Capitalism & slavery

Material Information

Capitalism & slavery
Williams, Eric Eustace, 1911-1981 ( Author, Primary )
Place of Publication:
Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina Press
Publication Date:
[1st ed.]
ix, 285 p. ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Industries--Great Britain--History.; Slave trade--Great Britain


Curator Notes: Examination of how slavery led the Industrial Revolution. Capitalism & Slavery (1944) argues that the British abolition of their Atlantic slave trade in 1807 was motivated primarily by economics, rather than by altruism or humanitarianism. By extension, so was the emancipation of the slaves and the fights against the trading in slaves by other nations. As industrial capitalism and wage labor began to expand, eliminating the competition from slavery became economically advantageous. Because of its aggressive rewriting of British imperial historiography, the text was not published in the United Kingdom until 1964. Despite the twenty year delay, it still met a hostile reception. Before Williams, the historiography of this issue had been dominated by British writers who generally were prone to depict Britain's actions as unimpeachable. Indeed, Williams' impact on the field of study has proved of lasting significance.
General Note:
"Based on a doctoral dissertation, 'The economic aspect of the abolition of the British West Indian slave trade and slavery,' submitted to the Faculty of Modern History of Oxford University in September, 1938."--p. 262.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 262-270) and index.
Eric Eustace Williams (1911-1981) was born in Port-of-Spain Trinidad to a father employed as a minor civil servant, and a mother who was a descendant of the French Creole elite. He was educated at Queen's Royal College, where he excelled at academics and soccer. He won an island scholarship in 1932 which allowed him to study in Oxford. After finishing a degree in history, he chose to stay at Oxford and pursue advanced research, completing his doctorate in 1938. He was a key historian of the Caribbean and colonial and slavery economics. After returning to Trinidad, Eric Williams became a political leader in the People's National Movement party and, while campaigning for Trinidad's independence, he became the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago in 1956, serving in this role until his death in 1981. Although he remains a subject of political criticism and his academic work has been the topic of much revisionism, he remains a foremost historical figure in the postcolonial Caribbean.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Holding Location:
Special Collections, University of Illinois at Chicago Library
Rights Management:
All rights reserved with selected images digitized and displayed for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
219253 ( UIC Bibliographic ID )
44047876 //r49 ( LCCN )
HC254.5.W5 ( UIC Call No. )

Related Items

Host material:
H.D. Carberry Collection of Caribbean Studies (University of Illinois at Chicago)

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