Event—Public Programming

Government Corruption and “Obstruction of Justice” in Anglo-America: The View from the Atlantic Slave Trade

In the late seventeenth century, contested English slave trade networks gave rise to a number of controversies in North American colonies over the use of government offices for private enrichment. Understanding these controversies, and the slave trade networks that created them, underscores the role human trafficking played in shaping early American ideas about how government should work and influenced how certain Anglo-Americans defined corruption. While considering these past currents of enslavement and controversy, this talk will also reflect on the ways contemporary political environments can bleed into the underlying questions and production of historical research.