To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter focuses on those Madagascar Youths sent to the neighbouring Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. This group has received scant attention in the literature although they constituted the second largest group of Madagascar Youths despatched abroad for training under British supervision in the two decades following the British capture of the island in 1810. They numbered about thirty-five and were mostly males but included at least four females. In as much as the archives permit, the chapter examines their experiences on Mauritius where a substantial proportion of the slave population were Malagasy, and where the white population feared a Malagasy revolt.
Though in some ways Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802–1882) and Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) are contrasting figures in the history of American Romanticism, scholarship over the past thirty years connects them as writers whose work articulates concerns over race and enslavement. Moreover, critical recognition that each writer engages such matters emerged only in the late twentieth century, after decades of work that effaced each writer’s political resonance. This chapter approaches these issues through some of the signal trends that have informed scholarship on Emerson and Poe over the past thirty years.
In a review of Graham’s Magazine published in the March 1, 1845 issue of The Broadway Journal, Edgar Allan Poe predicted of magazine literature, “[i]n a few years its importance will be found to have increased in geometrical ratio” because “[t]he whole tendency of the age is Magazine-ward.” Busy mid-century readers, speeding along in “the rush of the age,” required a medium that kept pace. “We now demand the light artillery of the intellect,” Poe insisted: “we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused – in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible.”1 It can be difficult to pin down how seriously Poe took such declarations. Praise and ironic critique intertwine in his critical writings, as in subsequent paragraphs of this review, where he describes the engraving “Dacota Woman and the Assiniboin Girl” as “worthy of all commendation,” while another engraving in the same issue, “The Love Letter,” “has the air of having been carved by a very small child, with a dull knife, from a raw potato.”2 If Poe marks a genuine trend toward periodical forms of literature in the period, he also stages an ambiguous response to the trend, vacillating between praise and condemnation.
African American opposition to colonizationist projects represents a more significant part of abolitionist discourse in the early nineteenth century than previously credited. African Americans resisted white nationalism they identified in back-to-Africa colonization schemes by advocating for a Black settler state within the United States or elsewhere in the Americas. In this period, African Americans debated the American Colonization Society’s platform as a point of departure for imagining how political separatism might redress their curtailed rights of citizenship in the United States. Relying on newspaper reports, letters to the editor, pamphlets, and convention proceedings, this essay examines how Black anticolonization sentiment increasingly proposed separatism and emigration as critical strategies to resist white nationalist promotion of Blacks’ emancipation-by-deportation.
In The Shape of Hawthorne’s Career (1976), Nina Baym argues that rather than reading Hawthorne’s works in isolation from one another, critics should read them chronologically in “the context they provide for each other” and as reflecting their author’s “literary sensibility” as it changed over time.1 The shapes of the careers of some of the other figures in this section are well known: Herman Melville was a popular author of sea yarns who withdrew from the market after his popularity declined, leaving Billy Budd in manuscript at his death; Emily Dickinson was a manuscript poet whose productivity ebbed and flowed over several decades, while Walt Whitman revised and expanded his Leaves of Grass many times over nearly half a century; and Frederick Douglass had long careers as both a prominent orator and published author.
Armies prepare to fight the last war, or so the adage goes. Napoleon, for instance, won great battles attacking with tight formations of troops, and mid-nineteenth-century military leaders emulated his tactics, even as advances in bullet and rifle technology rendered them increasingly ineffective. This became brutally apparent in the American Civil War as defenders capable of shooting more quickly and accurately at longer distances decimated charging formations. The problem of predicting the nature of future wars by looking to past conflicts can be more generally summed by another adage, this one traceable to Søren Kierkegaard in 1843: life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.1
African American culture is best understood as an ongoing community conversation about success that produces homemade citizenship. Because black success so often inspires violence, the community conversation constantly defines and redefines achievement. To pursue success, African Americans debate not only the strategies for attaining it but also its very contours and parameters. That is, they debate how one will even know if one has achieved. As they engage in this process, African Americans create a citizenship that is homemade. Denied basic ingredients like safety by the land of their birth, they cultivate a sense of belonging and achievement that does not depend on civic inclusion; it is a belonging with recourse beyond the nation-state. To recognize homemade citizenship, scholars, teachers, and general readers must look through the lens of achievement rather than resistance. This approach proves especially illuminating when applied to works, such as slave narratives, that readers presume exist to protest injustice. Using the Narrative of Henry Box Brown as a case study, this essay demonstrates the power of reading with an eye toward accomplishment. Brown’s narrative proves animated by a commitment to defining, redefining, and pursuing success while knowing victories inspire violence.
Chapter 8 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet explores cities’ role as creators and creations of early-modern global mercantile capitalism. It shows how imperial states and merchants employed various “spatial fixes” based in cities and their growing plantation hinterlands to overcome obstacles to the growing project of seizing the world’s wealth through land conquests, the enslavement of American and African laborers, and the militarization of trade in the Indian Ocean. Global finance, built upon rich silver mining cities in Spanish America, Chinese imperial tax policies, urban ports, banks, stock markets, joint stock companies, insurance, and the increasing value of urban real estate allowed states and merchants to pool the capital needed for trade across World Oceanic distances. A truly planetary Urban Planet came into being as these new city-enabled circuits of commerce enveloped the Pacific Ocean for the first time after the inauguration of the Acapulco–Manila galleon trade in 1571.
The first chapter claims that the imperial fiction of Joseph Conrad and William Faulkner rejects accounting as a totalizing logic, and by extension, questions the English novel’s complicity in propagating that false logic. Accounting, which had remained unobtrusively immanent to realist novels of empire, surfaces to the diegetic level in a classic instance of a thematization of the device and becomes available for critical contemplation. Drawing from Max Weber, Mary Poovey, and Georg Lukács, I attend in particular to the dandy accountant of Heart of Darkness, the accretive narrative structure of Nostromo, and Shreve’s recasting of Sutpen’s life as a debtor’s farce in Absalom, Absalom! If Conrad equates accounting with lying, Faulkner reveals secrets elided in rows of debit and credit one by one as sensational truths; to those ends, both writers invoke Gothic conventions. By dispatching the totalizing technique that had been invented by early modern merchants and finessed by realist novelists to generate faith in a transnational fiduciary community, Conrad and Faulkner impel the discovery of original forms with which to express the modern transnational world order.
Chapter 3 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet discusses the crucial role of cities in enabling small elite groups to amass large pools of wealth while guaranteeing poverty for the large majority of people whose labor made that wealth possible. This is the first of two chapters on the subject. It shows how state actors and wealthy elites controlled rural land and exploited wealth created by agricultural laborers and the energy of the Sun and Earth. It argues that building pre-modern cities and deriving wealth from them always involved the enslavement of millions of laborers for a wide diversity of tasks. Finally, it traces the origins and proliferation of urban artisans, shops, and marketplaces as well as the built hinterlands they required to create smaller pools of wealth in cities. This wealth served as cities’ economic lifeblood despite obstacles artisans and shopkeepers faced within their complex political relationship to urban states and wealthier elites.
What is the significance of Christians’ new identity in 1 Peter 2:11-5:11? This chapter argues that this identity is foundational for the exhortation that follows. The exhortation in 2:11-5:11 is deeply informed by the structures and conventions of Jewish and Greco-Roman exemplarity discourse. Greek, Roman, and Jewish discourse exhibited a strong preference for domestic role models. As a new γένος, ἔθνος, and λαός, Christians needed new Christian exemplars, which 1 Peter supplies. At the family level, the best exemplars for young Roman elite were their own illustrious ancestors. Similarly, Christians, as one family in the house of God, now have a host of their own illustrious ancestors from the scriptures and Christian tradition to aspire to and imitate, such as Sarah, Noah, Christian elders, and, especially, Jesus Christ, who is Christianity’s exemplar par excellence. This chapter concludes with a detailed analysis of Jesus’ exemplarity in the exhortation to slaves (and all believers) in 2:21-25. Through his passion, Jesus provided an example for Christian to imitate in their own suffering.
Social network analysis is an increasingly common tool for historians seeking to understand the interrelations between individuals. A significant concern, however, is how we might measure changes within networks over time and between periods. Historians have favored examining the network as it stands at particular points in time. However, this approach fails to capture the instability within networks and does not incorporate the perceptions of contemporaries. One solution is to integrate network data into a time series that is built around conceptualizations of the “network memory.” In a case study on John Pinney’s late eighteenth-century Nevis–Bristol network, I use a two-year moving total to model the lingering nature of ephemeral interactions on the memories of those involved in the plantation trade. Using this historical social network analysis as the basis for an iterative approach to the primary material, I explore what being a part of this network meant for the enslaved people on Pinney’s plantation and for the women in his family. This article demonstrates the value of the approach and highlights the ways in which historians can use it to contribute to the historiography of early modern business networks.
In the ninety-year period between the start of the American Revolution and the end of the Civil War, American Protestantism underwent a profound transformation. Protestant churches and ministers engaged on both sides of the revolutionary struggle and argued over the relationship between church and state in constitutional deliberations. Religious liberty emerged as an article of faith; religious populism grew; and new Protestant denominations proliferated, reinforced by the dynamics of western expansion along the unfolding American frontier. Industrialization, immigration, home missions, and the growth of the Black church added to the diversity and richness of Protestant Christianity, as did the explosion of reform movements and the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening. Yet abolitionism and the sectional crisis of the 1840s and 1850s further segmented religious organizations into Northern and Southern divisions, until in the Civil War Protestant theology and piety coursed through both Union and Confederate societies.
Some 10,000 people of colour lived in London around 1800, and none escaped white people’s antipathy and prejudice. Thistlewood’s fellow Spencean Wedderburn and the conspirator Davidson were both born of enslaved mothers on Jamaica plantations. Long settled in England, they were mocked in person as well as in satire, though in his Soho ‘chapel’ Wedderburn returned as good as he got. Davidson’s dramatic life story was in good part invented (it is still falsely alleged that his father was Jamaica’s attorney general), but though he was latterly reduced to beggary he was fully literate and well schooled in the Bible. He was the only conspirator who went to his death in terror and penitence.
Justice Cheryl I. HARRIS delivered the opinion of the Court.1
Dred and Harriet Scott have petitioned the courts for their freedom and the freedom of their two children, Eliza and Lizzie, for more than ten years. The relief they are seeking is of crucial significance to them as a family, but the issues implicated in their case go to the heart of the national identity and will shape the nation’s destiny. The conflict over slavery that is now raging in the political sphere is not new although, in recent times, it had taken on a more incendiary tone. Its origins lie in the contradiction between the ideals of liberty guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and the institution of slavery.The birth of the nation was bound up with slavery as well as the dispossession of native tribes, upon whose land the great edifice of American finance, wealth, and power have been built.
Chapter 4 connects the emergence of transformative demographic governance to changes in natural philosophy, in particular to Francis Bacon’s works and their influence among projectors associated with the Hartlib Circle in the mid-seventeenth century. The problem of managing the qualities of populations in an empire raised the question of natural constraints on the power of policy to “improve” populations; the chapter examines Hartlibian projects concerned with this question on a large scale, including some in which putatively immutable racial boundaries and the enslavement of Africans indicate both limits to and paradoxes of demographic governance. It then turns to Cromwellian Ireland, showing that opposed arguments for either Irish transplantation or English –Irish mixture proceeded from a similar centering of demographic governance. Mid-century projects fed into William Petty’s “political arithmetic” in the Restoration. This fused Baconianism, alchemical ideas and quantification, treating the control of the numbers and of the economic, political, religious and cultural qualities of populations in England, Ireland and the empire as essentially similar problems for the state.
A historical background of Saint Domingue within the wider context of the European colonization will be the focus of the second chapter, which frames the island originally known to the Taíno as Ayiti as a space of human commodification, death, and slave resistance since the first Africans arrived in 1503. Less than twenty years after arrival, enslaved Africans were constantly escaping, taking up residence with remaining Taíno in the mountains, and participating in organized revolts. These rebellions were reactions to the brutal treatment of Taíno and Africans in the encomienda labor system, the emergence of the slave plantation-based sugar economy and processes of racialization, and the exorbitant death rates of enslaved people. In examining the immediate social world of enslaved people, I look at their social lives and recreation, particularly cultural and spiritual creations, considering them as processes of enculturation that introduced new Africans to local idioms and modes of survival.
Building on Achille Mbembe’s A Critique of Black Reason and Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic, emerging respectively from a francophone and anglophone tradition of Black critique, this chapter focuses on the profound importance of Blackness in the history of globalisation. Both writers argue Blackness needs to be understood in ‘worlded’ terms, with transnational dimensions and local inscriptions, and an emphasis on the interrelatedness of the world – its ‘systematic’ character. Moreover, each recognizes that in its engagement with imperialism, racialization, and the radical redefinition of subjectivity effected by capitalist modernity, Black writing pre-emptively grasps the spirit of globalization. As with the ‘one and unequal’ world literary system, Blackness shares a common basis in European colonialism and transatlantic slavery, but is also uneven, context-specific and immensely mutable, prohibiting any ‘total’ comprehension. Distilling a complex history into certain key topic areas, the chapter examines the significant international dimension of Black literary movements; the worlded and anti-colonial articulations of Blackness found in Négritude and the writing of Frantz Fanon; shifting Blackness in a neoliberal global order; and the afterlife and representational challenges of the foundational ‘world-system’ of slavery.
Via petitions for freedom, addresses to children, and writings about religious deliverance, Black authors of the first decade of the nation’s founding expressed hope and encouragement for a free future beyond themselves. Both early Black literary and emancipation efforts contributed to a project of imagining and producing early Black futures. Forms of intergenerational address reached beyond any individual author’s scope to speculate about the future and to address the actual Black children whom they acknowledged as part of their communities, among their potential readers, and as would-be beneficiaries of their work. When we consider print technologies among the larger scope of Black technoculture and theological discourse alongside other notions of the speculative, we can understand early Black community, literature, and generational address as a form of (proto-)Afrofuturism. The fullest understanding of Black literary sociality is generational in scale, extending Black print from producing Black community to imagining Black futurity. Attention to early African American literature’s future gesturing also allows us to regard later scholarly interest in literary “firsts” with an eye not only to our contemporary construction and reconstruction of literary canons but also to account for early Black writers’ most hopeful literary visions.