New book examines Britain’s fight against slave trade
The book, entitled The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade: British Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion is co-edited by Dr Robert Burroughs, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett, and Dr Richard Huzzey, Senior Lecturer in History and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery at the University of Liverpool.
The book is the first academic study of Britain’s campaign to suppress the Atlantic slave trade in more than 30 years. It reveals the policies, experiences and representations of slave-trade suppression from the view of metropolitan Britons, liberated Africans, black sailors, and British officers.
Bringing together experts across the fields of history, literature, historical geography, museum studies, and the history of medicine, the book aims to analyse naval suppression in light of recent work on slavery and empire. It bridges the gap between ship and shore to reveal the motives, effects, and legacies of the British Empire's assault on the same Atlantic slave trade which had once enriched it.
Dr Burroughs commented: “The Royal Navy liberated tens of thousands of Africans bound for a life of slavery in the Americas, and of course it also acted as a deterrent to the slave trade. In that sense it stopped many more people being trafficked. However, what we found in researching this book was that the great cause of ending the Atlantic slave trade was attended by numerous problems and paradoxes. The clear distinction between 'free' and 'enslaved' could often become blurred as the navy implemented its policies. And it's perhaps surprising to learn that, watching the anti-slave-trade squadron from afar, commentators from numerous quarters of British society had real misgivings about the campaign.”
The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade: British Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion is now available through Manchester University Press. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.