Slave Rebellions

For the most part, white southerners defended the “peculiar institution” whether or not they had slaves, whether they were rich or poor, and whether they lived on large plantations or small farms. Why was this the case?

 

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Discuss the relationship between masters and slaves in the American South. Did masters have all the power in this relationship, or did the enslaved exert some power? Points to consider include paternalism, the size of slaveholdings, slavery and the law, forms of slave resistance, and labor organization (task and gang systems).

 

Slave rebellions were rare but important. Compare the slave rebellions (merely planned or actually carried out) of Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner. What did Vesey attempt to do? What did Turner attempt to do? How were these men similar? How did they view slavery and freedom? How did white society react to them, and why?

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