2.8 – Slave Empires and Pro-Slavery Interests


Drescher, Abolition, 60-65, 83-84, 91, 115-117

Beyond the Drescher reading, you do not have to do any more reading than is necessary for you to answer the discussion questions. Use as many, or as few, of the sources below as you need to.

Abolition Project, the Proslavery Lobby

Civil War causes, Selected Statistics on Slavery

William Harper, “Memoir of Slavery” (1837)

George Fitzhugh, “The Universal Law of Slavery” (1857)

Thorton Stringfellow, “Scriptural and Statistical Views in Favor of Slavery”(1856)

GLC, Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery


National Humanities Center, Sexual Abuse of Slaves

Resistance by slaves

Discussion questions

[1] What economic factors contributed to the expansion of slavery in the European colonies in the Americas?

[2] What religious influences contributed to the expansion of slavery in the European colonies in the Americas and the United States?

[3] What were some of the most important technological and political developments that contributed to the rise of a powerful slave-holding civilization in the southern United States?

[4] How did white southerners justify slavery?

[5] How accurate were white southerners’ representations of what the system of slavery was like?

[6] How did slave-masters control their slaves?

[7] How did slaves resist enslavement?

[8] How profitable was slavery and what was the economic contribution of slavery to the U.S. economy?


[9] In your view, where was slavery in the Americas harshest? Provide an explanation for your answer.



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