Capitalism and Slavery

Topics: British Empire, Atlantic slave trade, Slavery Pages: 3 (779 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Book Review

Capitalism and Slavery, (1944), written by Eric Williams, has been the most influential scholarly work from a Caribbean historian about the Caribbean and its contribution to world history. Due to his unconventional perspectives toward the conclusion of slavery in the British Empire, followed by his critiques on previous statements made by historians that have concentrated on false actions of abolition and so forth deemed as humanitarians. This historical literature has been highly debated throughout the decades, within well-known historians, and in the Caribbean. Often labeled as a classic piece of literature, it continues to be a major historical masterpiece since its publication. Williams constructs valid theses and logical arguments that question historical archives before his time, leaving many British historians appalled. The main accusation depicted states that towards the late 18th Century, the relationship between abolition and slave trade was not of a humanitarian indifference or liberation. In reality, the successful economic gain of slave trade became no longer as profitable as it once was.

However, Eric Williams does not concentrate on the falsely regarded British abolitionists or humanitarians, or their fictitious acts of humanity. Instead acknowledges the involvement of the slave trade to result in the flourishing growth of British Capitalism. Williams’ perspectives starts with the lost of interest of the West Indies due to the anti-slavery movement. Revealing that the anti-slavery movement was a direct cause from the social middle-class and their industrial revolution mentality. The relationship between middle-class and slavery in Great Britain has affected many egotistic citizens, which caused many citizens to support abolitionists and their anti-slavery movement. Williams illustrates that the actual reason for the extinction of African slavery started within the confines of Great Britain. Once again, it was not because of a...

Bibliography: Williams, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. The University of North Carolina Press, 1944.
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