What is it about?

The dynamics of anti-slavery thought and pro-slavery policy in the Spanish Empire prior to Independence of mainland Spanish America

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Why is it important?

Although Spain did not abolish the slave trade until 1817, and only did so with intense outside pressure, the prevailing notion that there was no native anti-slavery movement in the Spanish Empire overlooks a more complex reality. Early anti-slavery movements were relatively quiet in the late Spanish Empire, yet outlining their contours helps to illuminate the pragmatic nature of Spanish imperial rule in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This article also shows how the development of pro-slavery and anti-slavery ideologies high- lights the transatlantic nature of intellectual and political projects in this period.

Perspectives

Research relevant to forthcoming book, The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Rise and Fall of the Spanish Empire

Emily Berquist Soule
California State University, Long Beach

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This page is a summary of: Early Anti-Slavery Sentiment in the Spanish Atlantic World, 1765–1817, Slavery and Abolition, June 2010, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/01440391003711073.
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