Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the (18th) by Philip Gould PDF

By Philip Gould

ISBN-10: 067401166X

ISBN-13: 9780674011663

Eighteenth-century antislavery writers attacked the slave alternate as "barbaric traffic"--a perform that might corrupt the mien and manners of Anglo-American tradition to its middle. much less all for slavery than with the slave exchange in and of itself, those writings expressed an ethical uncertainty in regards to the nature of industrial capitalism. this can be the argument Philip Gould advances in Barbaric site visitors. a massive paintings of cultural feedback, the ebook constitutes a rethinking of the basic time table of antislavery writing from pre-revolutionary the US to the top of the British and American slave trades in 1808. learning the rhetoric of assorted antislavery genres--from pamphlets, poetry, and novels to slave narratives and the literature of disease--Gould exposes the shut relation among antislavery writings and advertisement capitalism. via distinguishing among reliable trade, or the uploading of commodities that sophisticated manners, and undesirable trade, just like the slave exchange, the literature provided either a critique and an overview of applicable sorts of advertisement capitalism. A problem to the basis that objections to the slave alternate have been rooted in smooth laissez-faire capitalism, Gould's paintings revises--and expands--our figuring out of antislavery literature as a sort of cultural feedback in its personal correct.

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Extra resources for Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the (18th) Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

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The representational duality of Africans as consumers and commodities The Commercial Jeremiad 33 appears across a wide array of genres and forms during this era. Antislavery became a prominent theme in the periodicals that appealed to middlebrow readers of the late eighteenth century. In popular periodicals, antislavery expressed many of the same themes—and same problems—as it did in more learned orations and essays, although the former often employed the entertaining medium of satire or even burlesque.

For one thing, the poem spends a lot more time contemplating the cultural enslavement of Americans than it does the physical enslavement of Africans. For another, the “eternal darkness” shading the African race might just as readily reflect the cultural terms of Christianity and Enlightenment as the physical conditions of skin color and appearance. These mitigating factors are important because much recent work on antislavery literature emphasizes the genre’s “racial” bias. 4 More recent The Poetics of Antislavery 45 accounts certainly are more attuned to the complexities of eighteenth-century sentimental culture, but they still emphasize the presumably racial and political limitations of this discourse.

59 Eighteenth-century antislavery writers thus imagine Africans as seduced consumers. Their narratives of seduction did not only recount the licentious The Commercial Jeremiad 29 desires of miscreant sea captains but metaphorized Africa as a “ravished” woman. Even this highly sentimental trope, however, reflected back upon the virtuous sexuality of Anglo-American women. Commercial seduction in some instances became a way of talking about female virtue. Thus Charles Crawford, who was the son of a wealthy Antiguan planter and went to Philadelphia after an unsuccessful education in England, wrote against slavery, specifically addressing his female readership: I would appeal particularly to the sensibility and the virtue of my female readers, many of whom know the beauty, the cleanliness, the healthiness, the peace, the liberty, the dignity, the sanctity of charity, and how preferable it is to the misery, the filth, the unwholesomeness, the servitude, the debasement, the brutality of incontinence.

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Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the (18th) Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World by Philip Gould


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