The evolving practice of human slavery

The focus this week shifted to the American south, and in particular, the evolving practice of human slavery. Slavery was referred to by Thomas Jefferson as a “peculiar institution,” which meant that he saw it as both strange and unique to America. Is that true? How did the enslavement of African people shape southern culture and values? What have you learned about the lives of enslaved people — and the social hierarchies of the south? How do this week’s documents complicate your perspective? Was the south destined to reach a stand-off with the north over the issue of slavery?

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