Chapter 1: Meet America's Slave Society

What was a “slave society?” What was America’s slave society? How did it begin? How did it impact slaves and their lives? Was slavery the same in all cultures and societies? Was American slavery worse than other forms of slavery? How did Americans justify slavery? What were the perspectives of slavery advocates? Who was responsible for America’s slave society? Was slavery simply a practice that settlers chose on their own? Did capitalism cause slavery? Was government responsible for the creation and promotion of slavery?

Chapter 3: The Duke of York Promotes Slavery

What changed for slaves when the Duke defeated the Dutch in New Amsterdam? How did the Duke of York promote slavery? What were his unique sources of governmental power? What actions did the Duke take to legalize slavery? How did he encourage settlers to purchase and employ slaves? What incentives did the Duke provide to settlers for purchasing and using slaves? What were the governmental benefits from slavery? What slavery laws did the Duke enact? What were the “Duke’s Laws?” By what authority did the Duke promote slavery?

Chapter 5: The Duke of York’s Creation on a Rampage

What was the international slave trade? What was the “Triangular Trade?” What was the “Middle Passage?” What happened on slave ships? How many African captives died in connection with the slave trade? What caused the deaths? Did African captives commit suicide? How? How profitable was the slave trade? When did the international slave trade end? Did the international slave trade continue after the trade was prohibited? What was the internal slave trade? How could it function after the international slave trade was prohibited? How did the internal trade differ from the international slave trade? How did the internal trade arise? How did it grow? What was a “slave coffle”? How far were slaves forced to walk? What was a “fancy girl”? What was the great slave migration, why did it occur, and how did it impact slaves? Why is it called a Trail of Tears? How did slave auctions function? Would slave traders really break up slave families?

Chapter 7: Moving Forward??

Does slavery matter today? If so, how? Does slavery have anything to do with contemporary lives of African-Americans? What remnants of slavery remain in America today? Can America overcome its slavery heritage?

Chapter 2: America’s Slave Society Was a Terror Society

Why was slavery a form of terrorism? How did the slave society terrorize slaves? How brutal was the terrorism? Did the slave society deliberately inflict terror? Was terror a goal of the slave society?

Chapter 4: America’s Slavery Contradictions

What did America’s Founding Fathers do about slavery? How actively did they practice slavery themselves? Were they morally conflicted in light of their idealistic statements in the Declaration of Independence? How did the Constitution protect slavery? What was the Fugitive Slave Clause? How did it affect slaves’ lives? What was the Three-Fifths Compromise? How did it affect America’s government and society? Were any Founding Fathers opposed to slavery? Did Supreme Court Justices own slaves? What were Abraham Lincoln’s views? How did his views change over time? What political issues complicated his efforts? Were there slaves in the Union states? What was the role of the Emancipation Proclamation in ending slavery? Of the Civil War? Why did slavery continue after the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War?

Chapter 6: Moving Forward

How brutal was American slavery in actual practice? What were the conditions of slaves’ daily lives? Their food, clothing, housing, medical care, and family lives? Did slaves resist their fate and conditions? What happened if and when they did? How did slave holders maintain control? What was the North’s role in slavery? Do America’s schools teach about slavery fairly? If not, why not? Is it purposeful?

Appendix II: King Charles II’s 1664 Charter Granting to the Duke of York Authority Over New York

The Charter in which King Charles II granted to his “dearest brother,” the Duke of York, full and absolute control over New York, subject only to King Charles’ ultimate authority.