Lecture week 2
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Abolitionism Found 7 slaves, wanted to save them. There was no slavery in the British empire after 1834 so they were
Goals this week taken to the Bahamas (British territory).
- Undersatnd the different processes involved in the abolition of slavery and slave trade: legal, religious, intellectual,
humanitarian, economic, and parliamentary processes.
- Appreciate the global dimensions of the story of abolitionism
Parts: Danish abolition of slave trade - 1803
Part I: Overview of Slavery and Abolition
Part II: The Process of Abolition US: 1808
Part III: Global Nature and Debates
Part I: Overview of Slavery and Abolition Spain: 1845
The origins of trans-Atlantic (African) slavery.
(Possession of slaves was still legal, but trading was outlawed)
- Eltis theorizes about the origins. John Contern also endorses this theory. They argue: (Trade did not really stop… Could be illegally bought from countries where it wasn't outlawed, or from
○ African Slavery did not start because they were "dominated" black market)
○ It started because the Africans were militarily powerful
Between 1440 and 1480, Portuguese were trying to navigate around Africa (new currents and stuff). Final emancipation:
They started planting sugarcane in the Canary Islands near Africa.
Abolition of slavery in British colonies: 1834
They wanted to expand. French: 1848
Around this time, they started setting up outposts on coasts of Africa. US: 1865
They would bring goods to the Africans in exchange for land to create sugarcane plantation.
Africa was organized around slavery: People who were defeated in battle, or people that owed Brazil: 1888
money, etc, would become "slaves". When the Portuguese wanted land, they said "you can take our
slaves for your goods, and go somewhere else.
The African Chiefs themselves would export slaves themselves in exchange for goods
Slave hunting was done by Africans themselves. Slave hunters/catchers would raid villages or hide in
bushes until someone walked by, and they would kidnap them for slaves. They would be taken to the
coast and sold to the Europeans.
The African Chiefs would use the firearms they got from slavery to create artificial wars in order to get
more slaves to sell.
- By the 19th century, slaves would take a few weeks to get to the new world.
○ They would be put into a hole in the ship. Mortality rates as high as 50% because of the disease and hunger.
This - would decrease over time as the slavers developed their "techniques" and realized that keeping the
slaves safe was within their best interest.
○ Slave exports reached a high in the 18th century, to an average of 60k per year.
North America: 5%ish
○ After arrival, slaves were held in small prisons called baricoons.
- Slaves in the new world:
○ The fact that there were few recorded slave revolts shouldn't confuse us: Slaves resisted every day
○ Marroons: escaped slaves that would often rise up to attack their old plantations
○ Other forms of revolts came from some Christians or enlightenment thinkers, gradually gaining ground
within the governments and social orders pushing against slavery.
○ Slave revolt did not cause abolition: It was accepted social members that were against it. Re: Mr. Sharp
Slaves Stealer: The Branded Hand.
- Anyone caught 'freeing' or stealing slaves would be branded with "SS" on their hand.
Part II: The Processes of Abolitionism
Antislavery - Any sentiment against slavery without having the goal of ending of slavery.
Abolitionism - The movement to bring slavery to an end
- Originates in 1780s
Abolition - The final act of bringing slavery to and end.
Religions Anti-Slavery (religious movements
Secular Anti-Slavery (intellectual voices
Civil Campaign (humanitarian movements)
= Abolitionism > Parliamentary debate (process)
- English common law can be broadly interpreted as a legal stance to favour freedom over confinement. Slavery is
not endorsed by this law (magnacarta)
- By 1770 there were 14000 Africans in England. With them, there was a legal ambiguity with these Africans. (did it
extend to them or not?)
- The legal seasaw: