Read here: articles of Lauren Lauret, Dirk Alkemade, Philip Post and Esther Baakman as part of the series 'Historicising the Dutch Defense of Slavery'



1 July 2023 marked the start of a full year commemorating the national 160-year anniversary of the Dutch legal abolition of colonial slavery. BMGNLCHR's series Historicising the Dutch Defense of Slavery, guest edited by Karwan Fatah-Black and Lauren Lauret, aims to make a meaningful contribution to the tradition of public commemorations of abolition, the transnational nature of this past, and their corresponding special issues. Therefore, the articles appear successively as ‘online first’ in BMGNLCHR's first-ever rolling publication throughout the commemorative year, followed by the introduction and concluding remarks. Finally, the series will be published in print as a special issue in September 2024. The contributions add an analysis of those who defended slavery to the history of the abolition of slavery, expanding on an older literature that primarily focused on the activities of the abolitionists. 
This series started with an article by Esther Baakman dedicated to the depiction of enslaved Africans in the Dutch periodical press during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It continued with a second article written by Philip Post about the instrumental use of abolitionist rhetorics by Dutch officials in the Moluccas during the nineteenth century. The third article is authored by Dirk Alkemade who analyses the debates about slavery and abolition in Dutch parliament during the Batavian Revolution, where only radical representatives argued for the abolishment of slavery on the grounds of the 'rights of men'. The fourth article written by Lauren Lauret focuses on the petitions of Dutch slave owners and shareholders addressed to Dutch Parliament and King by which they managed to impact the conditions of the Emancipation Act to their own benefit. 

Max Philippi designed the illustration that accompanies the series.(c) Max Philippi