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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834 (PGHC11149)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the creation, development, survival, and abolition of chattel slavery in the British Atlantic world.
Course description The course draws on an extensive secondary literature and selected primary sources to consider the reasons for the adoption of black slavery; Britain's role in the Atlantic trade; the economics of slavery; the demography of slave populations; the development of Afro-American culture; the contribution of slavery to the British Industrial Revolution; and explanations for the rejection of slavery in British America where it was a profitable, viable and flexible institution. Regional differences within an empire with a shared language and cultural tradition highlight the importance of non-institutional factors such as resource endowments and work schedules in shaping slave systems and give the discussion analytical reach beyond the British Atlantic world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Completion of one 3000 word essay.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key debates in modern slavery studies drawing on both historical and social science traditions
  2. Demonstrate an ability to test general theories of 'plantation economy' and 'slave society' against British American experience
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form by independently formulating appropriate questions and using relevant primary and secondary sources
  4. Demonstrate in seminar contributions originality and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
David Eltis, The Rise of New World Slavery in the Americas (2000)

Barry Higman, Slave Populations of the British Caribbean, 1807-1834 (1984)

Kenneth Morgan, Slavery, Atlantic Trade and the British Economy, 1660-1800 (2000)

Philip D. Morgan, Slave Counterpoint. Black Culture in the Eighteenth Century Chesapeake and Low Country (1998)

Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery (1944)

Statistical material drawn from the Voyages trans-Atlantic slave trade database at
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsslavery british atlantic
Course organiserDr Nuala Zahedieh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3836
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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