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Eighteenth-century Anglo-American prize systems were highly organized

enterprises for the provision of coerced labor. Offering whites opportunities to

participate in a lucrative market, they extended the reach of American slavery

beyond the shores of the Americas, reinforced slavery in North America and

greatly limited opportunities for freedom for black seamen. Although Americans

desired that their new nation provide greater individual liberty, the American prize

system applied the same presumption - that captured black mariners were slaves -

as had its British predecessor, resulting in the sale of hundreds of black seamen

into slavery.


The final, definitive version of this document, which should be used for reference and citation purposes, may be found online at Slavery and Abolition

(www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/0144039x.asp). Copyright restrictions may apply.

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