 608
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 1.31 (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

Introduction: Slavery and Modernity 1
Pt. 1 The Selection of New World Slavery
I The Old World Background to New World Slavery 31
II The First Phase: Portugal and Africa 95
III Slavery and Spanish America 127
IV The Rise of Brazilian Sugar 161
V The Dutch War for Brazil and Africa 185
VI The Making of English Colonial Slavery 217
VII The Construction of the French Colonial System 277
VIII Racial Slavery and the Rise of the Plantation 307
Pt. 2 Slavery and Accumulation
IX Colonial Slavery and the Eighteenth-Century Boom 371
X The Sugar Islands 401
XI Slavery on the Mainland 457
XII New World Slavery, Primitive Accumulation and British Industrialization 509
Epilogue 581
Index 594
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