Blog Post #2

Over the first two weeks of class, we have read the first two chapters of Schermerhorn’s book as well as discussed two primary sources. Honestly, I have learned more in the past two weeks than I ever had before, in high school my history teacher only touched on the subject of slavery. Students may learn of some mistreatment, but definitely not the terrible things that occurred. I believe like myself many highschoolers come into college with only little and biased knowledge of this topic.  I couldn’t believe something like this is sort of “swept under the rug” so to speak. Something that stood out to me in the reading as well as in the discussion was how a European colonist could come to America and have the right to vote; however captive slaves had no power or voice in elections. This really shows how Slaves were not looked at as a human and just a tool and a way to make money.  I never knew how influential and crucial slavery’s role was to the economy in these times, this definitely has an impact on today’s economics. This leads me to pose this research question:

How has the role of Slavery in economics impacted/ sculpted today’s economy, and what it would look like if slavery never occurred?

To help find answers to this question I will have to find resources including primary sources. In order to do this, I will begin by going to the library website and typing in keywords that may pertain to the question, this will lead me to books and even secondary sources that involve these things. I will also use the internet and make sure I follow the step to find scholarly and reliable sources for my topic. Some of my findings may cause me to change my initial question if I am not able to find may resources. This will allow me to better answer the question if I can find good sources. From my initial searches, I found a book that may be helpful, “The half has never been told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward Baptist. I believe that I will be able to find many things that will lead me to answer my question, the biggest thing is narrowing down what are the important pieces. If I find a book, I want to make sure that it is mostly covering the economics part of slavery and not everything else that we will cover in this class alone.  My next steps would have to first find more websites that are reliable and involve this topic as well as to find a couple of books from the library that I will read.


One thought on “Blog Post #2

  1. This is a great research question that would provide significant insight on the “long history” of the economic impacts and legacies of slavery. Beginning with the library catalog is the perfect place to start. I also like your acknowledgement of how your research question might evolve depending upon the sources you encounter. This is exactly a research “question” rather than a statement or hypothesis is so important to history– we often have to follow the sources and learn from them, even if that contradicts what we originally set out to do. The Edward Baptist book is actually very good, if you would be interested in reading it. Another book that provides a “deep dive” into the economic history of slavery is Walter Johnson’s _Soul by Soul: Life inside and Antebellum Slave Market_. Both are excellent!

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