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The Brief American Pageant , Sixth Edition
David M. Kennedy, Stanford University
Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
Thomas A. Bailey
Mel Piehl, Valparaiso University
Suggested Lecture Topics
Chapter 16
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics


  • Analyze the complex relations among the different elements of southern society: planter-aristocrats, small planters, poor whites, slaves, and free blacks. Contrast the dominant slaveholding elite with the mass of poorer whites who nevertheless supported slavery.

    REFERENCES: Bruce Collins, White Society in the Antebellum South (1985); Ira Berlin, Slaves Without Masters (1975).

  • Examine the nature of slavery. Explain how slavery was both an economic institution and a social system that shaped whites and blacks alike, including their social and family life.

    REFERENCE: Brenda Stevenson, Life in Black and White: Family and Community in the Slave South (1996).

  • Describe the lives of blacks under slavery. Show both the burdens of the system and the slaves' struggles to survive and maintain their humanity.

    REFERENCE: Eugene Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll (1976).

  • Explain the various responses to slavery, from radical abolitionism to the defense of slavery as a positive good, and why the abolitionists had such a great impact even though they were an unpopular minority.

    REFERENCE: Lewis Perry and Michael Fellman, Antislavery Reconsidered (1979).



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