by James Walvin


by James Walvin



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In this timely and readable new work, Walvin focuses not on abolitionism or the brutality of slavery, but the resistance of the enslaved themselves—from sabotage and absconding to full-blown uprisings—and its impact in overthrowing slavery. Following Columbus's landfall, slavery became a critical institution across the New World. It had seismic consequences for Africa while leading to the transformation of the Americas and to the material enrichment of the West. It was also largely unquestioned.Yet within seventy-five years slavery vanished from the Americas: it declined and collapsed by a complexity of forces that, to this day, remains disputed, but there is no doubting that it was in large part defeated by those it had enslaved. Slavery itself came in many shapes and sizes. It is perhaps best remembered on plantations, but slavery varied enormously by crop (sugar, tobacco, rice, coffee, cotton), and there was enslaved labor on ships and docks, in factories and the frontier, as well domestically. But if all these millions of diverse, enslaved people had one thing in common it was a universal detestation of their bondage. The end of slavery and the triumph of black freedom constitutes an extraordinary historical upheaval, one which still resonates throughout the world today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643132730
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

James Walvin is the author of several books on slavery and modern social history. including Crossings and A Jamaican Plantation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2008 he was awarded an OBE for services to scholarship. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Map: Significant Slave Revolts & Rebellions in Freedom viii

Introduction xi

1 People as Things: The Slave Trade 1

2 Sinews of Empire: Africans and the Making of the American Empires 25

3 Slave Defiance 52

4 The Slave Owners' Nightmare: Haiti 74

5 The Friends of Black Freedom 96

6 Freeing Britain's Slaves 124

7 The Fall of US Slavery 142

8 The End of Slavery in the Spanish Empire 174

9 The Last to Go: Brazil 200

10 Abolition in the Wider World 233

11 Slavery in the Modern Age 243

Conclusion 261

Notes 269

Bibliography and Further Reading 279

Acknowledgements 285

Index 289

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