Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins by Abigail L. Swingen PDF

By Abigail L. Swingen

ISBN-10: 0300187548

ISBN-13: 9780300187540

Abigail L. Swingen’s insightful learn offers a brand new framework for knowing the origins of the British empire whereas exploring how England’s unique imperial designs encouraged modern English politics and debates approximately hard work, economic climate, and abroad alternate. targeting the ideological connections among the expansion of unfree hard work within the English colonies—particularly using enslaved Africans—and the improvement of British imperialism through the early sleek interval, the writer examines the overlapping and sometimes competing agendas of planters, retailers, privateers, colonial officers, and imperial professionals within the 17th and eighteenth centuries.

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The remainder of the book seeks to answer the question of how and why slavery and English imperialism became so deeply intertwined during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries by exploring the competing interests and imperial agendas of colonial planters, merchants, and the English government. It will show that the triumph of African slavery in the colonies had as much to do with political, economic, and social concerns in England as it did with labor demand in the colonies. 31 2 COMMONWEALTH AND PROTECTORATE IMPERIALISM: THE WESTERN DESIGN AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, 1654–1660 In April 1655, nearly eight thousand English soldiers and sailors, under the command of General Robert Venables, landed on Hispaniola with the intention of capturing the island from the Spanish in a plan known as the Western Design.

The work was extremely tedious and difficult, and parts of the process, such as grinding and boiling the sugarcane, were dangerous. In contrast, tobacco grew much more quickly and needed far fewer people to maintain a healthy crop. 17 Many of the same merchants who transported servants and tobacco back and forth from England and Virginia also found success shipping servants, slaves, and sugar to and from the West Indies. Men such as Maurice Thomson, William Pennoyer, and Martin Noell made fortunes selling servants and slaves in the West Indies and frequently reinvested their profits into sugar plantations.

In May, the English fleet left Hispaniola and made its way to the Spanish colony of Jamaica, where they initially met little Spanish resistance. Although Spain refused to admit defeat for nearly two decades, by June it was clear that the English intended to stay. But the capture of Jamaica was barely considered a consolation prize by contemporaries. Hoping for bigger glory in Hispaniola, Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell was deeply disappointed when he learned of the conquest. And although Jamaica proved much easier to overpower, the island’s early years as an English territory were uncertain at best.

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Competing Visions of Empire: Labor, Slavery, and the Origins of the British Atlantic Empire by Abigail L. Swingen

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