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  • Sugar Island Slavery in the Age of Enlightenment: The Political Economy of the Caribbean World
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  • Arthur L. Stinchcombe
  • 1995
  • Published by: Princeton University Press
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summary

Plantations, especially sugar plantations, created slave societies and a racism persisting well into post-slavery periods: so runs a familiar argument that has been used to explain the sweep of Caribbean history. Here one of the most eminent scholars of modern social theory applies this assertion to a comparative study of most Caribbean islands from the time of the American Revolution to the Spanish American War. Arthur Stinchcombe uses insights from his own much admired Economic Sociology to show why sugar planters needed the help of repressive governments for recruiting disciplined labor. Demonstrating that island-to-island variations on this theme were a function of geography, local political economy, and relation to outside powers, he scrutinizes Caribbean slavery and Caribbean emancipation movements in a world-historical context.

Throughout the book, Stinchcombe aims to develop a sociology of freedom that explains a number of complex phenomena, such as how liberty for some individuals may restrict the liberty of others. Thus, the autonomous governments of colonies often produced more oppressive conditions for slaves than did so-called arbitrary governments, which had the power to restrict the whims of the planters. Even after emancipation, freedom was not a clear-cut matter of achieving the ideals of the Enlightenment. Indeed, it was often a route to a social control more efficient than slavery, providing greater flexibility for the planter class and posing less risk of violent rebellion.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Maps
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xx
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-26
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  1. Part I. Late 18th Century Imperialism and Slave Societies in the Caribbean
  1. 2. Island Geography: How Tiny Islands Can Be Economic, Social, and Political Systems
  2. pp. 29-56
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  1. 3. Free Labor and Finance Capital on the Seas
  2. pp. 57-88
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  1. 4. The Economic Demography of Plantation Islands
  2. pp. 89-124
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  1. 5. Planter Power, Freedom, and Oppression of Slaves in the 18th Century Caribbean
  2. pp. 125-158
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  1. 6. Race as a Social Boundary: Free Colored versus Slaves and Blacks
  2. pp. 159-172
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  1. Part II. Paths to Emancipation in the 19th Century
  1. 7. The Politics of Empires, European Democratization, Emancipation, and Freedom
  2. pp. 175-200
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  1. 8. French Revolutions and the Transformation of the French Empire
  2. pp. 201-230
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  1. 9. The French Revolution in Haiti and Haitian Isolation in the 19th Century World System
  2. pp. 231-256
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  1. 10. Establishing Monopolies in Free Labor Markets: Semi-Servile Labor in the British Islands
  2. pp. 257-285
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  1. 11. Spanish Colonies: Caudillismo, a Split Cuba, and U.S. Intervention
  2. pp. 286-318
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  1. 12. Conclusion: The Sociology of Freedom
  2. pp. 319-332
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 333-348
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 349-361
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