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Regional and Topical Surveys

HIST 170 The American South: Rise and Fall of the Slave South, 1609 - 1865


Taught as schedule allows (consult the Course Directory)


This course explores the history of the American South, from its formation and rise as a slave power in the Atlantic world in the seventeenth century, to the definitive defeat of the slaveholders' republic in the American Civil War. As such, the course engages a range of critical subjects in southern and American history: the Atlantic slave trade; the emergence of slavery, the plantation system and the racial order associated with it; the development of African-American life under slavery; the particular relationship between masters and slaves in the antebellum period; the changing gender and class relations of southern society; the defense of slavery; and the unpredictable political road to secession. The course ends by focusing on the Confederate political project and its undoing in the course of the nation's bloodiest war.

Course Syllabus (PDF)