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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Theme > Slavery and Abolition (x)
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We found 10 items that match your search

Background Essay on the Historiography of Slavery

This essay explains the shift in slavery historiography and how this continuing shift influenced the development of the Doing as They Can documentary.

Item Type: Article/Essay
Background Essay on the "Twenty Negro" Law

The so-called "Twenty Negro Law," enacted by the Confederate Congress in 1862, allowed an exemption from military service for slaveholders who owned twenty or more slaves. In effect, this allowed large plantation owners and overseers to avoid [...]

Background Essay on Civil War "Contraband"

This essay describes how runaway slaves escaped to Union camps, and how the army formed "contraband camps" to house runaway slaves and their families. 

Background Information on Slavery in the U.S.

These tables and statistics give basic facts about the growth and spread of slavery in the United States and some tables of statistics about slave populations.

Item Type: Article/Essay
Summary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Despite his personal opposition to slavery, when President Abraham Lincoln took office in 1861 he insisted that his constitutional duty was to keep the nation together, not to abolish slavery. He conducted the first year of the war with the goal of [...]

An English Philosopher Explains Why Slavery Intensifies Southerners' Desire for Liberty

In this essay excerpt, British political philosopher and member of Parliament Edmund Burke explains that the existence of slavery in the southern colonies helps to intensify the "fierce spirit of liberty" among white residents who recognize [...]

A Historian Explains the Significance of the Fugitive Slave Act

Historian Eric Foner explains why the Fugitive Slave Act was such a divisive political act and a turning point in the sectional conflicts that had plagued American society during the antebellum era. Foner also describes the role of former slaves in [...]

Background Essay on Who Freed the Slaves?

This essay introduces you to the main forces behind the abolition of slavery in the United States, as well as the debate among historians as to who played the key role.

Background Essay on Why They Fought

This essay explores the motivations of soldiers on both sides of the U.S. Civil War.

Background Essay on Slave Communities and Resistance

This short essay explains how historians came to focus not just on what slavery did to slaves, but what slaves did for themselves within the limits set by this brutal institution.

Item Type: Article/Essay