Abstract

Abstract:

This essay examines the connections between the British free trade experiment, the reorganizing of the British Empire and the ultimate suppression of the transatlantic slave trade to Brazil in its fully global operative context. While most analyses of the nineteenth-century transatlantic slave trade focus on bilateral diplomatic relations or national decision-making processes, this essay puts forth a broader analytical framework. It places the end of the transatlantic illegal slave trade to Brazil in 1850 within the dynamics of the world-economy. In a broader sense, this essay sheds new light on debates about capitalism and slavery as it reveals nineteenth-century capitalism not as a static background for historical analysis, but rather as a dialectical process moving through a sequence of disruptive commodity market integrations, each of which posed specific economic and political challenges for slaveholders and antislavery actors alike.

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