Other affiliations: Algonquin College, University of Connecticut, University of Rochester ...read more
Bio: David Eltis is an academic researcher from Emory University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Atlantic slave trade & Atlantic World. The author has an hindex of 35, co-authored 112 publications receiving 4352 citations. Previous affiliations of David Eltis include Algonquin College & University of Connecticut.
Papers published on a yearly basis
11 Jun 1987
TL;DR: Eltis et al. as discussed by the authors studied the economic consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade and argued that this move did not bolster the British economy; rather, it greatly hindered economic expansion as the Empire's great reliance on slave labour played a major role in its rise to world economic dominance.
Abstract: This is the first study to consider the economic consequences of Britain's abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Why did Britain pull out of the slave trade just when it was becoming important for the world economy and the demand for labour around the world was high? Caught between the incentives offered by the world economy for continuing trade at full tilt and the ideological and political pressures from its domestic abolitionist movement, Britain chose to withdraw, believing, in part, that freed slaves would work for low pay which would in turn lead to greater and cheaper products. David Eltis here contends that this move did not bolster the British economy; rather, it vastly hindered economic expansion as the Empire's great reliance on slave labour had played a major role in its rise to world economic dominance.
•28 Oct 1999
TL;DR: The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas examines the development of the English Atlantic slave system between 1650 and 1800 and argues that the transatlantic slave trade was a result of African strength rather than African weakness as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Why were the countries with the most developed institutions of individual freedom also the leaders in establishing the most exploitative system of slavery that the world has ever seen? In seeking to provide new answers to this question, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas examines the development of the English Atlantic slave system between 1650 and 1800. The book outlines a major African role in the evolution of the Atlantic societies before the nineteenth century and argues that the transatlantic slave trade was a result of African strength rather than African weakness. It also addresses changing patterns of group identity to account for the racial basis of slavery in the early modern Atlantic World. Exploring the paradox of the concurrent development of slavery and freedom in the European domains, David Eltis provides a fresh interpretation of this difficult historical problem.
TL;DR: Period Portuguese British French Dutch Spanish United States Canada Danish* All nations 1519-1600 264.1 2.1 0.0 0.3 0.2 0.8 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.1
Abstract: Period Portuguese British French Dutch Spanish United States Canada Danish* All nations 1519-1600 264.1 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.
TL;DR: A survey of the economic and social history of slavery of the Afro-American experience in Latin America and the Caribbean can be found in this paper, where a detailed analysis of the evolution of slavery and forced labor systems in Europe, Africa, and America is presented.
Abstract: This is an original survey of the economic and social history of slavery of the Afro-American experience in Latin America and the Caribbean. The focus of the book is on the Portuguese, Spanish, and French-speaking regions of continental America and the Caribbean. It analyzes the latest research on urban and rural slavery and on the African and Afro-American experience under these regimes. It approaches these themes both historically and structurally. The historical section provides a detailed analysis of the evolution of slavery and forced labor systems in Europe, Africa, and America. The second half of the book looks at the type of life and culture which the salves experienced in these American regimes. The first part of the book describes the growth of the plantation and mining economies that absorbed African slave labor, how that labor was used, and how the changing international economic conditions affected the local use and distribution of the slave labor force. Particular emphasis is given to the evolution of the sugar plantation economy, which was the single largest user of African slave labor and which was established in almost all of the Latin American colonies. Once establishing the economic context in which slave labor was applied, the book shifts focus to the Africans and Afro-Americans themselves as they passed through this slave regime. The first part deals with the demographic history of the slaves, including their experience in the Atlantic slave trade and their expectations of life in the New World. The next part deals with the attempts of the African and American born slaves to create a viable and autonomous culture. This includes their adaptation of European languages, religions, and even kinship systems to their own needs. It also examines systems of cooptation and accommodation to the slave regime, as well as the type and intensity of slave resistances and rebellions. A separate chapter is devoted to the important and different role of the free colored under slavery in the various colonies. The unique importance of the Brazilian free labor class is stressed, just as is the very unusual mobility experienced by the free colored in the French West Indies. The final chapter deals with the differing history of total emancipation and how ex-slaves adjusted to free conditions in the post-abolition periods of their respective societies. The patterns of post-emancipation integration are studied along with the questions of the relative success of the ex-slaves in obtaining control over land and escape from the old plantation regimes.
TL;DR: Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson as discussed by the authors used estimates of potential European settler mortality as an instrument for institutional variation in former European colonies today, and they followed the lead of Curtin who compiled data on the death rates faced by European soldiers in various overseas postings.
Abstract: In Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson, henceforth AJR, (2001), we advanced the hypothesis that the mortality rates faced by Europeans in different parts of the world after 1500 affected their willingness to establish settlements and choice of colonization strategy. Places that were relatively healthy (for Europeans) were—when they fell under European control—more likely to receive better economic and political institutions. In contrast, places where European settlers were less likely to go were more likely to have “extractive” institutions imposed. We also posited that this early pattern of institutions has persisted over time and influences the extent and nature of institutions in the modern world. On this basis, we proposed using estimates of potential European settler mortality as an instrument for institutional variation in former European colonies today. Data on settlers themselves are unfortunately patchy—particularly because not many went to places they believed, with good reason, to be most unhealthy. We therefore followed the lead of Curtin (1989 and 1998) who compiled data on the death rates faced by European soldiers in various overseas postings. 1 Curtin’s data were based on pathbreaking data collection and statistical work initiated by the British military in the mid-nineteenth century. These data became part of the foundation of both contemporary thinking about public health (for soldiers and for civilians) and the life insurance industry (as actuaries and executives considered the
TL;DR: The authors argue that a hemispheric perspective across a wide range of colonies established in the New World by the Europeans suggests that although there were many influences, factor endowments or initial conditions had profound and enduring effects on the long-run paths of institutional and economic development followed by the respective economies.
Abstract: The explanations offered for the contrasting records of long-run growth and development among the societies of North and South America most often focus on institutions. The traditional explanations for the sources of these differences in institutions, typically highlight the significance of national heritage or religion. We, in contrast, argue that a hemispheric perspective across the wide range of colonies established in the New World by the Europeans suggests that although there were many influences, factor endowments or initial conditions had profound and enduring effects on the long-run paths of institutional and economic development followed by the respective economies.
TL;DR: A syncretic and properly biosocial anthropology of these and other plagues moves us beyond noting their strong association with poverty and social inequalities to an understanding of how such inequalities are embodied as differential risk for infection and, among those already infected,....
Abstract: Any thorough understanding of the modern epidemics of AIDS and tuberculosis in Haiti or elsewhere in the postcolonial world requires a thorough knowledge of history and political economy. This essay, based on over a decade of research in rural Haiti, draws on the work of Sidney Mintz and others who have linked the interpretive project of modern anthropology to a historical understanding of the largescale social and economic structures in which affliction is embedded. The emergence and persistence of these epidemics in Haiti, where they are the leading causes of youngadult death, is rooted in the enduring effects of European expansion in the New World and in the slavery and racism with which it was associated. A syncretic and properly biosocial anthropology of these and other plagues moves us beyond noting, for example, their strong association with poverty and social inequalities to an understanding of how such inequalities are embodied as differential risk for infection and, among those already infected,...
TL;DR: This paper reviewed the results of two decades of research using stature as a measure of health aspects of human welfare and compared the results with per capita income, and concluded with comparisons to work in development economics and suggestions for research.
Abstract: Research on the standard of living now emphasizes alternatives or supplements to the national income accounts. This paper reviews the results of two decades of research using stature as a measure of health aspects of human welfare. After comparing and contrasting stature with per capita income, I consider height patterns discovered by economic historians that challenge traditional beliefs about the past, including long-term trends, cycles in heights, and the dreadfully small stature of slave children that was followed by catch-up growth. The paper concludes with comparisons to work in development economics and suggestions for research.
TL;DR: Engerman et al. as mentioned in this paper argue that the roots of these disparities in the extent of inequality lay indifferences in the initial factor endowments (dating back to the era of European colonization) and that societies that began with more extreme inequality or heterogeneity in the population were more likely to develop institutional structures that greatly benefited members of elite classes by providing them with more political influence and access to economic opportunities.
Abstract: Whereas traditional explanations of differen ces in long-run paths of development acrossthe Americas generally point to the significance of differences in national heritage or religion,we highlight the relevance of stark contrasts in the degree of inequality in wealth, human capital,and political power in accounting for how fundame ntal economic institutions evolved over time.We argue, moreover, that the roots of these disparities in the extent of inequality lay indifferences in the initial factor endowments (dating back to the era of European colonization).We document -- through comparative studies of suffrage, public land, and schooling policies --systematic patterns by which societies in the Am ericas that began with more extreme inequalityor heterogeneity in the population were more likely to develop institutional structures that greatlyadvantaged members of elite classes (and disa dvantaging the bulk of th e population) by providingthem with more political influence and access to economic opportunities. The clear implicationis that institutions should not be presumed to be exogenous; economists need to learn more aboutwhere they come from to understand their relation to economic development. Our findings notonly contribute to our knowledge of why extreme differences in the extent of inequality acrossNew World economies have persisted for centuries, but also to the study of processes of long-runeconomic growth past and present. Stanley L. Engerman Kenneth L. SokoloffDepartment of Economics Department of EconomicsUniversity of Rochester University of California, Los AngelesRochester, NY 14627 Los Angeles, CA 90095and NBER and NBERenge@troi.cc.rochester.edu firstname.lastname@example.org