American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: The Origins of American Slavery

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: The Origins of American Slavery


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

How and why did slavery begin in North America? It’s an incredibly important question as America’s embrace of racial slavery as a major labor system is an event that has colored the development of this continent ever since.

How were traditional practices of enslavement in Africa and Europe similar to and different from the system of subordination elaborated in the Caribbean and the southern mainland colonies during the 1600s? Why did early experiments there with white indentured servitude fail or fall short? What role did cash crops like sugar, tobacco, and rice play in places like Jamaica, Virginia, and South Carolina? And what was the experience of enslavement and coerced migration like for people forced to make the infamous ‘middle passage’ from Africa to America?

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home" which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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(4)
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J
J.
Deep dive into important origin story

Students of US history will recall the "triangle trade/middle passage" version of how slavery came to the American mainland. Dr. Bell takes a deep dive into the Caribbean origins of that history. We learn about English economic history as well as the geography of Barbados and Jamaica in this seminar. As usual, Dr. Bell engages the participants by throwing out questions and then processing several responses before summarizing the research on important turning points in this history. Definitely recommended!

K
K.K.
Origins Indeed

Dr. Bell presents a clear and easy to follow history of the origins of American slavery. His style is both educational and entertaining while encouraging a great amount of oral participation and exchange of ideas. I will definitely participate in future conversations with Dr. Richard Bell.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

V
V.
Fascinating seminar

What I love about Rick Bell's seminars is how he builds history one step at a time until you suddenly see a larger picture. This seminar was no exception. He illuminated the different threads that led to slavery being deployed in South Carolina and the underlying conditions needed for slavery to be essential for the success of a planter class in the south,

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.
Deep dive into important origin story

Students of US history will recall the "triangle trade/middle passage" version of how slavery came to the American mainland. Dr. Bell takes a deep dive into the Caribbean origins of that history. We learn about English economic history as well as the geography of Barbados and Jamaica in this seminar. As usual, Dr. Bell engages the participants by throwing out questions and then processing several responses before summarizing the research on important turning points in this history. Definitely recommended!

K
K.K.
Origins Indeed

Dr. Bell presents a clear and easy to follow history of the origins of American slavery. His style is both educational and entertaining while encouraging a great amount of oral participation and exchange of ideas. I will definitely participate in future conversations with Dr. Richard Bell.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

V
V.
Fascinating seminar

What I love about Rick Bell's seminars is how he builds history one step at a time until you suddenly see a larger picture. This seminar was no exception. He illuminated the different threads that led to slavery being deployed in South Carolina and the underlying conditions needed for slavery to be essential for the success of a planter class in the south,