The Economic History of Slavery

Authored by: Jenny Bourne

Routledge Handbook of Modern Economic History

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415677042
eBook ISBN: 9780203075616
Adobe ISBN: 9781135121211

10.4324/9780203075616.ch24

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Abstract

Throughout history, slavery has existed where it has been economically worthwhile to those in power. The most-studied example is the enslavement of those of African descent in the Americas. Millions of Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean, often stacked into sweltering cargo holds; they and their descendants generated returns to slaveowners comparable to those on other assets. Yet sea captains, cotton and sugar consumers, slave traders, banks and insurance companies, and industrial enterprises benefited handsomely from slavery as well.

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