The Transatlantic
Slave Trade

Spring Semester 


Dr. Antonio de la Cova

Office: Sycamore Hall 039
Hours: 11-12 AM  T-Thu.
Phone: 855-4745

COURSE OBJECTIVES: A history of the transatlantic slave trade from its inception to its abolition. Through readings and discussions of text books, this course provides an overview of the varying degrees of European involvement in the slave trade and their dealings with the West African kingdoms. It analyzes slavery in the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States, its society, religiosity, health, resistance and rebellion, the causes and effects of its demise, and its legacy.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: There will be Power Point lectures, video analysis, and readings that require taking notes. Students are expected to use logical arguments sustained with evidence in class discussions and to improve their reading, writing, analytical, and speaking skills.

READINGS: You are expected to read the assigned texts and other articles assigned weekly. Questions regarding the texts and articles will appear on the exams and essay quizzes. The required texts are:

Rawley, James A. The Transatlantic Slave Trade. ISBN 0-8032-3961-0
Sparks, Randy J. The Two Prices of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey. ISBN 0-674-01312-3
 Klein, Herbert S. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. ISBN13: 9780195038385

LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES RESOURCES WEBSITE:  Contains topics and data related to this course.

GRADING: Your grade will consist of a Mid-Term Exam (30%), a Final Exam (30%), two essay quizzes (15% each), and participation and attendance (10%). Missing eight or more classes will further drop you another letter grade. The exams will cover material from the readings, lectures and presentations.

(100-92=A), (91.9-90=A-), (89.9-88=B+), (87.9-82=B), (81.9-80= B-), (79.9-78=C+), (77.9-72=C), (71.9-70=C-), (69.9-68=D+), (67.9-62=D), (61.9-60=D-), (Below 59.9= F).

MAKE-UP EXAMS: It will only be given if you have a valid physician's excuse or a verified family emergency. Makeups are different and considerably more difficult than the regularly scheduled test.

MISCONDUCT: Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with according to the student code of conduct.

Please contact me the first week of classes if you have special learning needs.

CLASSES        LECTURE TOPICS                           ASSIGNED READINGS
Jan. 10-12     Overview of the course                   Exam & study guides
               Origins of slavery                       Rawley, 1-44
Jan. 17-19     The Portuguese pioneers                  Rawley, 45-68
               Spain and the Asciento Agreement         Rawley, 69-97
Jan. 24-26     The Dutch and the Danes                  Rawley, 98-128
               The French traders                       Rawley, 129-165
Jan. 31        Slavery in St. Domingue & New Orleans    Rawley, 166-200
Feb. 2         Slavery in the British Caribbean         Rawley, 201-242
Feb. 7-9       The Spanish Caribbean plantations        Rawley, 243-276
               The plantation system in the U.S.        Rawley, 277-304
Feb. 14-16     The 19th century sugar revolution        Rawley, 305-330
               Cuban slavery and race relations         Rawley, 331-374
Feb. 21-23     Slave resistance                         Sparks, 1-32
               Cimarrones and runaways                  Sparks, 33-69
Feb. 28        Slave society                            Sparks, 70-89
March 2        Mid-term Exam
March 7-9      Slave religiosity                        Sparks, 90-106
               Slave health and diet                    Sparks, 107-126
March 11-19    Spring Recess
March 21-23    Haitian slave insurrection               Sparks, 127-147 
               The kingdom of Haiti                     Klein, 1-20
March 28-30    Slave rebellions in the British W.I.     Klein, 21-44
               The international abolitionist movement  Klein, 45-66
April 4-6      Free people of color in the U.S.         Klein, 67-88
               The Gullah and their heritage            Klein, 89-112
April 11-13    British transition to free wage labor    Klein, 113-138
               The Conspiracy of La Escalera            Klein, 139-162
April 18-20    The irrepressible conflict in the U.S.   Klein, 163-188
               Abolition in Cuba and Puerto Rico        Klein, 189-216

April 25-27    The demise of Brazilian slavery          Klein, 217-242
               The legacy of slavery                    Klein, 243-272
May                      Final Exam (Day & time to be announced)

The preceeding schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.