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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2013

Suzanne Schwarz
Affiliation:
University of Worcester
Silke Strickrodt
Affiliation:
German Historical Institute London
Robin Law
Affiliation:
Professor of African History, University of Stirling
Suzanne Schwarz
Affiliation:
Professor of History, University of Worcester
Silke Strickrodt
Affiliation:
Research Fellow in Colonial History, German Institute of Historical Research, London
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Summary

This volume presents a selection of papers from a conference held at the German Historical Institute London (GHIL), in September 2010, on the topic of ‘Commercial Agriculture in Africa as an Alternative to the Slave Trade’. This Introduction begins by situating this topic in its context within the history and historiography of western Africa.

The idea of ‘legitimate commerce’

The idea of promoting the export of agricultural produce from Africa first became central to European thought in the context of the campaign to end the trans-Atlantic slave trade from the late eighteenth century onwards, with actual projects on the ground in West Africa beginning with Danish attempts to establish plantations on the Gold Coast (modern Ghana) from 1788, followed by the British colony of Sierra Leone, after it was taken over by the Sierra Leone Company in 1791. After the legal abolition of the slave trade in the early nineteenth century, proposed commercial alternatives to it became known in contradistinction as ‘legitimate’ (or ‘legal’ or ‘lawful’) commerce (or trade). Strictly, the term ‘legitimate commerce’ designated trade in anything other than slaves, including non-agricultural commodities such as gold and ivory, but in practice interest was mainly concentrated on the promotion of commercial agriculture.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2013

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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Robin Law, Professor of African History, University of Stirling, Suzanne Schwarz, Professor of History, University of Worcester, Silke Strickrodt, Research Fellow in Colonial History, German Institute of Historical Research, London
  • Book: Commercial Agriculture, the Slave Trade and Slavery in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 05 December 2013
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  • Introduction
  • Edited by Robin Law, Professor of African History, University of Stirling, Suzanne Schwarz, Professor of History, University of Worcester, Silke Strickrodt, Research Fellow in Colonial History, German Institute of Historical Research, London
  • Book: Commercial Agriculture, the Slave Trade and Slavery in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 05 December 2013
Available formats
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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 Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edited by Robin Law, Professor of African History, University of Stirling, Suzanne Schwarz, Professor of History, University of Worcester, Silke Strickrodt, Research Fellow in Colonial History, German Institute of Historical Research, London
  • Book: Commercial Agriculture, the Slave Trade and Slavery in Atlantic Africa
  • Online publication: 05 December 2013
Available formats
×