Slaves, commodities and logistics - results of a research project

12 June 2019 - 10:59
  • 26 June 2019
  • IISH, Cruquiusweg 31, 1010 AT, Amsterdam
  • 3 p.m.

Atlantic slave labor was the cork that fueled the economy. IISH, Leiden University and VU University Amsterdam will present the figures on 26 June. This presentation will be held in Dutch.

This week, Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science announced that she wants more attention for the 'black pages' of our past, such as the history of slavery. "The social task is to actually make a shared history into a shared history, [...] for a broadly inclusive audience with the starting point that knowing each other's stories contributes to understanding each other." As she wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives last week.

In our opinion, science has a responsibility in this regard. It can make an important contribution to the available knowledge about our past and the current debates. For example about one of the questions that has not been sufficiently investigated to date:
"How important was Atlantic slavery for the Dutch economy in the eighteenth century?"

On Wednesday 26 June, the IISH, VU University Amsterdam and Leiden University will present the results of a scientific study that answers this question. For the first time, a scientifically substantiated and therefore testable indication is given of the extent to which the Dutch economy profited from Atlantic slavery. This includes, in addition to the slave trade, the trade and processing of goods produced by slaves such as sugar, coffee and tobacco. Using new data, the researchers prove the great weight of slavery-based activities within the Dutch economy. These activities kept the eighteenth-century Dutch economy afloat.

You are very welcome to attend the official presentation of the research report.
The report will be offered to, Alderperson Marjolein Moorman, Linda Nooitmeer, chair of NiNsee and Martine Gosselink, Rijksmuseum. The meeting is moderated by Noraly Beyer.

If you would like to attend the presentation, please send us an email ( and let us know with how many people you will come to the IISH.

Also on behalf of the other members of the research group,

Pepijn Brandon and Ulbe Bosma,
senior researchers at the IISH

About the research project
This five-year research project has been carried out by the IISH, the VU and Leiden University. The research is funded by NWO. The results are published simultaneously in the TSEG/ Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History with Dr. Pepijn Brandon as first, and Prof. Ulbe Bosma as second author.

Slaafgemaakte mannen werken op het land, anoniem, ca. 1850

Moderator Noraly Beyer