More by James Walvin

We all know the story of the slave trade—the infamous Middle Passage, the horrifying conditions on slave ships, the millions that died on the journey, and the auctions that awaited the slaves upon their arrival in the Americas. But much of the writing on the subject has focused on the European traders and the arrival of slaves in North America. In Crossings, eminent historian James Walvin covers these established territories while also traveling back to the story’s origins in Africa and south to Brazil, an often forgotten part of the triangular trade, in an effort to explore the broad sweep of slavery across the Atlantic. Reconstructing the transatlantic slave trade from an extensive archive of new research, Walvin seeks to understand and describe how the trade began in Africa, the terrible ordeals experienced there by people sold into slavery, and the scars that remain on the continent today. Journeying across the ocean, he shows how Brazilian slavery was central to the development of the slave trade itself, as that country tested techniques and methods for trading and slavery that were successfully exported to the Caribbean and the rest of the Americas in the following centuries. Walvin also reveals the answers to vital questions that have never before been addressed, such as how a system that the Western world came to despise endured so long and how the British—who were fundamental in developing and perfecting the slave trade—became the most prominent proponents of its eradication. The most authoritative history of the entire slave trade to date, Crossings offers a new understanding of one of the most important, and tragic, episodes in world history.
The years between 1776 and 1851 are of profound importance for the social and urban historian. English town dwellers of the period experienced some fundamental changes in their way of life: rapid population growth; and an unprecedented rate of social change resulting from this. These ever-increasing armies of town dwellers presented the local and central authorities with a myriad of urgent problems, including those of feeding, housing and controlligni a turbulent populace. These years saw the emergence of a new, essentially modern, machinery of control for running an urban society. Despite these dramatic changes an equally important feature of the period was the elements of continuit - in work, family life and leisure.

Part one deals with the physical changes, the problems for the town dweller inherant in these, and the distinctions of social class that developed. Part two discusses the political response to the urbanization of England and the problems this caused: poverty and law enforcement. In part three the continuities are assessed: in leisure, rituals and family life. At every opportunity Dr Walvin brings his material to life with his extensive use of contemporary commentaries.

In this lively and wide-ranging study, firmly rooted in recent scholarly research, Dr Walvin provides a balanced and up-to-date picture of a society which, although experiencing the most fundamental changes was also characterized by the continuities in its people's habits and social customs.

This book was first published in 1984.

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