Eric Williams' Capitalism and Slavery

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Some notes on the excerpts we were to read for class

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Eric Williams: Capitalism and Slavery

Main Point: "Slavery was not born of racism" (p.108)

proves this through showing:     A. slavery started without African slaves     B. horrors associated w/ slavery also started w/o African slaves.

INDIANS ENSLAVEDeffective use of quote "enslave...his collective spirit"     (shows poor treatment, appeal to religious types?)example of Hatuey    (suggests that Indians were not keen on being slaves)

Hatuey an Indian chief resisted European invaders refused to accept Christianity for fear of going to Heaven - since that is where his executioners might go

Character of this slavery: Not a "normal and permanent condition" Limited to those who "refuse to accept Christianity" and to cannibals. i.e. not all Indians subject to slavery, thus, NOT racially based

Ways in which African slaves are so much better:(bit of a bias?) Natives "so weak that they can only be employed in tasks requiring little endurance" whereas Africans are "a race robust for labor" (p.109) limited numbers of Indians available, but pool of potential African slaves "inexhaustible"

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