British Capitalism and British Slavery

British Capitalism and British Slavery Almost seventy years ago historian and then Trinidadian Prime Minister Eric Williams published his classic Capitalism and Slavery re titled for this edition British Capitalism and British Slavery In

  • Title: British Capitalism and British Slavery
  • Author: Eric Williams
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 118
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Almost seventy years ago, historian and then Trinidadian Prime Minister Eric Williams published his classic Capitalism and Slavery re titled for this edition, British Capitalism and British Slavery In the introduction to British Capitalism and British Slavery, a title which aptly captures Williams s work, historian Seymour Drescher notes, If one criterion of aAlmost seventy years ago, historian and then Trinidadian Prime Minister Eric Williams published his classic Capitalism and Slavery re titled for this edition, British Capitalism and British Slavery In the introduction to British Capitalism and British Slavery, a title which aptly captures Williams s work, historian Seymour Drescher notes, If one criterion of a classic is its ability to reorient our most basic way of viewing an object or a concept, Eric Williams s study supremely passes that test The achievement of Capitalism and Slavery is that Williams made it impossible for historians ever to return to the posture of splendid moral isolation which characterized the story of British slave emancipation for than a century Williams s foremost aim was to insist as never before on the banality of the history of slavery Williams s most enduring message was that abolition could not have triumphed independently of economic developments linked to industrialization This simple hypothesis has already proven to be fruitful than those offered by historians in the century before him Readers interested in global capitalism, transatlantic slaving, industrialization, emancipation, and Africa and the British Caribbean will find necessary context in the new introduction and much to digest in the classic text itself.

    • British Capitalism and British Slavery : Eric Williams
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      Posted by:Eric Williams
      Published :2019-06-04T17:05:29+00:00

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    Eric Williams Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the British Capitalism and British Slavery book, this is one of the most wanted Eric Williams author readers around the world.

  • 117 Comments

  • You will hear it often said that British West Indian (BWI) slavery was ended because it was no longer profitable for the slave owners. That assertion always seemed paradoxical to me. Eric Williams explains in a logical, dispassionate and cogent manner the real truths, which are this:1) BWI slavery was instituted to meet the needs of the mercantile impulses of the 17th century (which reached their peak in the 18th century). In the end, commercial considerations also played a major part in its dem [...]


  • Slavery was integral to the early development of capitalism, following the period of primitive accumulation of capital. The rise of industrial capitalism would not have been possible without the profits derived from slavery and the slave trade. Williams does a superb job of demonstrating how slavery turned Britain into an economic power. This book illustrates the economic aspects of the international slave trade and who benefited from it, how it contributed to capital formation and where did tha [...]


  • Astoundingly ahead of its time - I would never have guessed that such a book was published in the 40s, and it's clearly an important foundation for later scholarly work on colonialism, race, and capitalism. Highly recommended reading - for me, it filled in historical gaps and challenged some really fundamental assumptions I didn't even know I held.


  • I enjoyed the marginalia in this book just as much as the text itself; evidently, previous readers took great exception to Williams' thesis that capitalism, not racism, was the driving force behind the development of West Indian slavery and the slave trade. Although I too am doubtful that a racist logic wasn't anterior to slavery (even if, as another reviewer writes, "race" is not a transhistorical concept), these readers seemed to assign to Williams the position that because slavery was first a [...]


  • This has been on my “to read” list for a couple of years now, ever since coming across it in a British Empire seminar, and I finally picked it up for my dissertation.It’s pretty much a seminal, though not uncontroversial, work on the history of the slave trade and industrial revolution, and how the latter built upon the former; and, in particular, how the abolition of the slave trade was not purely humanitarian but itself economically motivated.He covers the slave trade and slave-labour-de [...]


  • Williams wrote a highly influential, challenging, detailed history of the relationship between the economic gains to be made in the sugar trade that motivated the British and West Indians to develop and support slavery. The voluminous detail Williams includes reminded me of texts such as Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, and Tooze's Wages of Sin. In this respect, the book is not for the faint of heart, nor does it constitute 'light and informative' reading. Williams' analysis is challenging in t [...]


  • This is a research book first and foremost. The main point of the book is that without slavery there is no capitalism. This is the book that convinced me to go back to school and get a degree in economics. While maybe not riveting it certainly is an information packed book that backs up its argument really well.


  • Excellent. This should be required reading for every student studying the history of European and North and South American economics.



  • An exceptional mixed historical / macroeconomics-type book, published in 1944 . . . now truly a classic . . . well ahead of its time in terms of its then seemingly bold concepts. Yet, most of its economic principles are spot on, although perhaps too mildly stated. The thesis was initially presented for Mr. Williams' PhD thesis and has long thereafter spawned many similarly themed books (e.g Black Labor, White Wealth: The Search for Power and Economic Justice by Claud Anderson (1994); The Making [...]


  • The fascinating point of attention for me is subjective. The economics and commerce of previous generations have provoked my curiosity. The history of slaves in this book is sourced from the economic powers of the time. The historical record keeping. For the minds of many men are in self-interest in this account in Capitalism and Slavery. Commerce compels people to earn income and governance continues to keep the status quo. The distant imperial home front such as, Great Britain, tried to enact [...]


  • Williams bu eserinde gerçek ve derin bir tarihçi emeği ortaya koymuş. İngiliz kapitalizminin köle ticareti ve köle emeğiyle iç içe yükselişini öğretici bir şekilde ortaya koyuyor. Konuyu daha çok ekonomik ve finansal boyutlarıyla ortaya koyuyor, ama tabii ki bu kendisinin de mensubu olduğu siyah ırkın kölelikten çektiklerine duyarsız olduğu anlamına gelmiyor. Zaten bu ve benzeri eserleri İngiliz akademik çevrelerinde bir dışlanma yaşamasına yol açmış. Eser İngi [...]


  • This is one of the best books I have read during my graduate studies. Williams make a powerful case for the connection between slavery and capitalism, arguing that institution of slavery funded, or more accurately, made the necessary concentration of capital possible for the start of industrial capitalism in Britain. (I think crucial and the most impressive of the book is the section where he shows that the considerable number of early industrialists possessed slaves in the overseas or directly [...]


  • This history text is a must read for all people, but especially for the people who identify as a member of the Black, or non-white race. Do not be misled by the title, it is not a repetition of so many works that stress the atrocities of the Black Holocaust. It is a fresh and in depth historical revelation of the economic origins of slavery, and the fact that this is the number one reason for Britain's/Europe's amassing great wealth/power. It is supported by irrefutable facts, and it was an eye- [...]


  • The argument is simple: slavery helped in financing the British Industrial revolution via capital mobility and large scale investments and it was abandoned when it stopped being profitable. Whether the conclusion is true or false, this book remains a very serious economic analysis of slavery. It was written in 1944 and it's mostly focused around the British West Indies. It's also very cynical, with subtle commentary on the commodity status of human beings that would made any person's skin crawl. [...]


  • I've read this book several times, as a graduate student and professor, and I have always found fault with the arguments. I don't disagree that economics plays a part in abolition but that isn't the whole story. His arguments are a bit obtuse, and his tone entirety reflective of the time in which he wrote this. That said, this book is a classic and should be read by any student of the Atlantic World.


  • I cannot believe I have never read this book before now. It's certainly a classic. I especially found the relationship between the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism in India and in the Americas fascinating. I had not realised that the abolition movement in Britain was very much related to the sugar trade and to entrenching their colonies in Asia. The detailed facts and figures are also quite enlightening. A terrific book.


  • The Atlantic Slave Trade provided the investment capital needed to fund the development of capitalism and the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe. It's all here. Williams was the first to lay it all out. As a result, mainstream "historians" attacked and marginalized him. But he was basically right.


  • Explanation of how the North was dependent on slavery in the South to develop its economy and to industrialize. Also discusses the complicity of North and South in the Triangle Trade between West Africa, the Caribbean, and the US during the centuries of slavery in America.





  • Interesting research, though a bit dated, it certainly shows its age. I wish he went more into the economics of America but it was mostly about the economics of slavery with regards to Britain.






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