"Commanding a vast historiography of slavery and emancipation, Aline Helg argues that significant numbers of enslaved Africans and their descendants across the entire Western Hemisphere managed to free themselves hundreds of years before the formation of white-run abolitionist movements. Her analysis of resistance and struggle covers more than three centuries, from early colonization to the American and Haitian revolutions, Spanish American independence, and abolition in the British Caribbean. But Helg's purpose is not only to underscore the agency of those who managed to become 'free people of color' before abolitionism took hold but also to assess in detail the specific strategies they created and utilized"--
Introduction -- Part I. Settings and eras. The slave trade and slavery in the Americas : transcontinental trends -- Part II. From conquest to the end of the Seven Years' War (1501-1763). Marronage : a risky but possible path to freedom -- Self-purchase and military service : legal but limited paths to emancipation -- Conspiracy and revolt : the most perilous paths to freedom -- Part III. The age of revolution and independence (1763-1825). Slaves as actors on the path to U.S. independence -- From the slave revolt in Saint Domingue to the founding of the black nation of Haiti -- The shock waves of the Haitian revolution -- The wars of independence in continental Iberian America : new opportunities for liberation -- Part IV. Defending slavery versus abolitionism (1800-1838). Marronage and the purchase of freedom : old strategies in new times -- Revolts and abolitionism -- Epilogue
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