Brazilian Gold, Cuban Copper and the Final Frontier of British Anti-Slavery

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    This paper concerns the problems that transnational mining companies posed for British abolitionists in the years after emancipation in Britain's Caribbean empire. British-owned mines, operating in Cuba and Brazil, were the largest slave enterprises in the western hemisphere c. 1840. Abolitionists were, of course, outraged by the existence of London-based companies that exploited slave labour, but an attempt in 1843 to prohibit the owning of slaves by British subjects anywhere in the world, regardless of local jurisdiction, proved ineffectual. This paper explores the reasons for this failure and raises questions about the potency of abolitionism within early Victorian political culture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118 - 134
    Number of pages16
    JournalSlavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2012


    • Slavery
    • Anti-slavery
    • Cuba
    • Brazil
    • Great Britain
    • Abolitionists
    • Slave labour
    • nineteenth century british history
    • Transnational mining


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