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18:00 - 19:30 27 January 2016
Slave rebellion, race and radicalism in early nineteenth-century England
Lecture Room 103 |
UCL – Institute of the Americas
51 Gordon Square | London | WC1H 0PQ | United Kingdom
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential
Dr Ryan Hanley, Salvesen Junior Fellow in History, New College Oxford
In 1817, the black radical author and orator Robert Wedderburn laid out his plan to overthrow slavery and establish a utopia of freedom and political equality in Jamaica, exporting the ideals of British radicalism to the enslaved there. His notion of a politically actualised, ethnically diverse transatlantic proletariat remains an attractive one for many scholars of slavery and resistance. But how typical was Wedderburn’s approach?
This paper will explore how Britain’s radicals negotiated the vexed issues of race, abolition and insurrection during their quest for political equality in the early nineteenth century. It interrogates the sometimes troubled relationship between working-class political activism and slave-led armed rebellion in the Caribbean, helping us to understand not only how Britain’s working people helped to change the face of slave resistance, but how it changed them.
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