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Germany and the Question of Slavery, 1750-1850

dc.creatorMapes, Christopher David
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the relationship between Northern Germans and Atlantic slavery during the period from 1750 to 1850. It argues that German concern for slavery grew out of experiences with Islamic slavery in the Mediterranean Sea during the early modern period and informed how Germans defined slavery until the American Revolution. The experience of German soldiers in the New World and the increasing ties between the Americas and Europe brought new attention and recognition to black African slavery in the New World when the Atlantic slave trade rose to its highest level. New World slavery competed with the old cultural memory of Christian captivity in North Africa when corsairs from the Barbary Regencies once again began enslaving Germans and raiding Christian islands during the Napoleonic era. This created tensions in the definition and understanding of slavery that made antislavery self-referential for Northern Germans. The Prussian state and Hanseatic cities sought to protect their subjects from Islamic enslavement when they worked with international efforts to end slavery. This continued when Germans migrated and traveled to Brazil during the first half of the nineteenth century. While Germans recognized New World slavery and wrote passionately against it, their criticisms and descriptions invoked the specter of white European and Christian enslavement at a time when the African slave trade reached its nineteenth century apogee.
dc.subjectGerman slavery slaves slave trade enlightenment
dc.titleGermany and the Question of Slavery, 1750-1850
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDavid Blackbourn
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCelia Applegate Ph.D.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberAlexander Joskowicz
dc.type.materialtext University
dc.contributor.committeeChairHelmut Walser Smith

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