Decline Theory, Econocide and a Bottle of Rum

Ask any student and they’ll tell you : November and March are the cruelest months, with March being the far more vicious of the two. The deadlines for assignments are fast approaching and exams are right around the corner. Sleep becomes a rare commodity. My days are spent alternating between staring intently at a blank Word document, willing 3000 words to appear on the screen, and gazing longingly at that unopened bottle of rum still sitting on top of the fridge … sigh …

Focus Clive …

The Abolition of Slavery

The question I struggle with – The primary stimulus for the abolition of slave-based labour.

Eric Williams 1944 work “Capitalism and Slavery” posits that it was economic factors that would ultimately be the catalyst for abolition. According to Williams’ ‘Decline Theory’, the modern industrial era, created through the use of slave-labour, would eventually render that same system of labour unprofitable, leading to its demise.

Seymour Drescher‘s response to Williams, “Econocide”, disputes the Williams thesis. Drescher credits the British humanitarian efforts with ultimately being responsible for the abolition of slavery.

My view? Like most academic arguments, I find the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. However, a thesis statement of “sort of yes, but sort of no”, does not a good 3000 word essay make. So, I suppose it’s back to staring at that blank screen again … Unless … maybe I’ll just dip into that rum a little, I’m sure just a taste won’t hurt …

Value of this whiny, complaint post to the reader – Questionable.

Value of this whiny, complaint post to the writer – Immeasurable.




Filed under Barbados, Slavery

5 responses to “Decline Theory, Econocide and a Bottle of Rum

  1. Yardbroom

    Start writing because words will not suddenly appear, providing you have done your research and have your notes, ideas will be formulated, you might have to reject the first paragraph, but what is that in 3000 words.

  2. Lady Anon

    3000 words…piece of cake. What I find helps is just to write the thoughts that are in your mind as it relates to the question. Just write with no thought of beginning, middle or end. Just write.

    When you are done, it gives you an outline from which you can add the supporting evidence. before long, you will be editing to remove words!

    Good luck

  3. LadyDi

    You should create an outline first before you write. I am enrolled in an online, year-long local history course at Oxford and I just finished writing 3000 words on the Poor Laws and workhouses during the 19th century. An outline will help you to stay focused when you have a great deal of information to cover. Good luck!

  4. Patrick Porter

    Man listen drink de damn rum and everything will be clear to you
    Seriously, it is not an easy task to sit in front of a computer and write stuf.
    I suggest getting up and taking a walk outside for a few minutes and clear the brain. ALL the best to you


    so this is a couple years too late…but i’m in the boat right now fren