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A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn (review)

A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn (review) 410 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2016) cause of high mortality rates, the manager understood, was Gladstone’s decision to shift from cotton to sugar production, a choice that belied any pretensions to care about the ‘‘general health & care’’ of his slaves (196). Despite Gladstone’s determination to ‘‘cast himself as the quintes- sential paterfamilias,’’ Dierksheide concedes, he refused to leave his Liverpool mansion (191). Indeed, the term ‘‘paternalism’’ appears only three times in the text. So since he received reports that amelioration was impossible on his vast estates, the question remains why Gladstone continued to defend the proposition in print. Ironically, as British abolitionists advocated replacing enslaved Afri- cans in the Caribbean with free-labor products from their eastern colo- nies, particularly in Africa and India, liberal reformers helped to shape the empire in the wake of Caribbean emancipation. Since even abolition- ists, Dierksheide observes, spoke of Britain’s benign and progressive rule over its colonies, the Victorian empire was ‘‘forged in the crucible of abolition’’ (221). To the extent that the author’s central premise is that the various forms of amelioration demonstrate that there was no single path to modernity in the Anglo American Atlantic world, Amelioration and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia by Richard S. Dunn (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 36 (2) – Jun 14, 2016

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620

Abstract

410 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2016) cause of high mortality rates, the manager understood, was Gladstone’s decision to shift from cotton to sugar production, a choice that belied any pretensions to care about the ‘‘general health & care’’ of his slaves (196). Despite Gladstone’s determination to ‘‘cast himself as the quintes- sential paterfamilias,’’ Dierksheide concedes, he refused to leave his Liverpool mansion (191). Indeed, the term ‘‘paternalism’’ appears only three times in the text. So since he received reports that amelioration was impossible on his vast estates, the question remains why Gladstone continued to defend the proposition in print. Ironically, as British abolitionists advocated replacing enslaved Afri- cans in the Caribbean with free-labor products from their eastern colo- nies, particularly in Africa and India, liberal reformers helped to shape the empire in the wake of Caribbean emancipation. Since even abolition- ists, Dierksheide observes, spoke of Britain’s benign and progressive rule over its colonies, the Victorian empire was ‘‘forged in the crucible of abolition’’ (221). To the extent that the author’s central premise is that the various forms of amelioration demonstrate that there was no single path to modernity in the Anglo American Atlantic world, Amelioration and

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jun 14, 2016

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