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This seminar aims to provide a forum for discussion about the scope and nature of the impact of transatlantic slavery on the British economy and on the development of British and global capitalism during industrialisation and thereafter.  The range and purpose of the recent Berg/Hudson book Slavery, Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution will be outlined together with its main arguments. The book emphasises the importance, in assessing the impact of slavery, of casting the net well beyond the profits accruing only to those who traded in or owned enslaved people.  Such narrow conceptions have dominated debate in the past and are similarly the main focus of recent reports on historic links to slavery carried out by both public and private institutions. The economic impact of slavery must be approached as a systemic phenomenon: affecting all parts of society and precipitating fundamental institutional, social and cultural shifts as well as technological and organisational changes. The presentation will open debate on the research priorities necessary for  more comprehensive appreciation of a debate initiated by Eric Williams in the 1940s but subsequently largely side-lined by economic historians.   


All welcome. This event is free to attend, but advance registration is required.


This will be a ‘hybrid’ seminar with a limited number of places available in person and a larger number of bookings for online attendance via Zoom. Those attending in person are asked to bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop, tablet or phone.