Slavery In The American South HIST4026

  • Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the ways in which both slaves and whites negotiated identities and formed communities under the pressures of the 'peculiar institution.' We will discuss why Americans turned to slavery in the early colonial period, and why some elements of the white population supported slavery, and others did not, right up to the outbreak of Civil War. The course will explore the interaction between 'race', class and gender in a slave society with an emphasis on the experiences of the slave population; particularly the different social, cultural, religious and economic techniques used by African Americans to survive their enslavement.


Taught twice weekly.

Requirements of Entry

Admission to honours in History.

Excluded Courses





Coursework - class essay (2000 words approximately)

Examination duration - 120 mins

Coursework - seminar presentation

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims common to all the Department's Honours modules are as follows:

1. the development of the intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

2. awareness of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

3. to offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

4. familiarity with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

5. the development of transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving team work

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Identify the reasons for the imposition, subsequent growth and eventual abolition of slavery in the United States

■ Analyse the effect that slavery had on African Americans and white Southerners

■ Articulate the ways in which slavery shaped class, 'race', gender and power relations in the antebellum South

■ Engage with and critically evaluate different historiographical and popular interpretations of the effects of slavery

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.