In the middle of the fifteenth century, Europe, Africa, and the Americas came together, creating—among other things—a new economy. At the center of that economy was the plantation, an enterprise dedicated to the production of exotic commodities—the most prominent being sugar—for a distant market. Perhaps the most difficult problem these businessmen faced was securing the labor to sustain the vast economic enterprise they were creating.
Ira Berlin, a professor of history at the University of Maryland and winner of the 1999 Bancroft Prize in American History, draws upon Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America in tandem with Remembering Slavery: African-Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation.
Historian Ira Berlin briefly discusses ways to address slavery in the classroom.
Ira Berlin, Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Maryland, describes how the complex interplay of regional and generational factors shaped the development of slavery in the antebellum United States.