Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Hardback)Richard Huzzey (author)
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After Britain abolished slavery throughout most of its empire in 1834, Victorians adopted a creed of "anti-slavery" as a vital part of their national identity and sense of moral superiority over other civilizations. The British government used diplomacy, pressure, and violence to suppress the slave trade, while the Royal Navy enforced abolition worldwide and an anxious public debated the true responsibilities of an anti-slavery nation. This crusade was far from altruistic or compassionate, but Richard Huzzey argues that it forged national debates and political culture long after the famous abolitionist campaigns of William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson had faded into memory. These anti-slavery passions shaped racist and imperialist prejudices, new forms of coerced labor, and the expansion of colonial possessions.
In a sweeping narrative that spans the globe, Freedom Burning explores the intersection of philanthropic, imperial, and economic interests that underlay Britain's anti-slavery zeal- from London to Liberia, the Sudan to South Africa, Canada to the Caribbean, and the British East India Company to the Confederate States of America. Through careful attention to popular culture, official records, and private papers, Huzzey rewrites the history of the British Empire and a century-long effort to end the global trade in human lives.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 28 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 24 mm
"Huzzey has written a persuasive account of how British antislavery ideology became imperial practice. The book will be invaluable to students of antislavery in the United States who wish to understand the complexity and unexpected results of the same set of beliefs that caused the American Civil War. And for those who wish to more fully understand the transatlantic dimensions of this era, Huzzey's book offers insights that will continue to provoke."-- Edward B. Rugemer * Journal of the Civil War Era *
"Huzzey's important bookis the strongest survey to date of the role of British anti-slavery politics in the Foreign Office, domestic reform campaigns, and the development of British-chartered companies in Africa in the Victorian era. His elegantly written narrative brings these facets of British anti-slavery into focus and leaves no doubt that anti-slavery was a persistent inspiration, if only occasionally a decisive factor, amongleading figures in British foreign, domestic, and imperial politics."-- Kevin Grant * Victorian Studies *
"[Far] less literature is devoted to the vital 'what next' question for British abolitionists. This learned, well-researched book by Richard Huzzey explores that question, in the process offering great insight on the nature of antislavery ideology and politics as well as on Victorian politics and empire.. This reviewer remains uncomfortable with the complexity of it all. That however, is but one of the many reasons this is an excellent book that deserves a wide scholarly audience."-- Matthew Mason * The Journal of Southern History *
"Huzzey's thorough research and argument show the complicated, often contradictory ways 'the British state was tranformed..from the patron of slavery to its determined enemy'.. Huzzey's book is a valuable addition to the studies of slavery, the British Empire, and nineteenth-century British history.. He has produced a book that all students of slavery and British imperialism in the nineteenth century should read."-- Patrick Brantlinger * Canadian Journal of History *
""In Freedom BurningRichard Huzzey launches a provocative and beautifully written statement of the importance of antislavery as the motive force of British imperial policy and expansion. His study spans not only an extraordinarily ambitious range of imperial sitesfrom the West Indies to West Africa to East Africabut also an extended time periodrunning the length of the nineteenth century. The book thus connects colony with metropole and the emancipation period with the race for Africa." -Nicholas DraperUniversity College London,"* Journal of British Studies *
"In this very rich and engaging study, Richard Huzzey examines the role of anti-slavery ideology in British public life during the two-thirds of a century that followed the 1834 emancipation of all slaves held by Europeans in the British empire.... As a scholarly undertaking, Freedom Burning is a mixture of historical synthesis making generally excellent use of a very wide range of secondary sources and original research.... Huzzey deserves congratulations for a masterful account of one of the most important conjunctures between modern overseas expansion and domestic European history.-Itinerario April 2013"
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