Conventional wisdom in America tells us that increasing democratic freedoms bring about increased prosperity, but what if things actually work the other way around? Prior episodes have shown that the expansion of democracy worldwide coincided with the world transitioning to petroleum as a primary energy source and that the expansion of democratic freedoms follows increases in wealth.

In this episode, Christopher L. Brown discusses the transatlantic slave trade, the rise of the abolitionist movement, and how national identity ultimately trumped economic interests in dismantling the institution of slavery.

You can listen to the episode via the player below, or via the following links: