Eric Williams Thesis on Capitalism and Slavery and Arguments Made for and Against the Thesis.

Better Essays
ERIC WILLIAMS THESIS ON CAPITALISM AND SLAVERY AND ARGUMENTS MADE FOR AND AGAINST THE THESIS. Many historians justify that the evolving of the industrial revolution was based on slavery and mainly the triangular trade. The triangular trade was the route taken by Europeans to transport goods to Africa in exchange for slaves to be taken to the Americans. The triangular trade was seen as the first system of global commerce which linked Britain, Africa and the Americans. The most important colonies for the sugar growth were West Indies islands. During the 17th and the 18th century Dutch settlers in Brazil had perfected their sugar cultivation at the same time the triangular trade was taking place between America, Britain and Africa. As the…show more content…
These were industries that came about after industries prospered and demand was high. The metallurgical industries were mainly to produce fetters, chains and padlocks to lock the slaves securely on the slave ships so as to prevent mutiny and suicide . Williams’s thesis has gained some critics over the years. David Richardson said that the thesis is presented broadly and in sweeping terms . He continues by demonstrating that Williams failed to justify profits being made came from the sugar trade only or it was a combination of the triangular trade and bilateral colonial traders . Two historians McCloskey and Thomas conclude that the probability of trade being the horse power of growth before is in the eighteenth century is low. He also says that the profit levels given by authors such as William Darity are unrealistic and that the return from the slaves was less than 10 percent. Another author, Stanley Engerman look at Williams thesis in both historic and economic principals and he also proposes that William did does not explain wether the industrial revolution was financed solely by the slave trade or it was rather generated by the entire plantation of the economic system . He then says that there may be a possibility that only a small portion of the slave trader’s profits was derived from the slave trade. Stanley explains that there might
Get Access