Planters, Merchants, and Slaves

My new book, Planters, Merchants, and Slaves: Plantation Societies in British America, a volume in the series, American Beginnings, 1500-1900, is coming out with the University of Chicago Press at the end of October 2015. It deals with how the large plantation in which hundreds of enslaved Africans developed first in Barbados and then in the rest of plantation British America in the late seventeenth century. It explains why this socially monstrous but economically successful system worked as well as it did in the eighteenth century (paying particular attention to Jamaica but also including plantation societies from Maryland to British Guiana) and says a few things also about how to look at the American Revolution from the vantage point of planters in plantation societies. Only some plantation societies joined in the Revolution and thus the Revolution looks different depending on which part of the British American plantation world one looks at. A fuller description is available at I hope readers find it of interest.

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