The loss of Britain’s North American colonies sparked an intense debate about the nature of colonization in the period 1770–1800. Drawing on archival research into colonies in Africa and Australia, including Sierra Leone and Botany Bay, Deirdre Coleman shows how the growing popularity of the anti-slavery movement gave a Utopian cast to the debate about colonization. This Utopianism can be seen most clearly in Romantic attempts to found an empire without slaves, a new world which would also encompass revolutionary sexual, racial, and labour arrangements. From Henry Smeathman and John Clarkson in Sierra Leone to Arthur Phillip and William Dawes in Botany Bay, Coleman analyzes the impact of the discourses and ideals underlying Romantic colonization. She argues that these paved the way for racial strife in West Africa and the eventual dispossession of Australia’s native people.
Romantic Colonization And British Anti-Slavery
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