Book Report: Capitalism & Slavery by Eric Williams

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Book Report: Capitalism & Slavery by Eric Williams "Capitalism & Slavery," (published by The University of North Carolina Press, 1994) was written by Eric Eustace Williams and first published in 1944. Eric Williams' book, was at the time of its publication, considered years ahead of its time. It should be noted, early on within this report that, literary works on the history of the Caribbean or slavery for a matter of fact, was done by Europeans. In the preface of his book, Williams clearly asserts that his work, "is not a study of the institution of slavery but of the contribution of slavery to the development of British capitalism."1 His work takes an economic view of history, which is at the core of his arguments and thus essential to understanding how his arguments and ideas are ultimately formulated. The author himself sums it up best, when he clearly states that his work is, "first a study in English economic history and second in West Indian and Negro history.2 His main thesis is that, "the commercial capitalism of the eighteenth century was built up on slavery and monopoly, while the Industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century destroyed slavery and monopoly."3 Economics was at the core of Williams' thesis; it interlinks slavery, the rise of British capitalism, African slave trade and the emancipation of slave in the Caribbean. The triangular trade involved trade between England, North America, the West Indies and England in the eighteenth century. The triangular trade would be crucial in the development of British industry, which would in turn lead to the Industrial revolution. This industrial revolution was financed through the, "accumulation of capital,"4 from salves, the key component of the labor i... ... middle of paper ... ...ess, 1994, page xi Bibliography 1) Williams Eric, Capitalism & Slavery, The University of North Carolina Press, 1994 2) Shepherd Verene and Beckles Hilary, Caribbean Slavery in the Atlantic World, Ian Rndle Publishers Limited, 2000 3) Higman B.W., General History of the Caribbean, Unesco Publishing, 1997 4) Amazon, Capitalism & Slavery (Paperback), http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Slavery-Eric-Williams/dp/0807844888, accessed on 7th February 2007 5) Wikipedia, Eric Williams, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Williams, accessed on 7th February 2007 6) Solow Barbara and Engerman Stanley, British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery: The legacy of Eric Williams, The William and Mary Quarterly, October 1989, 7) Solow Barbara and Engerman Stanley, British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery: The legacy of Eric Williams, The Journal of American History, March1989,

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