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The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern 1492-1800

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  5 reviews
At the time when European powers colonized the Americas, the institution of slavery had almost disappeared from Europe itself. Having overcome an institution widely regarded as oppressive, why did they sponsor the construction of racial slavery in their new colonies?

Robin Blackburn traces European doctrines of race and slavery from medieval times to the early modern epoch,
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published April 17th 1997 by Verso (first published 1997)
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I've been known to overuse the word 'magisterial,' mostly because I like the sound of it, but this work comes closer than perhaps any I have ever read to deserving the title. This expansive study of Castilian (Blackburn refers to the Spanish but, of course, he meant Castilian), Portugese, Dutch, British, and French colonial imperialism and slavery in the New World, from the early days of the encomienda system in Castilian colonies like New Hispania to the rise and apex of the plantation economy ...more
Nicholas During
Full disclosure, I am good friend of Robin's. Still, this book is has more information on the subject of world slavery than any other I've seen. It takes slavery out of the US only context and really shows how colonialism (mostly European) and slavery are united at the core. Also, has some heroes, like the Spanish missionaries who wrote back home complaining about treatment of the natives and imported slaves. Wonderful book, full of information, with persuasive interpretations, and a reach that ...more
Taylor Stoermer
Aug 29, 2008 Taylor Stoermer rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a decent introduction to colonial plantation societies in the Western Hemisphere.
Recommended to Taylor by: Joe Miller
It suffers from the vices that pervade many synthetic works in that its persuasiveness rises and falls depending on the strength of the underlying secondary sources. When it comes to Blackburn's interpretation of the British American Chesapeake and Low Country, the work is rather weak, relying as it does on the same old tired sources (i.e., Parker Rouse's 1971 biography of James Blair) that bedevil the field in general.
Good for what it is. Long winded. Dry. But worth it for the knowledge gained.
Huge! Comprehensive!
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