University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > African Economic History Seminar > Gains and Gainers on Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and Slave-Based Commodities: Towards a Global Approach

Gains and Gainers on Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and Slave-Based Commodities: Towards a Global Approach

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To date most of the scholarship on the gains and gainers from slave trading and commerce in slave-produced commodities has focused on assessing gross and net profits for European national economies and their respective imperial spaces. This historiography has also tended to focus rather heavily on gains from trade and gains associated with the administration of slave trading. This article aims to discuss a new way forward for the study of these questions. To this end, I will present and discuss ways to develop a new approach that will: i) encompass the multiple operations related to these activities; ii) connect the various regions of the globe linked to these businesses both directly and indirectly; and iii) pay attention to the wide range of historical actors involved. Additionally, I will argue for the adoption of a multi-layered methodological approach, which will combine different methods and sources, including serial data and detailed case studies with the aim of developing an analysis that will pay due attention to quantitative and qualitative dimensions of these activities and their gains. This will lead to a more open, long-term and global approach to the study of these activities, their consequences and legacies.

This talk is part of the African Economic History Seminar series.

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