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The Royal Navy, the British Atlantic empire and the abolition of the slave trade

The Royal Navy, the British Atlantic empire and the abolition of the slave trade
The Royal Navy, the British Atlantic empire and the abolition of the slave trade
British patriotic identity and British military policy were closely entwined during the eighteenth century. The navy had a prominent role in both. One eighteenth-century vision of the Atlantic empire emphasised the interconnection between maritime colonial trade and British naval strength. The argument went that British transatlantic trade, including the slave trade, constituted a nursery for British seamen and that Britain’s status as a leading European power rested on the connection between colonial commerce and naval power. For much of the century, this constituted a dominant view of the relationship between nation and empire. This chapter explores that view of empire in the contexts of new visions of British patriotism, articulated by the likes of William Wilberforce, and the abolition movement, which began to question the morality and patriotic value of defining elements of the old British empire in the Atlantic, beginning with the slave trade and the commerce in slave-grown sugar from British-Caribbean plantations.
97-121
Palgrave Macmillan
Petley, Christer
8575b3f5-b694-44a2-a70e-aa715a74381a
McAleer, J.
Petley, C.
Petley, Christer
8575b3f5-b694-44a2-a70e-aa715a74381a
McAleer, J.
Petley, C.

Petley, Christer (2016) The Royal Navy, the British Atlantic empire and the abolition of the slave trade. In, McAleer, J. and Petley, C. (eds.) The Royal Navy and the British Atlantic World, c. 1750-1820. London. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 97-121. (doi:10.1057/978-1-137-50765-5_5).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

British patriotic identity and British military policy were closely entwined during the eighteenth century. The navy had a prominent role in both. One eighteenth-century vision of the Atlantic empire emphasised the interconnection between maritime colonial trade and British naval strength. The argument went that British transatlantic trade, including the slave trade, constituted a nursery for British seamen and that Britain’s status as a leading European power rested on the connection between colonial commerce and naval power. For much of the century, this constituted a dominant view of the relationship between nation and empire. This chapter explores that view of empire in the contexts of new visions of British patriotism, articulated by the likes of William Wilberforce, and the abolition movement, which began to question the morality and patriotic value of defining elements of the old British empire in the Atlantic, beginning with the slave trade and the commerce in slave-grown sugar from British-Caribbean plantations.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 23 May 2016
Published date: June 2016
Organisations: History

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Local EPrints ID: 393323
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393323
PURE UUID: d4f403ce-3364-41da-b4db-f8c92536d3c3
ORCID for Christer Petley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0616-1871

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Date deposited: 26 Apr 2016 12:11
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:10

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Author: Christer Petley ORCID iD
Editor: J. McAleer
Editor: C. Petley

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