British Slavery and Abolition


Course Code: HCIV-Fa Categories: , , Tags: , ,


Great Britain was responsible for transporting and enslaving far more human beings than the United States, yet it is often overlooked in the US.  Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807, policed the high seas, and then provided for gradual emancipation of slaves in 1833, decades before the US Civil War.

How did the population engage with slavery?  What sorts of arguments were used to support slavery and challenge this institution? In this class, we will read what contemporaries wrote about British slavery.  Our purpose will be to better understand how people might justify actions which seem to us immoral and unethical. Why is this relevant?  Firstly, as we think about modern race relations and the US political sphere, we may see echoes of these arguments.  Secondly, insofar as people became attached to slavery as necessary, it bears some resemblance to current concerns about fossil fuels and global warming.For each class, students will several pamphlets or arguments about slavery (50-100pages), including for the first class. The format will be an open discussion about what we are reading, so please plan to read before each of the three classes.  A syllabus will be provided in advance.  

Mark Andersen, Ph.D., CFA is a data scientist trained in political science, with particular interest in events around the beginning of the US Civil War.  He led a Civil War book group in Lexington for five years.

Start Date: 11/1/2022, 3 meetings
Class Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Day of Week: Tuesday
Location: Zoom
Instructor: Mark Andersen, Ph.D.
Status: Running/Openings