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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: January 2020

1 - Sugar and Spice


This preindustrial history of capitalism touches on the history of guilds, the domestic systems of cloth production in England, and medieval international commerce as well as the early-modern expansion of Britain into the spice and textile trade of the Indian Ocean. The Atlantic triangular trade used Indian textiles to buy slaves in Africa to work on plantations that originated for the cultivation of sugar. All these elements feed into the Industrial Revolution story in the next chapter, where it is painted as the response of an existing textile industry to global competition.

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