American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Slavery & Abolition

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Slavery & Abolition


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

Why did it take Americans ninety years after first declaring that all men are born equal to abolish racial slavery? Why did it take a Civil War to answer the fundamental questions about liberty and equality that the Revolution had posed? One obstacle was the fact that the Constitution gave white southerners so much power in national politics that Congress itself never did anything very significant to limit slavery. Only with the changes brought about by the communications revolution in the 1820s and 1830s were antislavery activists able to build any sort of organized national movement and even then they met fierce opposition from southern plantation owners who couldn’t imagine a world without slave labor.

Dr. Richard Bell is a Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship and the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award. Professor Bell is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home, which was shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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