Slavery in U.S. History

Slavery in U.S. History

Course Overview

In this course we will explore the history of slavery in North America from its founding to the start of the Civil War. Lectures, readings, and other course materials will center — to the extent possible — on the experiences of enslaved people themselves.

Students who complete all assignments and conscientiously engage course materials should:

  • Learn the major historical developments in the history of slavery in colonial North America, and (after the American Revolution) the United States.
  • Develop insights into the varied experiences of enslaved people, gaining an appreciation of the profound personal terror of slavery as well as the creative resilience of enslaved individuals, families, and communities in the face of oppression.
  • Become acquainted with — and learn to interpret firsthand — the wide range of sources used by historians to reconstruct both systemic and personal histories of slavery.
  • Come to recognize the legacies of slavery in Americancultural, economic, legal, and political life

Sample Syllabus