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London, Liberty and Slavery 1688-1706

Dates:
  • Fri 08 Mar 2019 11.00 - 13.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-03-08 11:00 2019-03-08 13:00 Europe/Paris London, Liberty and Slavery 1688-1706

Lecture jointly organised by SAGAS (University of Florence), in collaboration with the Intellectual History Working Group London was often depicted between 1688 and 1706 as a bastion of ‘civic republican’ defence of ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’. Political treatises, poems, statues, and civic rituals invoked London’s charter, history of liberties, roles for civic senates and freemen, and civic militia, as central to restrictions of royal absolutism and tyranny – ‘slavery’ – while compatible with limited monarchy. Such defences of ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’ supported religious toleration amongst Protestants, but were fiercely anti-Catholic, associating ‘popery’ with ‘tyranny’ and ‘slavery’, and denying civic rights to Catholics in the name of defending political and religious ‘liberty’. Such defences of ‘liberty’ were deeply patriarchal, and hostile to the ‘poor’ and ‘dependent’ members of society. And many Londoners, including some of the most avid defenders of London’s ‘liberty’, were deeply involved in the massive expansion of slavery in English colonies in these years. Some leading Londoners explicitly supported such slavery, including in works of ‘political economy’ composed in these years, and London’s colonial power and riches were celebrated in texts which defended political and religious ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’. Simultaneously, slavery in the metropole was being challenged in the law courts in London, involving some judgments against slavery in the metropole.

Sala degli Stemmi DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala degli Stemmi

Lecture jointly organised by SAGAS (University of Florence), in collaboration with the Intellectual History Working Group London was often depicted between 1688 and 1706 as a bastion of ‘civic republican’ defence of ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’. Political treatises, poems, statues, and civic rituals invoked London’s charter, history of liberties, roles for civic senates and freemen, and civic militia, as central to restrictions of royal absolutism and tyranny – ‘slavery’ – while compatible with limited monarchy. Such defences of ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’ supported religious toleration amongst Protestants, but were fiercely anti-Catholic, associating ‘popery’ with ‘tyranny’ and ‘slavery’, and denying civic rights to Catholics in the name of defending political and religious ‘liberty’. Such defences of ‘liberty’ were deeply patriarchal, and hostile to the ‘poor’ and ‘dependent’ members of society. And many Londoners, including some of the most avid defenders of London’s ‘liberty’, were deeply involved in the massive expansion of slavery in English colonies in these years. Some leading Londoners explicitly supported such slavery, including in works of ‘political economy’ composed in these years, and London’s colonial power and riches were celebrated in texts which defended political and religious ‘liberty’ against ‘slavery’. Simultaneously, slavery in the metropole was being challenged in the law courts in London, involving some judgments against slavery in the metropole.


Location:
Sala degli Stemmi

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Organiser:
Ann Thomson (European University Institute)

Speaker:
John Marshall (Johns Hopkins University)

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