Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-zdfhw Total loading time: 0.538 Render date: 2022-08-09T08:59:52.330Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

7 - Liberty, Death, and Slavery in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, 1770s–1790s

from Part II - Hierarchies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2022

Hannah Dawson
Affiliation:
King's College London
Annelien de Dijn
Affiliation:
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Get access

Summary

This chapter argues that in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions (c. 1770s–1790s) republican conceptions of liberty were put into service of both antislavery and proslavery discourses. Focusing on the American, Dutch, French, and Haitian revolutions, it distinguish three lines of republican reasoning that informed arguments against slavery: the 'extension' of political freedom to enslaved people; the idea that the institution of slavery leads to corruption; and third, the notion of republican liberty as a reward for military courage and sacrifice. It then identifies three ways in which republican conceptions of liberty were widely reconciled with the existence of chattel slavery: only a certain delineated group in society could responsibly enjoy republican liberty; enslaved people were a form of property and therefore not part of a society of free citizens; and finally, the idea that enslaved people who did not resist their slavery, basically acquiesced in their unfree status and were unworthy of republican liberty. Eighteenth-century republican arguments about liberty did not necessarily contradict chattel slavery, but could also form part of the legitimization of slavery. The chapter, then, demonstrates not so much the limits but the versatile employability of the republican discourse of liberty.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.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.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

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 Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

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.

Available formats
×