Analysis – American Slavery American Freedom

American Slavery – American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (Edmund S. Morgan, W.W. Norton & Company, 1975).

Author and historian Edmund S. Morgan takes a very thorough and chronological approach to the growth of slavery as an institution starting from the very first landed settlements all the way to the first struggles of the American Revolution.  More importantly, as Morgan focuses on Virginia, he strives to explain the great paradox of how both slavery and freedom can emanate from the same roots of this influential colony.  How could self-proclaimed bastions of virtue, liberty and equality possibly foster two diametrically opposed ideals of freedom and slavery at the same time?  Morgan puts the history of the Virginia colony under the microscope to assess this problem.


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