Between Blood and Gold: The Debates over Compensation for Slavery in the Americas | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Between Blood and Gold: The Debates over Compensation for Slavery in the Americas

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Volume 10

European Expansion & Global Interaction

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Between Blood and Gold

The Debates over Compensation for Slavery in the Americas

Frédérique Beauvois

294 pages, 10 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-331-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-332-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Providing a wealth of data on a neglected, long-forgotten compensation drive whose moral and philosophical foundations run counter to current beliefs, this [magisterial study spanning several countries and decades] makes an important contribution to understanding compensations and reparations.” • Choice

“This very well organized monograph… is well researched and brings to the forefront the  complex issue of compensation within the  abolition debate. Pleasant to read, this monograph will excite both students and scholars interested in the history of slavery and emancipation.” • Journal of Social History

“Many decades from now, this book will still be the best source for the various forms that compensation took, the monetary component, who paid the bill, and who were the ultimate beneficiaries…a superb piece of scholarship.” • Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“Beauvois has written the definite comparative study of compensating masters as part of a quid pro quo for emancipating their slaves…meticulously researched and well argued.” The North Carolina Historical Review

Between Blood and Gold is an excellent work of scholarship on an important historical topic. It contains a considerable amount of new information on the subject that is not easily available, detailing the political and economic background that led to payments to slave owners—never to slaves—in many colonies and nations, as well as the philosophical, moral, and legal contexts of these decisions.” Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester


Today, a century and a half after the abolition of slavery across most of the Americas, the idea of monetary reparations for former slaves and their descendants continues to be a controversial one. Lost among these debates, however, is the fact that such payments were widespread in the nineteenth century—except the “victims” were not slaves, but the slaveholders deprived of their labor. This landmark comparative study analyzes the debates over compensation within France and Great Britain. It lays out in unprecedented detail the philosophical, legal-political, and economic factors at play, establishing a powerful new model for understanding the aftermath of slavery in the Americas.

Frédérique Beauvois received her doctorate from the University of Lausanne and Sciences Po Paris in 2011. She was awarded the Prize of the French Senate as well as the Prize of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lausanne in 2012. She is currently researching perceptions of slavery in the United States from 1783 to 1865.

Subject: History: 18th/19th CenturyHistory (General)Colonial History
Area: EuropeNorth AmericaLatin America and the Caribbean


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