Historian Philip D. Morgan, Harry C. Black Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, explores the core experiences of slavery itself, including life on the African coast and on sugar plantations in the new world.
In this lecture, historian Philip D. Morgan compares the Lowcountry and Chesapeake slave cultures and reveals much about the way of life of some of the earliest African Americans. Although South Carolina in the eighteenth century was built by slave labor, Virginia only began to "recruit" slaves in large numbers at the beginning of that century. Consequently, there were substantial differences in the black cultures that emerged in the two regions.
NYU Professor of the Humanities Thomas Bender argues that the idea of American exceptionalism has hobbled the study of American history. Bender traces the study of history from the "men of letters" historians of the nineteenth century up to the present, and explains why a more worldly history curriculum would help students to better understand events throughout American history.
Few works of history have exerted as powerful an influence as a book published in 1944 called Capitalism and Slavery. Its author, Eric Williams, later the prime minister of Trinidad and Tabago, charged that black slavery was the engine that propelled Europe's rise to global economic dominance. He maintained that Europeans' conquest and settlement of the New World depended on the enslavement of millions of black slaves, who helped amass the capital that financed the industrial revolution. Europe's economic progress, he insisted,...