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The Chattel PrincipleInternal Slave Trades in the Americas$
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Walter Johnson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103557

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103557.001.0001

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The Fragmentation of Atlantic Slavery and the British Intercolonial Slave Trade

The Fragmentation of Atlantic Slavery and the British Intercolonial Slave Trade

(p.234) 10 The Fragmentation of Atlantic Slavery and the British Intercolonial Slave Trade
The Chattel Principle

Seymour Drescher

Yale University Press

This chapter describes how the expansion of the plantation complex in the Americas is firmly linked to the labor of transplanted Africans. This system transcended the division of the Atlantic world into six “imperial” economies—British, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Danish. In one way or another, these contending polities attempted to benefit from the transatlantic traffic by taxation, subsidization, reexportation, or the creation of facilities for the convenience of foreign slavers. Slaveholders in conquered islands were encouraged to continue business as usual, often under their own legal systems. The British conquest of Havana during the Seven Years' War temporarily shattered the Spanish imperial Asiento system in Cuba. The labor of at least four thousand slaves, introduced during eleven months of occupation, set the stage for a new phase of plantation development in that island.

Keywords:   plantation complex, transplanted Africans, imperial economies, transatlantic traffic, foreign slavers, conquered islands, Seven Years' War, Asiento system

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