A New World of Labor: The Development of Plantation Slavery in the British Atlantic

A New World of Labor: The Development of Plantation Slavery in the British Atlantic

by Simon P. Newman


$24.18 $26.50 Save 9% Current price is $24.18, Original price is $26.5. You Save 9%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, August 23


The small and remote island of Barbados seems an unlikely location for the epochal change in labor that overwhelmed it and much of British America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, by 1650 it had become the greatest wealth-producing area in the English-speaking world, the center of an exchange of people and goods between the British Isles, the Gold Coast of West Africa, and the New World. By the early seventeenth century, more than half a million enslaved men, women, and children had been transported to the island. In A New World of Labor, Simon P. Newman argues that this exchange stimulated an entirely new system of bound labor.

Free and bound labor were defined and experienced by Britons and Africans across the British Atlantic world in quite different ways. Connecting social developments in seventeenth-century Britain with the British experience of slavery on the West African coast, Newman demonstrates that the brutal white servant regime, rather than the West African institution of slavery, provided the most significant foundation for the violent system of racialized black slavery that developed in Barbados. Class as much as race informed the creation of plantation slavery in Barbados and throughout British America. Enslaved Africans in Barbados were deployed in radically new ways in order to cultivate, process, and manufacture sugar on single, integrated plantations. This Barbadian system informed the development of racial slavery on Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, as well as in South Carolina and then the Deep South of mainland British North America. Drawing on British and West African precedents, and then radically reshaping them, Barbados planters invented a new world of labor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812223620
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press - University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date: 04/18/2016
Series: The Early Modern Americas
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 651,943
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Simon P. Newman is Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American History at the University of Glasgow and author of Parades and the Politics of the Street: Festive Culture in the Early American Republic and Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia, both available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. England
Chapter 2. The Gold Coast
Chapter 3. Barbados

Chapter 4. "White Slaves": British Labor in Early Barbados
Chapter 5. "A Company of White Negroes": The Lives and Labor of British Workers on the Gold Coast

Chapter 6. "A Spirit of Liberty": Slave Labor in Gold Coast Castles and Forts
Chapter 7. "We Have No Power over Them": People and Work on the Gold Coast

Chapter 8. "The Harsh Tyranny of Our Masters": The Development of Racial Slavery and the Integrated Plantations of Barbados
Chapter 9. "Forced to Labour Beyond Their Natural Strength": Labor, Discipline, and Community on Eighteenth-Century Barbadian Plantations



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews