Moral Imperium: Afro-Caribbeans and the Transformation of British Rule, 1776-1838

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During the past decade, the problem of British slave emancipation has generated considerable historiographical debate. Yet, until now, this debate has emphasized the relative importance of ideals and material self-interest in the British emancipation movement. In Moral Imperium , Ronald Richardson offers a new assessment of the relative importance of ideas, religious enthusiasm, national interest, and political circumstances. Arguing that historians have yet to develop an understanding of the impact of the Afro-Caribbean population on the development of British anti-slavery thought in general and the anti-slavery movement as a whole, he contends that abolition and emancipation were carried out in the context of British rule and were designed to create a social environment that would be receptive to British needs.

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