American Slavery

Blacks debarking from the White Lion It is commonly believed that the history of African Americans in English North America began in August 1619, when the White Lion, an English privateer based in the Netherlands, traded “20 and Odd Negroes” captured off Mexico from a Portuguese slave ship for food. Because these first blacks were…

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Cause of the Civil War

According to official Confederate mythology, states’ rights, not slavery, was the issue that caused the brutal war that went on so long, as if either issue would have meant much to most of the illiterate Southern yeoman farmers who constituted the bulk of Southern soldiery. In fact, there were a number of counties that refused…

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Southern Post-War Views of Slavery

Once the guns went silent, Southerners embraced fascinating views about slavery and the war’s cause. Edward A. Pollard, wartime editor of the Richmond Examiner and the first to popularize the South’s “Lost Cause” mythological version of the war in his book The Lost Cause; A New Southern History of the War of the Confederates, opined,…

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Lincoln’s Views on Slavery

For a man with nearly no formal education, Abraham Lincoln was one of our most intelligent and capable presidents. He wisely conceded, “American slavery…belongs to our politics, to our industries, to our commerce and to our religion. Every portion of our territory in some form or other has contributed to the growth and to the…

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Monetization of Slavery

The total wealth represented by the South’s nearly four million slaves was $3.059 billion, a huge component of the country’s national wealth of $16.16 billion at the time. By 1840, cotton produced by slave labor constituted fifty-nine percent of the United States’ exports. The looms of New England and the British linen industry were wholly…

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Did Slavery Cause the Civil War?

Merely asking this question says a lot about the average American’s knowledge of history. The “peculiar institution” was contentious when we were still colonies and part of William Wilberforce’s twenty-year campaign to end England’s international slave trade. After Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807, President Thomas Jefferson followed suit the following year. Because…

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Slavery

Most of us are unaware that slavery originally existed in all thirteen colonies. Slowly, Quakers and other religions determined that the practice was immoral, mirroring a process taking place in England at the same time. An Abolitionist movement emerged which actively promoted the end of the South’s “peculiar institution.” The Underground Railroad helped run-away slaves…

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