Philip Gould's Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the (18th) PDF

By Philip Gould

ISBN-10: 067401166X

ISBN-13: 9780674011663

Eighteenth-century antislavery writers attacked the slave alternate as "barbaric traffic"--a perform that might corrupt the mien and manners of Anglo-American tradition to its center. much less thinking about slavery than with the slave exchange in and of itself, those writings expressed an ethical uncertainty concerning the nature of industrial capitalism. this can be the argument Philip Gould advances in Barbaric site visitors. a huge paintings of cultural feedback, the booklet constitutes a rethinking of the elemental time table of antislavery writing from pre-revolutionary the US to the tip of the British and American slave trades in 1808. learning the rhetoric of varied antislavery genres--from pamphlets, poetry, and novels to slave narratives and the literature of disease--Gould exposes the shut relation among antislavery writings and advertisement capitalism. through distinguishing among strong trade, or the uploading of commodities that subtle manners, and undesirable trade, just like the slave exchange, the literature provided either a critique and an summary of applicable different types of advertisement capitalism. A problem to the basis that objections to the slave exchange have been rooted in sleek laissez-faire capitalism, Gould's paintings revises--and expands--our knowing of antislavery literature as a kind of cultural feedback in its personal correct.

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Antislavery writing focused on the pathological nature of this commercial economy and yet became entangled in its representations of Africans as commodities for exchange. ” Certainly, this effect arose from the antislavery project of defining virtuous commerce and consumption—defining, in other words, what it meant to be a “civilized” consumer. This crucial issue turned on the question of who was responsible for buying stolen goods. One American strategy, apparent in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence or Benjamin Franklin’s “A Conversation on Slavery” (1770), was to foist responsibility upon the British.

The West Indian export economy—the sugar, rum, tobacco, and indigo that flooded into colonial and metropolitan ports—became their main target. ” asked an antislavery writer in Mathew Carey’s American Museum. ”64 The corruption of habits of consumption extended as well to West African societies. ”67 This argument focused explicitly on the problem of cultural over-refinement that created new forms of enslavement. The French Catholic antislavery writer, the Abbé Gregoire, who corresponded from France with Jefferson over the problem of slavery, declared: “For three centuries Europe, which calls itself Christian and civilized, has tortured without pity and without remorse, the peoples of Africa whom Europe calls savages and barbarians.

The slave market would appear to problematize the fundamental opposition between “civilization” and “savagery” upon which proslavery writers like Nisbet or Richard Long, for example, defended the removal of Africans themselves. This antislavery narrative focused particularly upon the trading areas along the West African coast. As David S. ’”49 But accounts of the destructiveness Europeans wrought on these areas went right to the heart of the problem of barbaric traffic. ”51 The African slave trade undermined the geographical categories of progressive history.

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Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the (18th) Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World by Philip Gould


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Categories: African American Studies