Peter Kolchin : American Slavery review

Better Essays

Peter Kolchin is a history professor at the University of Delaware. In 1970, Kolchin received a degree from John Hopkins University. He now specializes in nineteenth-century U.S. history, the South, slavery and emancipation, and comparative history. In his career he has written many books on slavery including Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian Serfdom and First Freedom: The Responses of Alabama 's Blacks to Emancipation and Reconstruction (Peter Kolchin...). In 1993, his third book American Slavery was published and 10 years later a revised copy was released which featured a new preface and afterword (Thomas). This book was re-released in order to catch up to the increase scholarly interest in slavery.

"American Slavery: …show more content…

I also found it interesting when Kolchin points out the cultural differences among views of slavery depending on region. Since America was a large agricultural region male slaves were valued more due to there ability to produce physical labor, as opposed to Africa and the Near East in which females were more cherished because they were used as wives; they were also considered agricultural producers in those regions (4).

Kolchin states on page 28 of this book that "Throughout its history, American slavery evolved and changed. He the points out the two main periods in which the process of evolution can be divided into broader periods. These periods are the colonial and antebellum periods. The colonial was the period till 1770 and the antebellum being thereafter around 1800. He does a great job pointing that the colonial period was the time in which America emerged as a predominate slave society. Kolchin points out the main reason for this was the growing presence of agriculture in the colonies and on the fact that America had to transition away from indentured servants and obtain a wider majority of workers, thus the increase in slaves from Africa and other foreign countries who were purchase like cattle and used as tools of agriculture rather than workers. These slaves were not given any compensation for there work.

After time progressed slaves began to reproduce and American-born slaves emerged as more interesting to slave owners

Get Access
Get Access