Slavery, Abolitionism and Empire in India, 1772–1843

Andrea Major

£19.99
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ISBN: 9781781381113

Publication: October 13, 2014

Series: Liverpool Studies in International Slavery 6

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‘There are no two things in the world more different from each other than East-Indian and West Indian-slavery’ (Robert Inglis, House of Commons Debate, 1833). In Slavery, Abolitionism and Empire in India, 1772–1843, Andrea Major asks why, at a time when East India Company expansion in India, British abolitionism and the missionary movement were all at their height, was the existence of slavery in India so often ignored, denied or excused? By exploring Britain's ambivalent relationship with both real and imagined slaveries in India, and the official, evangelical and popular discourses which surrounded them, she seeks to uncover the various political, economic and ideological agendas that allowed East Indian slavery to be represented as qualitatively different from its trans-Atlantic counterpart. In doing so, she uncovers tensions in the relationship between colonial policy and the so-called 'civilising mission', elucidating the intricate interactions between humanitarian movements, colonial ideologies and imperial imperatives in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The work draws on a range of sources from Britain and India to provide a trans-national perspective on this little known facet of the story of slavery and abolition in the British Empire, uncovering the complex ways in which Indian slavery was encountered, discussed, utilised, rationalised, and reconciled with the economic, political and moral imperatives of an empire whose focus was shifting to the East.

Andrea Major is Lecturer in Wider World History at the University of Leeds.

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Glossary Some Prominent Figures in the British Parliament, the Abolitionist Movement and the East India Company Part I. Other Slaveries Introduction 1. ‘To Call a Slave a Slave’: Recovering Indian Slavery Part II. European Slaveries Introduction: Slavery and Colonial Expansion in India 2. ‘A Shameful and Ruinous Trade’: European Slave-trafficking and the East India Company 3. Bengalis, Caffrees and Malays: European Slave-holding and Early Colonial Society Part III. Indian Slaveries Introduction: Locating Indian Slaveries 4. ‘This Household Servitude’: Domestic Slavery and Immoral Commerce 5. ‘Open and Professed Stealers of Children’: Slave-trafficking and the Boundaries of the Colonial State Part IV. Imagined Slaveries Introduction: Evangelical Connections 7. ‘Satan’s Wretched Slaves’: Indian Society and the Evangelical Imagination 8. ‘The Produce of the East by Free Men’: Indian Sugar and Indian Slavery in British Abolitionist Debates, 1793–1833 Conclusion: ‘Do Justice to India’: Abolitionists and Indian Slavery, 1839–1843 Select Bibliography Index

This will remain the standard history of British abolitionism and Indian slavery for years to come.
  Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol 55, issue 4

A most impressive work of scholarship which will come to occupy a major and important niche in this area.
Stanley Engerman  
University of Rochester

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 x 156 mm

384 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381113

Publication: October 13, 2014

Series: Liverpool Studies in International Slavery 6

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