A plantocracy, also known as a slavocracy, is a ruling class, political order or government composed of (or dominated by) plantation owners.
A number of early European colonies in the New World were largely plantocracies, usually consisting of a small European settler population relying on a predominantly West African chattel slave population (as well as smaller numbers of indentured servants, both European and non-European in origin), and later, "freed"-Black and poor-white sharecroppers for labour. These plantocracies proved to be a decisive force in the anti-abolitionist movement. One prominent organization largely representing (and collectively funded by) a number of plantocracies was the "West Indies Lobby" in the British Parliament. It is credited (or conversely, discredited) in constituting a significant impetus in delaying the abolition of the slave trade from taking place in the 1790s to being implemented in 1806-1808; and likewise, with respect to prospects of emancipation being proclaimed in the 1820s (instead, a policy known as "Amelioration" was formally adopted throughout 1823-1833), to it being implemented in 1834-1838.
- B.W. Higman. "The West India Interest in Parliament," Historical Studies (1967), 13: pp. 1-19.
- See the historical journal: Plantation Society in the Americas for a host of pertinent articles.
- Steel, Mark James (PhD Dissertation). Power, Prejudice and Profit: the World View of the Jamaican Slaveowning Elite, 1788-1834, (University of Liverpool Press, Liverpool 1988).
- Luster, Robert Edward (PhD Dissertation). The Amelioration of the Slaves in the British Empire, 1790-1833 (New York University Press, 1998).