By Seymour Drescher
During this vintage research and refutation of Eric Williams's 1944 thesis, Seymour Drescher argues that Britain's abolition of the slave exchange in 1807 resulted now not from the diminishing worth of slavery for nice Britain yet as a substitute from the British public's mobilization opposed to the slave alternate, which compelled London to devote what Drescher phrases "econocide." This motion, he argues, was once unsafe to Britain's fiscal pursuits at a time whilst British slavery used to be really on the peak of its power.
Originally released in 1977, Drescher's paintings used to be instrumental in undermining the industrial determinist interpretation of abolitionism that had ruled old discourse for many years following global warfare II. For this moment variation, which incorporates a foreword by way of David Brion Davis, Drescher has written a brand new preface, reflecting at the historiography of the British slave alternate given that this book's unique publication.
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Extra resources for Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition
From 1759 to 1822 all figures are for Great Britain. £70 million in 1790, when the Privy Council report had estimated it at about £36 million. In Parliament, in 1807, George Hibbert put the capital worth of the "old" West Indies at slightly under £100 million, as did a witness testifying for the colonies. If we also discount this figure by 50 percent, the low valuation-would be £50 million. The value of the "old" colonies alone would therefore have increased by 20 percent between 1775 and 1790, and by almost 40 percent in the following seventeen years.
See, inter alia, Eugene D. Y, 1982); David P. , 2001); Seymour Drescher and Pieter C. Emmer, eds. Who Abolished Slavery? Slave Revolts and Abolitionism: A Debate with Joao Pedro Marques (New York, 2010); and Claudius Fergus, '"Dread of Insurrection': Abolitionism, Security, and Labor in Britain's West Indian Colonies," William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Sen, 66:4 (October 2009), 757-780. 17. Seymour Drescher, "The Antislavery Debate: Capitalism and Abolitionism as a Problem in Historical Interpretation," History and Theory 32 (1993), 311-29 (quotation, 329).
If a scholar is sometimes free to wander up and down creation in pursuit of elusive data and empathic spirits, his family perforce is not. Mine has had to make peace with a world of rapid movement and temporary abandonments. They have always reacted with resiliency. To my children I return this small slice of myself in token of their patience. To my wife, my partner, no further words are needed after all these good years. None would suffice. ECONOCIDE This page intentionally left blank 1 The Decline Theory of Abolition The Emergence of the Decline Theory For one hundred and fifty years a sense of the extraordinary has pervaded interpretations of the abolition of British slavery.