Front cover image for Many thousands gone : the first two centuries of slavery in North America

Many thousands gone : the first two centuries of slavery in North America

Ira Berlin (Author)
This book sketches the complex evolution of slavery and black society from the first arrivals in the early 1600s through the American Revolution. Many Americans, black and white, identify slavery with cotton, the deep South, and the African-American church. But at the beginning of the nineteenth century, after almost two hundred years of African-American life in mainland North America, few slaves grew cotton, lived in the deep South, or embraced Christianity. The author demonstrates that earlier North American slavery had many different forms and meanings that varied over time and from place to place. The author shows that slavery and race did not have a fixed character that endured for centuries but were constantly being constructed or reconstructed in response to changing historical circumstances. This work illustrates that complex nature of American slavery, the falsity of many of our stereotypes, and the unique world wrought by the slaves themselves
Print Book, English, 1998
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1998
x, 497 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
9780674810921, 9780674002111, 0674810929, 0674002113
Making slavery, making race
Societies with slaves: the charter generations. Emergence of Atlantic Creoles in the Chesapeake ; Expansion of Creole society in the North ; Divergent paths in the lowcountry ; Devolution in the lower Mississippi Valley
Slave societies: the plantation generations. The tobacco revolution in the Chesapeake ; The rice revolution in the lowcountry ; Growth and the transformation of black life in the North ; Stagnation and transformation in the lower Mississippi Valley
Slave and free: the revolutionary generations. The slow death of slavery in the North ; The union of African-American society in the upper South ; Fragmentation in the lower South ; Slavery and freedom in the lower Mississippi Valley
Making race, making slavery