Ending the Spanish Slave Trade

Episode 41 with Jesús Sanjurjo

Despite being abolished decades earlier by some other European countries, the slave trade continued to the Spanish colony of Cuba until the mid-19th century. Yet efforts to end the trade in the Spanish Empire also have a long history influenced by the particularities of Spain’s political and economic situation. In this episode, Jesús Sanjurjo traces this history from the beginning of the 19th century, considering the influence of British diplomacy, liberal ideology and colonial economic conditions on the process.

The Episode

The Guest

Jesús Sanjurjo is a Lecturer in Hispanic and Latin American Studies at Cardiff University and the author of In the Blood of Our Brothers (2021). In Spring 2022, he will be joining the University of Cambridge as an Early Career Fellow of the Leverhulme & Isaac Newton trusts. 
He has published various articles, in English and Spanish, and has recently co-edited a special issue for the journal Atlantic Studies: Global Currents on comparative abolition in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. He has also been commissioned by the journal European History Quarterly to direct a special issue on ‘Centering Blackness in European History’, which will soon be published. Since 2018, he has co-directed the interdisciplinary research group ‘Blood and Radical Politics.’ 

His new research project is entitled “Black Soldiers of the Caribbean: Race, Slavery and Radical Politics.” This project interrogates the intersection of Blackness, radical politics, slavery and self-emancipation in the Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions. 

More information and publications. 

Suggested Readings

  • Barcia, Manuel. The Great African Slave Revolt of 1825. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2012.
  • Childs, Matt D. The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle against Atlantic Slavery. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
  • Dumas, Paula E. Proslavery Britain. Fighting for Slavery in an Era of Abolition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  • Ferrer, Ada. Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • Fradera, Josep M., and Christopher Schmidt-Nowara. Slavery and Antislavery in Spain’s Atlantic Empire. New York: Berghahn, 2013.
  • González-Ripoll, María Dolores, Consuelo Naranjo, Ada Ferrer, Gloria García, and Josef Opatrny. El rumor de Haití en Cuba: Temor, raza y rebeldía, 1789–1844. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2004.
  • Huzzey, Richard. Freedom Burning: Anti-slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012.
  • Martinez, Jenny S. The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Murray, David R. Odious Commerce: Britain, Spain and the Abolition of the Cuban Slave Trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Originally published 1980.
  • Muñoz, Daniel, and Gregorio Alonso. Londres y el liberalismo hispánico. Madrid: Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2011.
  • Sanjurjo, Jesús. In the Blood of Our Brothers: Abolitionism and the End of the Slave Trade in Spain’s Atlantic Empire, 1800-1870. The University of Alabama Press, 2021.
  • Schmidt-Nowara, Christopher. Empire and Antislavery: Spain, Cuba and Puerto Rico, 1833–1874. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.

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