‘Everyone Knows that Laws Bring the Greatest Benefits to Mankind’: the global and local origins of anti-slavery in Abyssinia, 1880–1942

Whyte, C. (2014) ‘Everyone Knows that Laws Bring the Greatest Benefits to Mankind’: the global and local origins of anti-slavery in Abyssinia, 1880–1942. Slavery and Abolition, 35(4), pp. 652-669. (doi:10.1080/0144039X.2014.895137)

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Abstract

Literature on the development of the Slavery Convention of 1926 often gives Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) as the test case and primary target of the international convention against slavery. For the most part, the Abyssinian side in the legal debates is obscured and a strong narrative of helplessness in the face of European pressure to abolish the legal status of slavery emerges. This paper seeks to re-centre the history of specifically Abyssinian legal knowledge about slavery and argue that Abyssinian anti-slavery policy developed in interaction not only with European-led international law but also with a non-Western discourse of modernisation drawn from the example of Japan. In addition, the paper argues that anti-slavery legislation was an integral part of the imperial modernising project.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whyte, Dr Christine
Authors: Whyte, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Slavery and Abolition
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0144-039X
ISSN (Online):1743-9523
Published Online:24 March 2014

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