Denmark’s Veiled Role in Slavery in the Americas: The Impact of the Danish West Indies on the Transatlantic Slave Trade
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CitationStawski, Scott. 2018. Denmark’s Veiled Role in Slavery in the Americas: The Impact of the Danish West Indies on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractThe legacy of Danish participation in the transatlantic slave trade is presented as that of a minor player in the practice who had an oversized positive influence on abolishing the slave trade. The current historiography estimates that Danish participation was less than 1% of the 12 million enslaved Africans transported to the Americas from 1501 to 1880. Through various grants of rights and privileges, Danish slaves were provided a better quality of life than their counterparts. In 1792, Denmark became the first colonial power to abolish their participation by announcing an end to the practice in 1803 and setting a standard for all colonial powers to follow. The results of the research and reported in this thesis shows this historiography to be inaccurate as to historical quantification and misleading as to historical legacy. New data is available on the scale of Danish participation. By applying a more informed paradigm to the empirical data, Danish participation in the transatlantic slave trade is six times the scale of what has been historically reported making Denmark the fifth largest slave-trading nation within the Americas. This new historical quantification coupled with an analysis of the underlying rationale for Denmark’s abolition of their participation in the slave trade suggests a different historical legacy for Denmark than what is currently promulgated.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365426