“American slavery was an intricate dance between
forced labor and the forces of modernity”
Where are we?
- antebellum (before the civil war)
- upper coastal south (Delaware through North
Carolina, with an emphasis on Maryland and Virginia)
- why the emphasis on landscape?
- slaves were property that could be inherited
- had very little legal protection
- this meant their strategies to protect their
families were more economic than legal
- large scale cash crops with labor provided by
- first indigo and rice, then sugar cane and
- importation of slaves became illegal in 1807
- lots of individual slaves were sold south and
- slaves tried to resist that breaking up of
What does modernity mean?
- industrialization (large scale agriculture as
well as factories)
- the shift from a community to a capitalist
- community economic system--self-sufficiency
with help from your neighbors (somewhat a myth)
- people were thinking in an increasingly