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Slave Society in the City: Bridgetown Barbados, 1680-1834
This study examines the impact of urban formations on the shaping of slave society in a Caribbean city specifically the port city of Bridgetown, Barbados. Pedro Welch argues that the urban context allowed for significant modifications in relationships between slave owner and slave compared to the rural plantation setting. The factors that contributed to...
This study examines the impact of urban formations on the shaping of slave society in a Caribbean city specifically the port city of Bridgetown, Barbados. Pedro Welch argues that the urban context allowed for significant modifications in relationships between slave owner and slave compared to the rural plantation setting. The factors that contributed to the distinctive character of urban slave society included the structure of discipline; the nature of the work organisation; family relationships; the smaller scale of ownership and interaction between owners/hirers and slaves in the workplace. Physical and economic characteristics as well as the port character of Bridgetown were also significant modifying factors to the rural typology of master-slave relations. Studies of Caribbean slave society have, to date, focused almost exclusively on its rural and plantation setting and few historians have written with any depth on the urban context. Pedro Welchs original and substantial work based on extensive, scholarly research is therefore an important contribution to the field of Caribbean history in particular and comparative studies of slavery in general.
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