This book considers the impact of slavery and Atlantic trade on British economic development in the generations between the restoration of the Stuart monarchy and the era of the Younger Pitt. During this period Britain's trade became 'Americanised' and industrialisation began to occur in the domestic economy. The slave trade and the broader patterns of Atlantic commerce contributed important dimensions of British economic growth although they were more significant for their indirect, qualitative contribution than for direct quantitative gains. Kenneth Morgan investigates five key areas within the topic that have been subject to historical debate: the profits of the slave trade; slavery, capital accumulation and British economic development; exports and transatlantic markets; the role of business institutions; and the contribution of Atlantic trade to the growth of British ports. This stimulating and accessible book provides essential reading for students of slavery and the slave trade, and British economic history.
• An up-to-date synthesis of work on slavery, Atlantic trade and the British economy • Contains the most recent sustained evaluation of Eric Williams' seminal book Capitalism and Slavery • Essential reading for courses on slavery and the slave trade and on British economic history
Introduction; 1. The context; 2. The debates; 3. The profits of the slave trade; 4. Slavery, Atlantic trade and capital accumulation; 5. British exports and transatlantic markets; 6. Business institutions and the British economy; 7. Atlantic trade and British ports; Conclusion.