« Back to all events

Slavery, Cotton and Divergence: A debate on the New History of Capitalism

Dates:
  • Wed 23 Oct 2019 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-10-23 17:00 2019-10-23 19:00 Europe/Paris Slavery, Cotton and Divergence: A debate on the New History of Capitalism

In the framework of the HEC Department Colloquium Around the time of the publication of Kenneth Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence (2000), the scholarly consensus on the role of Atlantic slavery in contributing to the beginnings and development of the Industrial Revolution in Britain seemed to be settled. In the past decade the New History of Capitalism movement (NHC) has pushed further Pomeranz’s analysis, underlining that the fruits of colonial lands in the Americas could only be made available through exploitative systems of labour such as slavery. This paper argues that the NHC could have presented a more compelling case: the focusing on establishing a univocal relationship between American slavery and the British industrial revolution has narrowed their explanation. The NHC makes a case for slavery and cotton being both a necessary and sufficient cause for the restructuring of the global economy and the start of modernity. By contrast this presentation argues that explanatory models in history should retain their complexity and acknowledge multi-causal relationships.

Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

In the framework of the HEC Department Colloquium Around the time of the publication of Kenneth Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence (2000), the scholarly consensus on the role of Atlantic slavery in contributing to the beginnings and development of the Industrial Revolution in Britain seemed to be settled. In the past decade the New History of Capitalism movement (NHC) has pushed further Pomeranz’s analysis, underlining that the fruits of colonial lands in the Americas could only be made available through exploitative systems of labour such as slavery. This paper argues that the NHC could have presented a more compelling case: the focusing on establishing a univocal relationship between American slavery and the British industrial revolution has narrowed their explanation. The NHC makes a case for slavery and cotton being both a necessary and sufficient cause for the restructuring of the global economy and the start of modernity. By contrast this presentation argues that explanatory models in history should retain their complexity and acknowledge multi-causal relationships.


Location:
Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Lecture

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Organiser:
Prof. Federico Romero (EUI - HEC)
Giorgio Riello

Speaker:
Giorgio Riello

Similar events

 

Page last updated on 18 August 2017