'It's fair to say that Peter Hitchens remains one of the most misrepresented figures in the British media... Hitchens is in reality one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent commentators on life in contemporary Britain' Neil Clark, Spectator From identification cards to how we protect our property, public debate rages over what our basic human rights are, and how they are to be protected. In this trenchant and provocative book Peter Hitchens sets out to show that popular views of these hotly contested issues - from crime and punishment to so-called 'soft drugs' - are based on mistaken beliefs, massaged figures and cheap slogans. His powerful and counter-intuitive conclusions make challenging reading for those on both the Left and the Right and are essential reading for all concerned with creating a lawful and peaceful society.The Abolition of Liberty argues that because of the misdemeanours of the few, the liberty of the many is seriously jeopardized.
This book explores the abolition of African slavery in Spanish Cuba from 1817 to 1886—from the first Anglo-Spanish agreement to abolish the slave trade until the removal from Cuba of the last vestige of black servitude. Making extensive use of heretofore untapped research sources from the Spanish archives, the author has developed new perspectives on nineteenth-century Spanish policy in Cuba. He skillfully interrelates the problem of slavery with international politics, with Cuban conservative and liberal movements, and with political and economic developments in Spain itself. Arthur Corwin finds that the study of this problem falls naturally into two phases, the first of which, 1817–1860, traces the gradual reduction of the African traffic to the Spanish Antilles and constitutes, in effect, a study in Anglo-Spanish diplomacy. He gives special attention here to the aggressive nature of British abolitionist diplomacy and the mounting but generally ineffective indignation resulting from Spanish failure to apply sanctions against the traffic, as well as the increasing North American interest in the annexation of Cuba. The first phase has for its principal theme the manner in which for decades Spain feigned compliance with agreements to end the slave trade while actually protecting slaveholding interests as the best means of holding Cuba. The American Civil War, which destroyed the greatest bulwark of black slavery in the New World, marked the opening of a new phase, 1860–1886. The author strongly emphasizes here such influences as the rise of the Creole reform movement in Cuba and Puerto Rico, which, reading the signs of the times, gave the initial impulse to a Spanish abolitionist movement and contributed to closing the Cuban slave trade in 1866; the liberal revolution of 1868 in Spain and its promise of colonial reforms; the outbreak of the great Creole rebellion in Cuba, 1868–1878, and the abolitionist promises of the rebel chieftains; the threat of American intervention and the abolitionist pressure of American diplomacy; and the protests of the Spanish reactionaries in Spain and Cuba, leading to further procrastination in Madrid. The second phase has as its principal theme the shaping, through all these intertwined factors, of Spain’s first measure of gradual emancipation, the Moret Law of 1870, and all subsequent steps toward abolition.
Although much has been written about Scottish involvement in slavery, the contribution of Scots to the abolition of black slavery has not yet been sufficiently recognised. This book starts with a Virginian slave seeking his freedom in Scotland in 1756 and ends with the abolition of the apprenticeship scheme in the West Indian colonies in 1838. Contemporary documents and periodicals reveal a groundswell of revulsion to what was described as "e;the horrible traffik in humans"e;. Petitions to Parliament came from remote islands in Shetland as well as from large public meetings in cities. In a land steeped in religion, ministers and church leaders took the lead in giving theological support to the cause of abolition. The contributions of five London Scots who were pivotal to the campaign throughout Britain are set against opposition to abolition from many Scots with commercial interests in the slave trade and the sugar plantations. Missionaries and miners, trades guilds and lawyers all played their parts in challenging slavery. Many of their struggles and frustrations are detailed for the first time in an assessment of the unique contribution made by Scotland and the Scots to the destruction of an institution whose effects are still with us today.
Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in the influential and widely debated Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944 and based on his previously unavailable dissertation, now available in book form for the first time. Williams’s profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that has set the tone for an entire field. The significant differences between his two works allows us to reconsider questions that have lost none of their urgency; indeed, whose importance has increased.