American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Slavery and Anti-Slavery-- Setting the Stage

Published July 12, 2017

Gregory Downs, UC Davis 
The Graduate Center, CUNY July 12, 2016

In this talk, Gregory Downs discusses the development of slavery and anti-slavery in the United States. He positions the U.S. slave trade in a global context and examines the intricacies of the Second Middle Passage.  Downs analyzes rhetoric framing the North as a symbol of bourgeois modernity, and how it led to the development of the North v. South narratives.  He concludes with the question of why the Civil War occurred in a context where slavery was seen as embedded in the economies of both the North and the South. This talk took place on July 12, 2016, as part of ASHP’s Visual Culture of the Civil War Summer Institute, an NEH professional development program for college and university faculty.

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