Institute for the Study of Slavery Annual Public Lecture

Caribbean Slavery, Capitalism and the Making of Modern Britain in the Long Eighteenth Century with Professor Trevor Burnard, University of Melbourne.

Scholars have suddenly become re-interested in a reinvigorated examination of an old historical question – what role did slavery play in the development of capitalism in Britain and in Britain becoming a great world power. It is appropriate we have become interested in this question once again in the 75th year since the publication of Eric Williams’ always provocative and insightful Capitalism and Slavery in 1944. There is great interest among scholars and the public alike in the links between slavery and capitalism and how slavery contributed to the ‘Great Divergence’ – the fateful rise of Britain, western Europe and neo-Europe in the Americas and the Pacific to a position when around 1800, for the first time in history, the ‘West’ was richer and more geopolitically powerful than the ‘East.’

This lecture summarises where we are in this debate and makes an argument that we need to extend our vision to look at the importance of slavery in British life as especially significant in the long view of the Industrial Revolution as extending from the late seventeenth century onward.

This event will take place at 6pm on Thursday 25 April in the Humanities Building, University Park. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, and to book your place, please visit the event page.

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