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The Origins of American Slavery: Freedom and Bondage in the English Colonies (Critical Issue) Paperback – March 4, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0809016082 ISBN-10: 0809016087 Edition: First Paperback Edition, Underlining

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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Issue
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; First Paperback Edition, Underlining edition (March 4, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809016087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809016082
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Though there was no tradition of slavery in England, it was the norm throughout British colonies in North America and the Caribbean by the end of the 17th century. Historian Betty Wood examines the reasons for its spread in this scholarly, but readable, book. She begins by noting that the British believed slavery was appropriate for non-Christian foreigners, and that Africans belonged to that category. Once the need for cheap labor in the Americas became apparent, planters turned to Africa, and slavery, which had once seemed unthinkable, spread throughout the colonies in an unholy alliance of these two factors--racism and economics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Wood (Women's Work, Men's Work, Univ. of Georgia, 1995) examines here the causes and development of slavery throughout British America. She shows the philosophical underpinnings of early American slavery in 16th-century British thought and English attitudes concerning West Africans and Native Americans, revealing that the dynamics of early slavery were more complex than commonly supposed?not so much because of racial attitudes as religious differences and labor needs. She traces slavery from the Caribbean region into the Chesapeake Bay area and on into New England and the Middle Colonies, examining each area in terms of its own variations. Of particular interest are Puritan and Quaker opinions regarding slavery, neither sect having had misgivings about the practice or making money from slave trade. This valuable study is recommended for all libraries.?Robert A. Curtis, Taylor Memorial P.L., Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The author does an excellent job of analyzing slavery, ex post facto. There is little information about the roots of slavery, specifically the institutionalization of slavery in Africa, well before Europeans began to use Africans as forced labor. Entire African nations were built on slavery. The American view of slavery is that Europeans went into the bush, captured slaves, and brought them back. Historical documents reflect that the slaves were bought from enormously wealthy and powerful black slave dealers along the Ivory Coast. Scholarly works should include the entire background of slavery if we are to understand this painful part of America's past as well as understand why it continues in parts of Africa to this day. A side note- the word "slave" has Slavic origins. Slaves were of European extract for centuries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on May 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The Origins of American Slavery" is a readable overview of the origins of chattel slavery in Barbados, the Carolinas, Virginia, and New England in the 1600s. The focus is on the labor market requirements of plantation agriculture, and on the ideological/religious rationalization of the decision to satisfy this labor demand by enslaving Africans. It all adds up to an excellent case study of how economics drives history. However, I gave the book only four stars because it treats the topic at a very abstract level. With barely 120 pages of text, there isn't room for color, detail, biography, or any of the other pleasures of good historical writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John L. Hodge, author on December 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a clearly written, concise overview of the beginnings of slavery in America along with the author's reasonable explanations of the complex causes.
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