VIDEO: Watch SIA 101.10: The Problem of Slavery in the American Founding – Part I (Video time: 45 minutes)

Required Readings: None

Terms, People, & Places to Identify

Where there is a time mark, the answer is provided at the time indicated in the relevant podcast or video. Where there is no time mark indicated, the student should look up in a book or perform an Internet search for the term, person, or place.

  1. Chattel
  2. Scholar
  3. Slavery
  4. Abolition
  5. Prudence
  6. Extirpate
  7. Abhorrence
  8. Inferior
  9. Atrocious
  10. Debase
  11. Valid
  12. Irrevocable
  13. Race (in the context of human beings)
  14. Subordinate
  15. Just
  16. Manumission
  17. Mt. Vernon
  18. Monticello
  19. Continuum

Study Questions

  1. In 1776, was the United States the only place on Earth that had slavery? (5:00)
  2. Slavery is one of the oldest human institutions. True or False? (5:15)
  3. What is the basic concept of slavery? (6:28)
  4. In 1776, where did slavery exist? (7:00)
  5. In 1776, did Africans in Africa own African slaves? (7:25)
  6. Should it be surprising that slavery existed in the British Colonies? (8:00)
  7. What is fascinating about what the revolutionaries did and what was accomplished within two generations of the founding of the United States? (9:00 – 10:40)
  8. The existence of slavery became a problem in the United States. How do we know this? (10:40 – 11:40)
  9. Throughout human history was slavery viewed as a problem? (12:00)
  10. For the United States slavery became a problem because it was in direct conflict with what idea from the United States’ founding? (12:20 – 13:05)
  11. What where some of the early actions discussed to abolish slavery in the United States? (13:05 – 13:44)
  12. What is the one idea you should understand about slavery and the United States history? (14:30 – 15:30)
  13. When did the British Empire fully abolish slavery? (15:30)
  14. When did the French fully abolish slavery? (15:30)
  15. Why are those dates significant in comparison to the United States history? (16:00)
  16. How long was slavery part of Christian history? (16:30 – 18:00)
  17. The Greeks and Romains had rich and vibrant cultures and neither had a public/political movement to abolish slavery. True or False?
  18. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin – all made public statements about slavery. Were these revolutionaries against or for abolishing of slavery? (21:30)
  19. Summarize the basic ideas in each founder’s statement. (21:30 – 23:21)
  20. In the course of discussing the abolishment of slavery did any of the founders argue that slavery was just? (23:22)
  21. Who would later make the argument the some races are inferior or subordinate and when where those arguments made? (24:30)
  22. What was the “economic necessary” of slavery argument? (25:30 – 26:38)
  23. Outline the continuum of the founders’ position on slavery and note what some of their actions to support their positions were? (26:40 – 45:25)
  24. Manumission Laws: What were they? (38:40 – 41:32)
  25. What were some of the terms or conditions required to manumit a slave? (38:40 – 41:32)
  26. What was the purpose of manumission laws? (38:40 – 41:32)
  27. How much could it cost to manumit a slave? (38:40 – 41:32)

Additional Suggested Readings

Slavery: A World History