The Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1900

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to the history of the Atlantic slave trade from 1500 to 1900. You will learn about the slave trade, its causes, and its effects on Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The course will be structured chronologically and geographically; each unit with focus on a particular aspect of the Atlantic slave trade. Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as slavery and the slave trade within African societies, the growth of plantation societies in the New World, the advent of European slave dealing in western Africa, the simultaneous growth of European empires and the Atlantic slave trade, the nature of slave trading and the Middle Passage, and the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in the nineteenth century. By the end of the course, you will understand how the Atlantic slave trade began as a fledgling enterprise of the English, Portuguese, and Spanish in the 1500s and why, by the mid-18th century, the trade dominated Atlantic societies and economies.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to HIST311. Below, please find some general information about the course and its requirements.

Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials: Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay special attention to Unit 1 as this provides background information about the origins of the Atlantic slave trade; this unit will help you understand the more advanced, exploratory material in the latter units. You will also need to complete:
  • The Final Exam
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all of the materials in each unit and consider the study questions in the instructions sections.
In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% of higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of 65.75 hours. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories, determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you 7.5 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 3.25 hours) on Monday night; subunit 1.2 (a total of 4.25 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.

Tips/Suggestions: As you study each resource, make sure to take comprehensive notes. Write down any dates, events, names, definitions, and other historical concepts that stand out to you. These notes will be useful as you study and prepare for your final exam.
It may also be useful to post any answers to the questions found in the instructions for each resource to the HIST311 Course Discussion Board. Consider posting your responses as well as respond to other students’ postings.

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • analyze the various meanings of slave and slavery during the age of the Atlantic slave trade; 
  • identify and describe the triangular trade, and define the Atlantic World;
  • identify and describe the logic for enslavement of Africans by Europeans;
  • identify and describe the African ethnic groups enslaved by Europeans and those captives’ New World destinations;
  • identify and describe the early slaving voyages of the Portuguese and Spanish, and describe how the Dutch and English later inserted themselves into the trade;
  • identify and describe the expansion of the plantation complex in the New World in the 1600s and its impact on the Atlantic slave trade;
  • identify and analyze the rise of European empires and the parallel expansion of the Atlantic slave trade;
  • identify and analyze slavery within African societies, as well as identify and describe the trans-Saharan slave trade and the Red Sea/Indian Ocean slave trade;
  • identify and describe the nature of the African slave market and principal slaving ports in western Africa;
  • analyze and describe New World slave societies and their impact on the Atlantic slave trade;
  • identify and describe the Middle Passage of the Atlantic slave trade;
  • identify and describe the causes for the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century; and
  • analyze and interpret primary source documents that elucidate all aspects of the Atlantic slave trade.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g. Adobe Reader of Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    be competent in the English language;

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook; and

√    have completed all courses listed in “The Core Program” of the History discipline (HIST101 through HIST104).

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Origins of The Atlantic Slave Trade  

    Slavery existed in Africa long before European contact. In fact, slavery within African societies and slave trade routes across the Sahara Desert, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean had been in place for centuries. However, the beginning of the European-dominated Atlantic slave trade in the 16th century had a new and profound impact on African peoples. In all, historians estimate that approximately 12 million Africans were transported to the New World through the Atlantic slave trade.
          
    That the Atlantic World and the Atlantic slave trade both emerged in the 1500s was not a coincidence. European empires that sought to explore and colonize territories in the New World also attempted to forge lucrative commercial networks in the Atlantic littoral (the regions that touched the Atlantic Ocean). Gradually, a triangular trade came to define the Atlantic World; ships departed from Europe, sailed to western Africa to trade, embarked to the Caribbean and South America to sell slaves, and then returned to Europe laden with New World produce. Although the trade routes often varied, western Africa remained an important destination for European traders who bought and sold gold, ivory, cloth, and African slaves.
          
    In this unit, we will study European exploration and colonization as impetuses for the development of the Atlantic slave trade. We will also examine the development of the Atlantic economy, of which the trade in Africans became a critical component.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Origins of the Slave Trade  
  • 1.1.1 Europeans in Western Africa  
  • 1.1.2 São Tomé and the Slave Trade  
  • 1.2 The Atlantic World  
  • 1.2.1 New World Exploration  
  • 1.2.2 A Maritime World  
    • Reading: Smithsonian Institution: On the Water: Living in the Atlantic World, 1450–1800: “Web of Connections” and “Narrative Accounts, 1680-1806”

      Link: Smithsonian Institution: On the Water: Living in the Atlantic World, 1450–1800: “Web of Connections” (PDF) and “Narrative Accounts, 1680-1806” (PDF)

      Also available in:
      iBook

      Instructions: First, read the introductory paragraph of “Web of Connections”; afterwords examine the ships listed and read each vessel’s description in order to get a good sense of the maritime Atlantic World. Finally, listen to or read the transcripts of each of the “Narrative Accounts, 1680–1806” in order to understand what life at sea was like for enslaved Africans, sailors, and women.


      Reading this article and listening to or reading the transcripts should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: This resource was reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission for educational, noncommercial use by the Smithsonian Institution. The original version can be found here (HTML). Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

  • 1.2.3 Trade and Consumption Patterns  
    • Reading: The Smithsonian Institute: On the Water: Living in the Atlantic World, 1450–1800: “New Tastes, New Trades”

      Link: The Smithsonian Institute: On the Water: Living in the Atlantic World, 1450–1800: “New Tastes, New Trades” (PDF)

      Also available in:
      iBooks
       
      Instructions: Examine each of the objects listed and read their descriptions; you will get a good sense of the goods and people who helped define the Atlantic World.

      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource was reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission for educational, noncommercial use by the Smithsonian Institution. The original version can be found here (HTML). Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

  • Unit 2: The Enslavement of Africans  

    Beginning in the 16th century, Africans were brought to the Americas to serve as enslaved laborers on plantations and in mines. However, Africans were not the first laborers to be used in the New World for that purpose. Portuguese and Spanish colonizers had utilized indentured servitude and enslaved local Amerindian peoples. However, when disease depleted the Amerindian slaves and indentured European servants, African laborers became a viable alternative. Africans were accustomed to a tropical climate, were familiar with agricultural production, and seemed resistant to disease. Gradually, specific African ethnic groups were brought to the English, Danish, Dutch, or French West Indies, or to Spanish or Portuguese America as captive slaves.
          
    In this unit, we will examine why European colonizers turned to imported Africans as their main source of labor on plantations and in gold and silver mines. We will also study which African ethnic groups were imported into particular New World colonies.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Logic of Enslavement  
  • 2.1.1 Death and Enslavement of Amerindian Laborers  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Concepcion Saenz-Cambra’s The Atlantic World, 1492–1600: “The Columbian Exchange”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation: Concepcion Saenz-Cambra’s The Atlantic World, 1492–1600: “The Columbian Exchange” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Download the PDF, and read the section titled “The Columbian Exchange” on pages 23–30. Focus on the section about the impact of Old World diseases on the New World. As you read, consider the following questions: What is the “Columbian Exchange” and what is actually exchanged? What did it help to create? In what ways did it transform societies?
       
      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This article was reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission from Concepcion Saenz-Camba. Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.  

    • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda”

      Link: Wikipedia’s “Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read about the figure Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. As you read, consider the following question: What was the Valladolid Controversy, and what position did Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argue?

      Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareALike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Wikipedia. 

    • Reading: Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Excerpt from The Second Democrates (1547)

      Link: Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Excerpt from The Second Democrates (1547) (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Sepúlveda characterize Amerindians (Indians), and on what does he base this characterization? What reasons does he give to wage war on Amerindians?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1.2 From Amerindian Slavery to African Slavery  
  • 2.1.3 From Indentured Servitude to African Slavery  
    • Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Introduction to American Colonial History”

      Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Introduction to American Colonial History” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “The Lives of Indentured Servants,” and read this brief section. Also, click on the links to the two examples of the life of an indentured servant by Frethorne and Mittleberger. As you read, consider the following questions: In what ways did indentured servants address the labor shortage in colonial America? Why might an individual become an indentured servant? What was the average period of service?
       
      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: American History: Gottlieb Mittelberger’s “On the Misfortune Indentured Servants”

      Link: American History: Gottlieb Mittelberger’s “On the Misfortune Indentured Servants” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Mittelberger describe the sea voyage of indentured servants? What are the circumstances of those who could not pay for their passage once the ship reached land?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 2.1.4 Why Africans?  
  • 2.1.5 The Advent of Race-Based Slavery  
  • 2.2 African Ethnic Groups Brought to America  
  • 2.2.1 Africans in the Americas  
  • 2.2.2 Specific Ethnic Groups  
  • 2.2.3 The Creation of the African Diaspora  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Creation of the African Diaspora”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Creation of the African Diaspora” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read the brief text. As you read, consider the following questions: What is the African Diaspora, and what regions are included in it? Which New World colonies demanded the most African slaves, and what where were some of the biggest markets? From what regions within Africa did slaves originate? What role did this play in their destination? Where and through what means did enslaved Africans create new communities in the Diaspora?
       
      Reading this text and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 

  • Unit 3: Early Slaving Voyages  

    The earliest European slaving voyages began in the first part of the 16th century. Spanish and Portuguese traders purchased slaves from Upper Guinea, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Bight of Biafra, before embarking to New World destinations. During this time, most African slaves were sold in the Spanish Caribbean, with the gold mines on Hispaniola serving as a major buyer. A few decades later, Cartagena emerged as a major slave trading port on the Spanish American mainland. In the latter 1500s, the slave trade increased markedly because of the expansion of sugar production in Brazil; slaves bound for Brazil accounted for 40 percent of the slave traffic and Brazil supplied nearly all of the sugar consumed in Europe. The English and Dutch also became involved in the slave trade in the 1560s. John Hawkins, an English privateer, hijacked a Portuguese slave ship and sold the slaves on Hispaniola in 1563. Later, Hawkins made other voyages to Africa and the West Indies supplied with Queen Elizabeth I’s ships and funded by wealthy English investors.

    Beginning in the 1640s, the Atlantic slave trade began to change dramatically for many reasons. The plantation sugar complex had spread throughout much of the Caribbean, fueling the demand for African slaves. Sugar production continued to increase in Brazil and gold discoveries there also spurred the need for enslaved labor. Meanwhile, in Europe, sugar consumption continued to rise. By 1690, 30,000 Africans were being brought to New World destinations through the Atlantic slave trade each year.

    The Atlantic slave trade reached its height in the 18th century. English, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, and French traders all competed for African slaves in the 1700s. The Portuguese and the English dominated the trade and often sold their human chattel to foreign buyers. Moreover, much of the trade was buoyed by European protectionist economic policies and the prohibition of commercial monopolies. By 1750, the Atlantic slave trade had expanded exponentially; over 67,000 Africans were taken to the Americas per year.

    In this unit, we will study the earliest slave voyages from Africa to the Spanish Caribbean and the Spanish mainland. We will also examine how the expansion of the sugar plantation regime in Brazil and the involvement of English and Dutch traders affected the Atlantic slave trade.

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 The Portuguese and Spanish  
    • Reading: Nativeweb: Pope Nicholas V’s “Romanus Pontifex”

      Link: Nativeweb: Pope Nicholas V’s “Romanus Pontifex” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text, paying special attention to the third paragraph. In this third paragraph, the Pope authorizes African slave trade. This English translation of Pope’s Nicholas V’s papal bull “Romanus Pontifex” was first published in European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648, by Frances Gardiner Davenport (ed.), Carnegie Institution of Washington (1917).

      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource has been dedicated to the Public Domain under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal

  • 3.1.1 Iberian Roots of the Slave Trade  

    Note: Note that this topic is also covered in “Africans in Spanish America” in subunit 5.3.1.

  • 3.1.2 Early Slaving Routes  
  • 3.1.3 Iberian Critiques of the Slave Trade  
  • 3.2 The Dutch  
  • 3.2.1 The Dutch West India Company  
  • 3.2.2 Slaving Routes  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading titled “Slave Routes”: “The Netherlands” assigned below subunit 3.2.1.

  • 3.3 The English  
  • 3.3.1 Early Involvement in the Trade  
    • Reading: The National Archives: “Britain and the Trade” and “Adventurers and Slavers”

      Link: The National Archives: “Britain and the Trade” (PDF) and “Adventurers and Slavers” (PDF)

      Britain and the Trade also available in:
      iBook

       
      Instructions: Read this article, which includes transcripts of primary source documents. This material will give you a good overview of Britain’s early forays into the slave trade.

      Reading these articles should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource been reposted with permission for educational, noncommercial use by The National Archives. It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML) and here (HTML). Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without the explicit permission  from the copyright holder. 

  • 3.3.2 Slaving and Empire  
    • Reading: Anti-Slavery International’s Breaking the Silence: “Slave Routes: United Kingdom”

      Link: Anti-Slavery International’s Breaking the Silence: “Slave Routes: United Kingdom” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read the article to get an overview of the relationship between the British Empire and the slave trade. As you read, consider the following questions: When and how did Britain become involved in the Atlantic slave trade? In what ways did the profits of the slave trade transform the life of people in Britain? What role did the Royal African Company play in the slave trade and who were shareholders in the company? What is the link between banking houses and the slave trade? Describe the industries, companies, and prominent individuals in Greenwich and how some perpetuated and others resisted the slave trade. What was the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol? This society and its members engaged in what type of activities? Who were Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce? Why were these men well-known? Describe how each earned his reputation. How many of Liverpool’s banks were owned by slave traders in 1750? What is the Industrial Revolution? In what ways did the slave trade contribute to Britain becoming a leader of the Industrial Revolution? When did Britain abolish slavery?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource has been reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission from Anti-Slavery International. The original version can be found here. Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

    • Web Media: BBC Radio 4’s “Slavery and Empire”

      Link: BBC Radio 4’s “Slavery and Empire” (RealMedia Player)
       
      Instructions: Listen to this radio segment. The material will give you a good sense of how slavery has been interwoven with Britain’s imperial past.

      Listening to this segment should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 4: Empires and Slaving  

    In the latter 18th century, proponents of the Atlantic slave trade defended the commerce by arguing that slavery and the slave trade had existed in Africa for centuries. This was correct. Many African societies included slaves, but slavery was often akin to domestic or indentured servitude. Slaves were not enslaved for life or treated as chattel, as in New World societies.

    There were several slave trades in Africa. The trans-Saharan slave trade transported enslaved men and women across the Sahara Desert; most served as prostitutes, soldiers, or servants. Two other trade systems – the Red Sea and Indian Ocean trades – brought African slaves to the Middle East. When European traders began buying slaves in western Africa, they were capitalizing on an existing system. The men, women, and children purchased by European traders were often prisoners of war or criminals. However, as European demand for Africans increased exponentially, so did the incidents of kidnapping by African slave-catchers. As a result, slaving factories were created along the western coast of Africa; they served as holding areas where African slave dealers could sell captives to European traders.

    In this unit, we will examine the relationship between African slavery, the African slave trades, and the Atlantic slave trade. We will also study how Europeans’ exploitation of existing slave trade networks affected African societies.

    Unit 4 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 4 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 4.1 Slavery in Africa  
    • Reading: Wikipedia’s “History of Slavery”

      Link: Wikipedia’s “History of Slavery” (HTML)

      Instructions: Scroll down to the sections titled “Africa” and “Sub-Saharan Africa,” and read these brief sections up to the section titled “The Americas.” Note that some of this material is a review; for example, you previously read “African Participation in the Slave Trade” in subunit 1.1.1. As you read, consider the following questions: In what ways did African slave societies differ from one another? What percentage of the African population was enslaved, and when and how did this percentage fluctuate? Where did the majority of slaves in Africa end up prior to the 16th century? In what ways did the arrival of European competitors for slaves alter slave-trading practices in Africa?

      Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareALike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Wikipedia. 

    • Reading: Ayuba Suleiman Diallo’s “He Was No Common Slave”

      Link: Ayuba Suleiman Diallo’s “He Was No Common Slave” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this excerpt from a slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: What does Ayuba Suleiman Diallo’s account of capture and enslavement reveal about the slave trade in Africa? What does his account reveal about enslavement and the slave trade in the American colonies?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: United Methodist Women: John Wesley’s “Thoughts upon Slavery” 1774

      Link: United Methodist Women: John Wesley’s “Thoughts upon Slavery” (PDF)

      Also available in:
      iBook
       
      Instructions: John Wesley (1703–1791) was a Church of England priest and a Christian theologian who was opposed to slavery. In this pamphlet, he describes slavery practices as a part of a vast and lucrative business.

      Reading this article should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource has been dedicated to the Public Domain under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal

  • 4.1.1 What Was a Slave? Who Was a Slave?  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunit 2.1.5.

  • 4.1.2 Slaving Practices  
    • Reading: Alexander Falconbridge’s “The Men Negroes…Are…Fastened Together…by Handcuffs”

      Link: Alexander Falconbridge’s “The Men Negroes…Are…Fastened Together…by Handcuffs” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this excerpt from a slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Falconbridge describe the purpose of slave fairs and the individuals who participate in these fairs? What are the concerns of Europeans and their role at these fairs? Describe the ships that carried slaves and the conditions under which slaves boarded a ship and resided on it. Describe daily life for slaves on a slave ship. In Falconbridge’s opinion, what was the primary cause of illness among slaves on a ship?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2 The Islamic World and African Slavery  
    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Bernard Lewis’s Race and Slavery in the Middle East: “Chapter 1: Slavery”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Bernard Lewis’s Race and Slavery in the Middle East: “Chapter 1: Slavery” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read “Chapter 1: Slavery.” As you read, consider the following questions: In what ways did the ancient world obtain and use slaves? What evidence does the author present of the acceptance of slavery by the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths? What changes did the Qur’an make to the institution of slavery? Under what conditions did slaves exist in the Islamic Empire? From which populations did the Islamic world obtain slaves? What type of functions did slaves perform in the Islamic world? This reading also covers the topic outlined in subunit 4.2.2. 

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2.1 Obtaining Black Africans  
    • Reading: John Barbot’s “Prepossessed of the Opinion…That Europeans Are Fond of Their Flesh”

      Link: John Barbot’s “Prepossessed of the Opinion…That Europeans Are Fond of Their Flesh” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this excerpt from a slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Barbot describe the means by which Africans capture individuals for the slave trade? Who was involved in the process? What avenues were available to those wishing to purchase slaves? Why does Barbot conclude that enslaved Africans potentially fared better in America than in their native lands? Describe the circumstances in which enslaved individuals found themselves while awaiting sea journey.
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.2.2 Muslim Traders and Islamic Slavery  

    Note: This topic is covered by the reading assigned below subunit 4.2.

  • 4.3 Capture and Enslavement  
  • 4.3.1 Warring States  
    • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Atlantic Slave Trade”

      Link: Wikipedia’s “Atlantic Slave Trade” (HTML)

      Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “Human Toll,” read the introductory paragraph, and then read the brief section titled “African Conflicts.” As you read, consider the following questions: What effect did the presence of Europeans have on legal codes in African societies? What role did wars between African kingdoms play in the transatlantic slave trade? Give an example from the reading of how the slave trade factored into the ways in which African rulers governed their kingdoms.

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareALike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Wikipedia. 

  • 4.3.2 Slave-Raiding  

    Note: This topic is covered by the section titled “African Participation in the Slave Trade” in the Wikipedia reading “History of Slavery” assigned below subunit 1.1.1.

  • 4.3.3 Kidnapping  
    • Reading: Venture Smith’s “I Then Had a Rope Put about My Neck”

      Link: Venture Smith’s “I Then Had a Rope Put about My Neck” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this excerpt from a slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: What was Venture Smith’s social status prior to enslavement? How did the farmer with whom Smith stayed describe the attack on his home? Why did Smith’s father retreat with his family from their home? How does Smith describe his capture by the enemy?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Hanover Historical Text Project: Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African: “Chapter II”

      Link: Hanover Historical Text Project: Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African: “Chapter II” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the text. As you read, answer the following questions: what was the content of Equiano’s early education? What were the circumstances under which Equiano was kidnapped? How does Equiano describe the first part of his journey? Why did he flee the home of the chieftain? How many times was Equiano sold after his initial kidnapping? How does Equiano describe his experience on the slave ship? What were Equiano’s first impressions upon landing at the island of Barbados?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 3 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 4.3.4 Traders on the Coast  
  • Unit 5: New World Slave Societies  

    New World slave societies were highly varied colonial outposts of powerful European empires. Many of these colonies turned to African slave labor after two other sources of labor – native Amerindians and European indentured servants – succumbed to death and disease. Although African laborers were used throughout the Caribbean, mainland North America and Central and South America, the nature of enslavement and the role of African laborers in each society varied widely. There were many reasons for this. First, the nature of slavery depended upon the goods being produced; slavery on sugar plantations in Barbados, for example, was far different than slavery in the gold mines of Peru. Second, New World societies often perceived slavery (and slaves) differently. In some colonies, for example, manumission (release from slavery) was more common and accepted than in others. And third, many New World societies were shaped by their importation of slaves from specific regions in Africa. Rice planters in the Carolinas, for example, wanted to import African ethnic groups who had experience growing rice in Africa.

    In this unit, we will compare and contrast the slave societies that emerged in the New World between the 16th and 18th centuries. We will consider how African ethnicities, plantation production, and colonists’ perception of enslavement all contributed to the development of highly varied New World slave societies.

    Unit 5 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 5 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 5.1 British and French America  
  • 5.1.1 Growth of the Slave Labor System in British America  
  • 5.1.2 Freedom and Slavery in British America  
    • Reading: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Colonial Life: Faith, Family, Work”

      Link: Sage American History: Henry J. Sage’s “Colonial Life: Faith, Family, Work” (HTML)

      Instructions: Scroll down to read the “Slavery in the Colonial World” section. As you read, consider the following questions: How and why did the institution of
      slavery come to consist of lifetime slavery in British North American colonies? Besides the slave trade, what accounts for an increase in the slave population?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.1.3 French America  
  • 5.2 The West Indies  
  • 5.2.1 The Sugar Revolution  
  • 5.2.2 Slavery and Slave Labor  
  • 5.2.3 Perceptions of Slavery  
    • Reading: C. Ingersoll’s “African Slavery in America”

      Link: C. Ingersoll’s “African Slavery in America” (PDF)

      Instructions: Read this document. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Ingersoll describe Britain’s position on slavery? How did this position change over time? How many sovereign states permit slavery, and on what grounds do slaveholders in those states claim their right to hold slaves? Why does Ingersoll argue that the end of slavery “would be a tremendous catastrophe”? How does he characterize the calls for abolition? What role does he ascribe to England in the development of American slavery? How does Ingersoll describe the history of the American abolition movement? What groups or individuals play a leading role in this movement? In what ways were slavery and its abolition a key political issue from the beginning of the nation to the time at which Ingersoll writes? What role did the annexation of Texas play in the controversy over slavery? In what ways were foreign nations involved in the controversy over slavery in the United States? According to Ingersoll, why must slavery be an issue for individual states to decide and regulate?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 4 hours.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.3 Spanish America  
  • 5.3.1 Africans in Spanish America  
  • 5.3.2 Slavery in New Spain  
  • 5.3.3 Slavery in Hispaniola  
    • Reading: Anti-Slavery International’s Breaking the Silence Project: “Slave Routes: Dominican Republic”

      Link: Anti-Slavery International’s Breaking the Silence Project: “Slave Routes: Dominican Republic” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this article. As you read, consider the following questions: When and why did the Spanish on Hispaniola turn to enslaved Africans as a labor force? What role did slaves play in the construction of Hispaniola’s capital Santo Domingo? How many enslaved Africans came to Santo Domingo in its first 20 years of existence? Describe the two economic systems that co-existed on Hispaniola after the arrival of the French and the Treaty of Renswyk. What was the ratio of enslaved to free persons in each system?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 5.4 Portuguese America (Brazil)  
  • 5.4.1 Gold and Sugarcane  
  • 5.4.2 Slavery in Brazil  
    • Reading: Mediations: Dr. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro’s “Brazil in the South Atlantic, 1550–1850”

      Link: Mediations: Dr. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro’s “Brazil in the South Atlantic, 1550–1850” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the journal article for an overview of Brazil’s role in the slave trade, the development of the plantation complex, and the rise of African slavery.

      Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource has been reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission for educational, noncommercial use by Mediations. It can be viewed in its original form here (HTML). Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without the explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

  • Unit 6: The Middle Passage  

    Over 30,000 slaving voyages brought Africans to the Americas. These captive Africans reached the New World through what is called the Middle Passage. During the Middle Passage, a transatlantic crossing that frequently lasted between one and three months, it is estimated that nearly 20 percent of Africans on board perished. According to regulations, approximately 350 captives were allowed to be transported, but some slavers packed upwards of 800 slaves below deck. Men, women, and children were stripped naked and branded before being forced to lie down, in their own filth, and chained to one another. Crewmembers beat, raped, or otherwise tortured their captives during the journey. In addition, many Africans died of disease, dehydration, or suicide. Some Africans were able to resist their captors; many rebellions were incited on board slave ships. When the slaving vessels finally moored in New World ports, Africans were quarantined (for disease) and then sold at auction to merchants and planters.

    In this unit, we will examine the horrific voyage of the Middle Passage. We will study conditions on board slave ships, the treatment of slaves during the Middle Passage, and the auctions and quarantines that captives endured when they arrived in the New World.

    Unit 6 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 6 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 6.1 The Middle Passage  
  • 6.1.1 Disease and Death  
    • Reading: Academic American: Olaudah Equiano’s Voyages from Africa: “The Middle Passage”

      Link: Academic American: Olaudah Equiano’s Voyages from Africa: “The Middle Passage” (HTML)


      Instructions: Read this article. Note that Olaudah Equiano was also known as Gustavus Vasa. As you read, consider the following questions: How does the author, Olaudah Equiano, describe his first experiences aboard the slave ship? What conditions did he find? What did Equiano learn from his fellow countrymen also aboard the ship? What did Equiano see two other of his countrymen do?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.1.2 Duration of Passage  
  • 6.1.3 Routes and Destinations  
  • 6.2 Slave Ships  
  • 6.2.1 Types of Slave Ships  
    • Web Media: Emory University: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database: “Images of Vessels”

      Link: Emory University: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database: “Images of Vessels” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Scroll down and select the links for the following images: “Plan of the Slaver ‘Vigilante,’” “H.M.S. ‘Rattler’ Capturing the Slaver ‘Andorinha,’” and “Section of Canoe for Transporting Slaves, Sierra Leone, 1840’s”. Study these images, and read the accompanying text for each image. As you read and view the images, answer the following questions: what do the plans of the Brig Vigilante reveal about the design of slave ships? With which slave route was the Andorinha vessel associated? Where was it captured by the H.M.S. Rattler? Approximately how many slaves could canoes carry? What were the dimensions of canoes such at the one depicted from Sierra Leone and where were they headed?
       
      Studying these images, reading the accompanying text, and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2.2 Life on Board Slavers  
    • Reading: Alexander Falconbridge’s “Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa”

      Link: Alexander Falconbridge’s “Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read pages 16–19 of the electronic document (pages 26–32 of original document). As you read, consider the following questions: Approximately how many slaves did the ship on which Falconbridge sail carry? What were the conditions in which slaves were held, and how many perished during the journey due to these conditions? What motivated captains of ships to carry more slaves than the ship had space? What caused slaves’ flesh to rub off during the journey? How are deceased slaves disposed of during the sea journey? How can a surgeon be most useful to slaves aboard a ship?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2.3 Resistance on Slave Ships  
    • Reading: James Barbot, Jr.’s “Premeditated a Revolt”

      Link: James Barbot, Jr.’s “Premeditated a Revolt” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: How does Barbot describe the slave revolt on the ship on which he was sailing? How was the revolt put down? What was the overall death toll of this revolt? How did the ship’s crew attempt to prevent uprisings?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2.4 Labor Systems on Dutch, Danish, French, British Islands  
    • Reading: The National Archives: “Slavery and Negotiating Freedom”

      Link: The National Archives: “Slavery and Negotiating Freedom” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the text on the webpage. Afterwards, click on and enlarge the documents linked below the text. As you explore the documents, consider the following questions: with whom and what are the documents concerned? In what ways do the documents tell the story of emancipation in the Caribbean?
       
      Reading this article and the documents and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal’s “Chapter 3: British Colonial America (1588–1701)”

      Link: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal’s “Chapter 3: British Colonial America (1588–1701)” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “Southern Colonies,” and read the brief passage on Barbados for an overview of British colonial society there. Describe the triangular trade in which sugar was one part. As you read, consider the following question: why was there a continuous increase in African slaves in British Caribbean colonies?
       
      Reading this article and answering the question above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal. 

    • Reading: World History Archives: Veront Satchell’s “Jamaica”

      Link: World History Archives: Veront Satchell’s “Jamaica” (HTML)


      Instructions: Read this article up until the section titled “Slave Revolts.” This reading will give you an overview of the history of Jamaica and slavery. As you read, consider the following questions: What were the circumstances and under the rule of which country were Africans enslaved in Jamaica? How did those circumstances change for some enslaved Africans when the English took over rule of the island? What economic activity sparked an increase in the slave trade under the English? How did one become part of the “free coloured community,” and where did this community fit in the social organization of Jamaica? What rights did members of this community have? How does the author of the text define maroon communities, and who were
      members of these communities?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.2.5 Plantation Goods: Sugar, Coffee, Indigo, Cotton  

    Note: This topic is partially covered in the reading assigned below subunit 5.2.1.

  • 6.3 Arrival in the New World  
  • 6.3.1 Ports and Auctions  
    • Reading: Alexander Falconbridge’s “Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa”

      Link: Alexander Falconbridge’s “Account of the Slave Trade on the Coast of Africa” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the section titled “Sale of Slaves” on pages 19–21 of the electronic document (pages 33–36 of original document). As you read, consider the following questions: How does Falconbridge describe the market for slaves in the West Indies? How does he describe the reactions of some Africans aboard the ship that arrived in Kingston, Jamaica? What does Falconbridge say the captains of slave ships should do prior to the sale of slaves?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 45 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 6.3.2 Perceptions of Slave Marts  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Perceptions of Slave Marts”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Perceptions of Slave Marts” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this brief text. As you read, consider the following questions: Describe the triangular trade. How was the slave trade a traditional business? What regulated the timing of the arrival of slave ships to ports in the Americas? In what condition did many slaves arrive to these ports? What was the primary objective of ship captains and slave trade agents once a ship arrived in port? What were some of the sources of the slave purchasers’ dissatisfaction?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to The Saylor Foundation. 

  • 6.3.3 Origin of Imported Slaves  

    Note: This topic is covered by the resources assigned below subunits 2.2.1 and 2.2.2.

  • 6.3.4 Encomienda and Repartimento  
    • Reading: Country Studies US: Rex A. Hudson (ed.)’s “Encomienda”

      Link: Country Studies US: Rex A. Hudson (ed.)’s “Encomienda” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the selection for an overview of the labor systems in the early Spanish American colonies, focusing on Native American slavery and the encomienda. As you read, consider the following questions: What is an encomienda, and how did it come to exist in Spanish colonies in the Americas? What were the responsibilities of the encomendero? How did the repartimento differ from the encomienda?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “The New Laws of the Indies, 1542”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: “The New Laws of the Indies, 1542” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this primary source document. As you read, consider the following questions: What does the king of Spain charge his official representative, the Audiencias, with in the New Laws of the Indies (1542)? What do the laws prohibit? What provisions and protections do the laws offer to individuals working pearl fisheries? From whom do the laws take away the possibility of using Native Americans as forced labor?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Unit 7: Abolition  

    That the Atlantic slave trade would end was never a given. However, a number of forces in the late 1700s and early 1800s paved the way for the enactment of legislation prohibiting the slave trade. Religious groups (namely Quakers and evangelical Protestants) advocated for an end to the slave trade, a system of commerce that they believed to be regressive and morally evil. Enlightenment ideas, particularly notions of the progress and liberty of mankind, buttressed arguments in favor of abolition. The rise of free trade ideology put mercantilist policies – of which the slave trade was one – on the defensive. In addition, the dissolution of European empires during the Age of Revolutions contributed to rising opposition to what had been an imperially sanctioned commerce. While the movement to end the slave trade gathered steam, especially in Britain, America, and France, the abolition movement also encountered a number of impediments. The continued profitability of the Atlantic slave trade and sugar production stalled abolition on several fronts. However, when countries began to view the Atlantic slave trade as an act of piracy and an illegitimate form of commerce, abolition was accepted and enacted. Denmark was the first nation to abolish its Atlantic slave trade, in 1803, and Cuba was the last, in 1866. In the interim, however, slave trading in the Atlantic persisted and, in some cases, even escalated.

    In this unit, we will examine the social, political, and economic causes of abolition. We will also study the obstacles to abolition in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In addition, we will compare and contrast abolition movements and consider how the end of the Atlantic slave trade impacted labor systems and the world economy.

    Unit 7 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 7 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 7.1 Resistance and Abolition  
    • Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Resistance and Abolition”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Resistance and Abolition” (PDF)
       
      Read this article. Consider these questions as you read: in what ways did Africans resist slavery and what was the impact of this resistance? Who was involved in anti-slavery movements and how did the sentiment spread? What arguments did anti-slavery movements use to advance their cause?
       
      Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • 7.1.1 Africans’ Resistance  
    • Reading: University of Groningen’s American History: Edward Hicks’ “Testimony”

      Link: University of Groningen’s American History: Edward Hicks’ “Testimony” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text. As you read, consider the following questions: Why does Edward Hicks say he was afraid of going to New Orleans? Describe his journey from the block of the courthouse to when he fled. Who assisted Hicks after he fled the first time, and how does he describe his journey and means of travel afterward? How did Hicks come to be enslaved again? What means did he use to avoid detection? Where did he ultimately end his journey?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Connexions: Cory Ledoux’s “Slavery, Resistance, and Rebellion across the Americas”

      Link: Connexions: Cory Ledoux’s “Slavery, Resistance, and Rebellion across the Americas” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read this text. As you read, consider the following questions: What planned slave revolts does the author of “Slavery, Resistance, and Rebellion across the Americas” identify? According to George Dunham’s travel journey, what did white populations perceive as signs of an impending slave revolt? What was a more subtle form of resistance? What were runaway slaves known as in the United States?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.1.2 Abolitionism  
  • 7.1.3 Commemorating 1808  
  • 7.2 The Slave Trade in the Post-1808 Era  
  • 7.2.1 Illegal Slave Trade  
  • 7.2.2 Revival of the Slave Trade  
    • Reading: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Frederick Douglass’ “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, July 4, 1852”

      Link: Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Frederick Douglass’ “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, July 4, 1852” (PDF)
       
      Instructions: Read this text. In this address, Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), a former slave and leader of the abolitionist movement, launched an attack on the United States society in general, and the Christian Church in particular.

      Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource was reposted by The Saylor Foundation with permission from Fordham University. Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder. 

    • Reading: John C. Calhoun’s “The Southern Address, 1849”

      Link: John C. Calhoun’s “The Southern Address, 1849” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read Calhoun’s 1849 address. As you read, consider the following questions: What does Calhoun reference in his history of the relations between Europeans and Africans in the United States prior to 1819? Why did 1819 mark a turning point? In what ways did the US Supreme Court support slave owners after 1819? What acts does Calhoun identify as attempts of “destroying the relations between the two races at the South”? In what ways did the acquisition of new territories impact the debate over slavery? What does Calhoun suggest would be the consequences of emancipation in the South? What does Calhoun call for at the end of his address?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Fugitive Slave Act 1850”

      Link: Yale University: Lillian Goldman Law Library’s Avalon Project: “Fugitive Slave Act 1850” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the text. As you review this Act, consider the following questions: What does the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act establish and address? In what ways do Sections 6 and 7 define fugitive slaves and provide for their return to slave owners?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: This resource has been dedicated to the Public Domain under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 1.0 Universal

  • 7.2.3 Suppression  
  • 7.3 Impact of the Slave Trade  
  • 7.3.1 Demography  
    • Reading: Wikipedia’s “Atlantic Slave Trade”

      Link: Wikipedia’s “Atlantic Slave Trade” (HTML)

      Instructions: Scroll down to the section titled “Demographics,” and read this brief section. As you read, consider the following questions: What are some of the arguments for the stagnation of the population in Africa during the period? How do population statistics in Africa compare to those in Europe and the Americas? What impact did slavery have on the demographics in Africa? What are the arguments for the way in which slavery created a legacy of racism?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareALike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Wikipedia. 

  • 7.3.2 Economics  
    • Reading: Internet Archive: Anika Francis’s “The Economics of the African Slave Trade”

      Link: Internet Archive: Anika Francis’s “The Economics of the African Slave Trade” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this text. As you read, consider the following questions: According to John Henrik Clarke, what effect did the slave trade have on Europe between the years 1400–1600? From which regions of Africa did the slave trade draw? What accounted for the continued demand for slaves from Africa? Describe the economic system of mercantilism. What was its primary purpose? How did the economic system change in the 18th century, and what drove this change?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.3.3 Culture  
    • Reading: The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp’s “An Introduction to the Church in the Southern Black Community”

      Link: The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp’s “An Introduction to the Church in the Southern Black Community” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read the essay “An Introduction to the Church in the Southern Black Community” by Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp. As you read, consider the following questions: What accounts for the emergence of religious traditions that may be classified as “African-American” during the 19th century? With what religious movement did this coincide? How was religious belief practiced in slave quarters, and what made these practices distinct? What role did churches play in the period immediately following emancipation? What role did women play in churches after emancipation?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Charles Ball’s “I Assisted…to Inter the Infant”

      Link: Charles Ball’s “I Assisted…to Inter the Infant” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this brief slave narrative. As you read, consider the following question: In Charles Ball’s account, what was buried with the deceased infant?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 15 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Peter Randolph’s “The Slave Assemble in the Swamps”

      Link: Peter Randolph’s “The Slave Assemble in the Swamps” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: According to Peter Randolph, what type of religious instruction did slaves receive from slave-holding ministers? How did this differ from the religious meetings slaves held of their own accord?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: Henry Bibb’s “Many Believe…in What They Call Conjuration”

      Link: Henry Bibb’s “Many Believe…in What They Call Conjuration” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this slave narrative. As you read, consider the following questions: According to Henry Bibb, why did the white population oppose Sabbath schools for slaves? How does Bibb describe the manner in which slaves who were not religiously inclined spent the Sabbath? What is conjuration?
       
      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.4 Legacy of the Slave Trade  
  • 7.4.1 Consequences  
    • Reading: Internet Archive: Robin Law’s “The Transition from the Slave Trade to ‘Legitimate’ Commerce”

      Link: Internet Archive: Robin Law’s “The Transition from the Slave Trade to ‘Legitimate’ Commerce” (HTML)

      Instructions: Read the text. As you read, consider the following questions: What products replaced the trade in slaves in the commercial transition after the ending of the Atlantic slave trade? To which party of this new trade does the adjective legitimate apply most? Why? In what ways did the end of the Atlantic slave trade affect the internal slave trade in Africa? Explain the notion of crisis of adaptation. What effects did the transition from slave trading to commerce in palm oil have on gender relations in Africa? How did European nations come to partition Africa amongst themselves? How did they justify this partition?

      Reading this article and answering the questions above should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 7.4.2 Reparations  
  • Final Exam