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Sweet industriousness: The sugar-slave nexus in the Early Modern world
Hybrid - Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati and via Zoom
This lecture is in the context of the conferral of the HEC Honoris Causa Degree to Professor Maxine Berg (University of Warwick).
Goods from Asia, such as patterned cotton textiles from India and porcelain from China are now recognized for the effect they had on British and European consumer cultures and technological innovation. Yet the trade in imported sugar produced in the Caribbean with enslaved African labour was worth more than four times the whole trade with Asia by the 1770s. Colonial groceries, especially tobacco and sugar joined coffee and tea to become the key luxury goods to shift European consumer cultures. Sugar was key, and Atlantic world slavery joined luxury to stimulate Europe’s shift to an 'industrious revolution.'
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