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The Zamani Reader

On West Africa, Britain, and the West Indies in the Eighteenth Century

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Eric Williams

Research at the West Indiana and Special Collections Division of UWI’s Alma Jordan Library in Trinidad

Dear readers,

After attending the 50th Association of Caribbean Historians conference in Barbados last June, I flew to Trinidad to conduct some research for my dissertation. I studied at the West Indiana and Special Collections Division of the Alma Jordan Library (AJL) at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). I had such an incredible time working with the AJL staff, and they were kind enough to write up a profile on my research for their Facebook page. I posted the link to their page below, and I also posted the profile in both PDF and PPT. Overall, researching at the AJL was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend doing work there if you have the opportunity. In addition to housing great archival material on the early-modern era, the AJL is a premier location for the study of twentieth-century West Indian history. They have, for example, the private papers of such luminaries as Samuel Selvon, C.L.R. James, and Derek Walcott. In addition to housing the papers of Eric Williams, the library maintains an exceptional museum dedicated to his work and legacy on the second floor.

Profile on the AJL Facebook page

Distinguished Visitors Profile in PDF

Distinguished Visitors Profile in PowerPoint

 

Review of Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams

ERIC WILLIAMS. Capitalism and Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944. Pp. ix, 245. $29.95.

Scan cover.jpeg

Capitalism and Slavery is the first and most important work by the late Trinidadian scholar and statesman, Eric Eustace Williams. Based on a dissertation written at the University of Oxford in 1938, entitled “The Economic Aspect of the Abolition of the British West Indian Slave Trade and Slavery,” the work is an “economic study of the role of Negro slavery and the slave trade in providing the capital which financed the industrial revolution in England and of mature industrial capitalism [eventually] destroying the slave system.” More generally, the book documents the historical shift of Britain’s political economy from monopolistic commercial mercantilism based on tropical, Caribbean islands with black-plantation slavery to laissez faire commercial capitalism based on white free-labor factories in temperate, Continental regions. Continue reading “Review of Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams”

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