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This report provides a condensed history of the British antislavery movement, charting a course from its roots through the ban on the transatlantic Slave trade and culminating in the ban on human chattel slavery in the British empire.Unless otherwise specified, this report uses the term to refer to the trade in human slaves from Africa to the Americas.
The two institutions of the European enslavement of Africans and their descendants in the Americas and the modern farming of nonhuman animals share the fundamental characteristic of : They treated/treat sentient beings as property, rather than as individuals who had/have their own interests.
Both movements also relied/rely on discrimination based on group membership — in Slavery, race, and in animal farming, species.
After providing this history, the report will draw conclusions about which strategies seemed to be most effective for the movement and propose tentative implications for the movement against animal farming.
Studying successful movements of the past can provide invaluable insights into the most effective strategies for modern movements.
Originally published in 1977, Drescher's work was instrumental in undermining the economic determinist interpretation of abolitionism that had dominated historical discourse for decades following World War II.
For this second edition, which includes a foreword by David Brion Davis, Drescher has written a new preface, reflecting on the historiography of the British slave trade since this book's original publication.
In this classic analysis and refutation of Eric Williams's 1944 thesis, Seymour Drescher argues that Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807 resulted not from the diminishing value of slavery for Great Britain but instead from the British public's mobilization against the slave trade, which forced London to commit what Drescher terms "econocide." This action, he argues, was detrimental to Britain's economic interests at a time when British slavery was actually at the height of its potential.
Jennings, Journal of Modern History "[Drescher] showed how abolitionism was an important part of popular culture in Britain at that time, commanding support from people who had no economic interest in the matter one way or the other."--Stephen Davies, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty "The most direct and enduring challenge to the 'Williams Thesis' runs through the influential publications of Seymour Drescher."--Matt D.
Studying past social movements can provide invaluable insights for modern movement strategy.