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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Gain versus Godliness. The Dutch Slave Trade
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Gain versus Godliness. The Dutch Slave Trade

(P.C. Emmer) The Low Countries - 2003, № 11, pp. 198-206

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A short history of the Dutch slave trade. The initial Dutch objections to the slave trade did not last long. After capturing part of Brazil from the Portuguese in 1630, it quickly became apparent that the demand for sugar by Dutch dealers could only be met by a regular supply of slaves. These dealers were members of the West India Company (WIC), which enjoyed a monopoly of trade and colonisation in the Atlantic area. And thus the WIC became involved in the slave trade. The human cargo was being exported to Brazil, and later to the Carribean Islands and Surinam. In contrast to Great Britain, when it came to abolishing the slave trade and slavery the interests of the trader came first. Hence it was not until 1 July 1863 that the Dutch parliament abolished slavery, long after England (1833), France (1848) and Denmark (1848).

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