Trinity University

Fall 2001



Linda K. Salvucci



Richard J. Salvucci




HIST 3395/ECON 3343

MWF 9:30–10:20 a.m. Chapman Center 105



Linda K. Salvucci                                                                                 Richard J. Salvucci

Office CC 220B; 999-7628                                                                    Office CC 408; 999-8494

Office Hours M 2:20-3:20; W 12:20-1:20; F 10:20-11:20                  Office Hours: MWF 11:30-12:30

and by appt with LKS                                                                                         and by appt with RJS



Slavery and the Atlantic Economy


                This course, which satisfies the Interdisciplinary requirement of “Understanding Human Social Context” in the Common Curriculum, is an upper–division, interdisciplinary analysis of the Atlantic market joining Europe, Africa, and the Americas from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, with particular focus on slavery, the slave trade, and the development of the Atlantic economy in the broadest sense.


                The readings, lectures, simulations and database demonstrations often make explicit use of economic theory to explain historical change. Overall, the goal is to expose the students to diffuse, exciting and evocative fields of inquiry that may be dealt with at several levels of sophistication and from many angles and perspectives. The application of economic models and analysis to historical case studies is stressed, as is the development of informed, coherent arguments. The emphasis is upon critical thinking and, above all, the ability to synthesize diverse findings and interpretations.


                Please note that there are both Economics (1311) and History (1354 or 1380) prerequisites for this course.


Required Materials


The books and special issue of the WMQ are available for purchase at the Trinity University Bookstore and are also on reserve at Coates Library. Where specified, there are online versions of the journals, and the Behrendt guide is available only online. The Africa Studies Quarterly is an electronic journal and must be accessed at the URL indicated.


Stephen D. Behrendt, The Trans–Atlantic Slave Trade. A Database on CD–ROM. Teacher’s Manua.  [This is a free download from]


Please download a copy of it immediately and print it. This will be your principal introduction to the database. If you are unsure of how to download a document in .pdf format, see Richard Salvucci. There is an excellent bibliography here for your use as well.





Africa Studies Quarterly, 2: 4 (1998), available for reading at


David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge, 2000)


Robert Fogel, Without Consent or Contract. The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (Norton, 1989)


Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade (Cambridge, 1999)


Patrick Manning and William S. Griffiths, “Divining the Unprovable: Simulating the Demography of

African Slavery,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 19:2 (1988), 177-201 (on reserve)


Kenneth Morgan, Slavery, Atlantic Trade and the British Economy, 1660–1800 (Cambridge, 2000)


David Northrup, ed., The Atlantic Slave Trade (DC Heath, 1994)


The William and Mary Quarterly (WMQ), 3rd ser., 58:1 (2001). The issue is also available on line




Principal Electronic Resources


The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. A Database on CD-ROM. David Eltis, Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and Herbert S. Klein have compiled a remarkable database of 27,233 voyages occurring between 1527 and 1866 that seeks to “present the major trends over time in the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.”  We will use the database extensively in class as a way of illustrating much of our discussion of the trade and the students will be expected to use the copy available at the Coates Library as a basis for their presentations.  For an excellent overview of this resource, see: Lorena S. Walsh, "Review of David Eltis, Stephen D. Behrendt, David Richardson, and Herbert S. Klein The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM" Economic History Services, Oct 18, 2000, URL:


The publisher’s website for the Database is


The Atlantic Slave Trade: Demographic Simulation ( developed by Patrick Manning at Northeastern University permits modeling of the impact of the slave trade on the simulated population of Africa. A number of simulations are available corresponding to assumptions about rates of emigration, mortality on capture and in transit, and sex composition of captives. Within broad limits, the parameters of the simulations and the demographic characteristics of the underlying populations can be varied. Using The Atlantic Slave Trade: Demographic Simulation, we will make controlled conjectures about the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on the population of Africa, and by extension, on the African economy. The online simulation seems to go down with some frequency. “The site wasn’t working “ is not a valid excuse.  Be persistent and try the following URL if the basic link doesn’t work,


A core reference for this class is Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism, which contains a lot more than the title indicates—diaspora maps, links to a variety of documents, primary sources, conference proceedings, and more links. Check it out at Another very useful site, updated from time to time is This is a link to “Africa South of the Sahara” which is maintained by the Stanford University Library. Notice that there are additional slave trade data files that you can link to and download, as well as links to a wide variety of interesting resources on the internet. Caution: There is an amazing amount of garbage on the internet, virtually none of which meets the criteria for serious scholarship. If a particular resource captures your fancy and you want to draw on it for classroom use, run it by the instructors first.


A helpful site for anyone with basic reference questions is, the internet equivalent of the Swiss Army Knife.



Important Journals and Other Sources


Journal of African History. (DT1.J6 for current issues from 1980 forward; MF414 for 1960-79, microfilm)

                The major journal for diffusion of research on African history. The March 2001 issue is dedicated to “Decentralized Societies and the Slave Trade.”


Slavery and Abolition

                A very important journal that the library (unfortunately) does not currently receive. You may want to check if we have access to it through one of the electronic services in the library. View the contents of some recent issues and abstracts of articles at


Early American Imprints, 1639-1800 (MFF 184)

                A wonderful collection of early American publications that contains a spectacular variety of materials on slavery and the slave trade. The format is microfiche, which is no fun to use. But to get some idea of what you can find here, do a Quest search “Subject=Slave Trade Africa” and examine the results. Or look under Anthony Benezet, a Quaker abolitionist (1713-1784) and see what comes up. Awesome.


Irish University Press. British Parliamentary Papers.Colonies: West Indies (J301 K6 C68 vols 1-3)

                These are parliamentary reports on the British West Indies for the early nineteenth century and, essentially, deal with the economic problems of sugar and slavery. The Parliamentary Papers are an exceptional source, and the IUP series made them available to a number of libraries that lacked access to a core set. The Slave Trade set was purchased by UTSA (J301 K6I772) and runs to 95 volumes. According to their catalog, the set can be used only at UTSA, but we might be able to work out something if someone here wanted access to a specific volume or volumes.


House of Commons Sessional Papers  (J301 K625 1975)

                Eighteenth–century reports (from the 1790s) on slavery and the slave trade may be found in volumes 67–73. Volume 18 deals with America and Africa.


Trinity’s Library has invested in a wonderful collection. Please use it.  The internet is NO substitute for getting your hands dirty in the Library.  We are always DELIGHTED to help people learn to use the collections to their advantage.  The Coates Library is not just for getting coffee.




Schedule of Readings, Meetings, Discussions, and Presentations


Since such  large components of the course grade are oral participation, informed discussion and structured presentation, it is imperative that students come to the class well prepared to analyze the assigned readings, to assist in the simulation exercises, and to make sense of the data in the CD-ROM. 



F Aug. 31                               Introduction: Slavery and Economic History



Week 1: read African Studies Quarterly, “A Roundtable on Reparations,” pieces

by Leedy, Mazrui and Thompson. And, then, for the other side, read the handout,

In Bondage to Historical False Memory,” by Eric Rauchway, Financial Times,

Aug. 21, 2001.


M Sept. 3                            Labor Day - No Class Meeting


W Sept  5                               Slavery and Reparations: Polemic or Simple Justice  (Discussion)


F  Sept.  7                           Slavery and Reparations: Polemic or Simple Justice  (Discussion)


                                Week 2: read Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 1-16, 47-73; Eltis, Rise of African

                                Slavery, pp. 1-28, 57-84, 137-163; and Northrup. Atlantic Slave Trade, pp.  1-35


M Sept. 9                               The “Prehistory” of Slavery


W Sept 12                              Africa at the Opening of the Slave Trade


F Sept 14                                Why Africa? Why not Europe?



                                Week 3: read Northrup, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 133-160; Klein, Atlantic

                                 Slave Trade, pp. 103-129; and Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, pp. 164-192  


M Sept 17                              The “Development of Underdevelopment”


W Sept 19                              Did Europe “Underdevelop” Africa? I: Economic                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

F Sept 21                                Did Europe  “Underdevelop” Africa? II: Political         



                                Week 4: Please go to and practice running the

base simulations (“Simulations Using Packaged Sets of Data Files”). Experiment with

a couple and view the results once the run has completed. To make sense of all this,

please read Patrick Manning and William S. Griffiths. "Divining the Unprovable:

Simulating the Demography of African Slavery," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 19

(1988), 177-201, which is an overview of the simulation (on reserve)


M Sept 24                              Classroom Simulation Exercise


W Sept 26                              Classroom Simulation Exercise


F  Sept 28                               Results of Simulation: What difference did the slave trade make to Africa?



Week 5: read Northrup, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 67-95 (and especially pp. 71-92);

Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 130-160; Herbert S. Klein, et al., “Transoceanic

Mortality: The Slave Trade in Comparative Perspective,” WMQ, 58: 1 (2001), 93-118; Ralph Austen:

 “The Slave Trade as History and Memory: Confrontations of Slaving Voyage Documents

and Communal Traditions,” WMQ, 58: 1 (2001), 229-244




M Oct 1                                  The Middle Passage: The Literary Perspective


W Oct 3                                 The Middle Passage: Quantitative Perspectives


F  Oct 5                                  The Middle Passage: The Historian’s (Moralist) Perspective     








                                Week 6: read Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 74-102; Eltis, Rise of African

                                Slavery, pp. 114-136; David Eltis, “The Volume and Structure of the Transatlantic

Slave Trade: A Reassessment,” WMQ, 58:1 (2001), 17-46

(; David

Geggus, “The French Slave Trade: An Overview,” WMQ, 58:1 (2001), 119-138; and Northrup,

Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 39-59. There is also a review of the database by Stephanie

Smallwood in this issue of the WMQ—less enthusiastic than ours might be!


Bring your copy of Behrendt’s Teacher’s Manual to each class during this week!



M Oct 8                                  Using The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database (demo)


W Oct 10                               Using The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade  database (demo)


F Oct 12                                 Using The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database (demo)



Week 7: read Morgan, Slavery, Atlantic Trade and the British Economy (all)

and Stephen D. Behrendt, “Markets, Transaction Cycles and Profits: Merchant

Decision-Making in the British Slave Trade,” WMQ, 58:1 (2001), 171-204; and

Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, pp. 258-280.



M Oct 15                                The Williams Thesis: Exposition


W Oct 17                               The Williams Thesis: Evidence and Criticism


F Oct 19                                 The Williams Thesis: Down but not Out?



Week 8: No new reading.  Make sense of what you have already done.


M Oct 22                                Take-Home Midterm Workshop


W Oct 24                               Take-Home Midterm Due


F Oct 26                                 TU Fall Semester Break: No class meeting.



Week 9: read, Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, pp. 85-113; Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade,

pp. 161-182; Fogel, Without Consent or Contract, pp. 154-198; and Lorena Walsh,

“The Chesapeake Slave Trade: Regional Patterns, African Origins, and Some

Implications,”WMQ, 58:1 (2001), 139-170



M Oct 29                                Slavery and Gender


W Oct 31                               Slavery and African Ethnicity


F Nov 2                                  African Ethnicity and Slave Culture in the U.S.




Week 10: read Eltis, Rise of African Slavery, pp. 193-223; Fogel, Without Consent

or Contract, pp. 17-113


M Nov 5                                Plantation Societies and Slavery


W Nov 7                                Plantation Societies: The Example of the United States I


F  Nov 9                                 Plantation Societies: The Example of the United States II



                                Week 11: read Fogel, Without Consent or Contract, pp. 201-387;

Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 183-206


M Nov 12                              Abolition(ism) in Great Britain


W Nov 14                              Abolition(ism) in the United States


F   Nov 16                              Abolition(ism) Elsewhere: The Cuban Case



                                Week 12: no assigned reading


M Nov 19                              The Eltis Thesis: Mercantilism, Capitalism, and the End of Slavery           


W Nov 21                              Turkeys and Slavery


F  Nov 23                               Thanksgiving Holidays: No Class Meeting  



                                Week 13: work on presentation and final paper


M Nov 26                              Class Presentations


W Nov 28                              Class Presentations


F  Nov 30                               Class Presentations



                                Week 14: work on presentation and final paper


M Dec 3                                 Class Presentations


W Dec 5                                 Class Presentations


F Dec 7                                   Final Paper/Project Due at Class Time



                                Week 15:  reflection


M Dec 10                               Teaching The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM


W Dec 12                               Official Reading Day: No class meeting





Course Policies and Requirements


These rules are formally recorded below for those who need to refer to them. The instructors prefer to operate in good faith, assuming that students in History 3395/Econ 3343 are mature, conscientious, motivated, considerate, and genuinely interested in the subject of slavery. If questions or problems arise, please communicate them as soon as possible.


Attendance: Required, since classroom activities (simulations, database presentations) go well beyond duplicating or regurgitating the readings. Excessive absences and late arrivals (more than four) can lower the final earned grade. Roll will be taken at the instructors’ discretion. There simply is no substitute for coming to class. Yet mere attendance is insufficient; the hefty participation grade requires informed, consistent performance, measured in qualitative more than quantitative terms. Aside from substantive material covered in lectures and discussions, detailed advice on assignments will be given as deadlines approach. This is particularly relevant in the case of the database, whose operation is not difficult, but whose implementation and interpretation can be complex. The instructors are not responsible if students miss any information regarding changes in scheduling, location, assignments or course content as discussed in class. Likewise, students should always deliver completed assignments in person directly to the instructors at the designated time in class; they should not be entrusted to third parties, nor left in mailboxes not stuck under doors after hours. You must also verify that any materials submitted via e-mail have in fact been received, and are complete, coherent, and intelligible.


Cases of Cheating and Plagiarism: Handled strictly according to University guidelines on “Academic Integrity” as printed in the Student Handbook. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with these policies and, in particular, to acquire an informed definition of plagiarism. In other words, ignorance is not a sufficient defense; questions can always be brought up in class or during office hours.  There is also an excellent resource on plagiarism at the Indiana University website that is recommended by Trinity’s Academic Integrity Committee.


Special Grading Requirement: Save all of your graded assignments; they may also be collected again at the end of the semester to assist in determining final grades. Please be diligent about backing up computer work. It is probably advisable to save hard copy of the database queries you formulate as documentation for this classroom presentation.


Other Ground Rules: Kindly take the time now to check all course deadlines and requirements against others in your semester so that conflicts may be resolved at the outset. The last day to withdraw from this course with a grade of “W” is October 30. Students are expected to complete all requirements on time. Late papers may be accepted only under the most extraordinary circumstances and with advance approval only. In the extremely unlikely event that a late submission is approved in advance of the deadline, such assignments may lead to a failing grade for the entire course. Extra credit work cannot be submitted to compensate for any missed assignments. There are no make-ups for unannounced quizzes, which the instructors reserve the right to give if it appears that the students are not keeping up with the reading or preparing adequately for the simulation and database assignments. Hopefully, as paper writers, students will not have to lose grades for excessive errors in grammar and style; while an occasional typo or misspelling will not be penalized, more than two per page subject the offenders to a reduction in grade. In preparing assignments, please do not forget to label by name, to number the pages and staple them together, and to proofread the finished product.


Grade Weights:   1) Midterm paper due 10/24                                25    %

                                2) Class Participation through 10/22               12.5 %

                                3) Database Presentation                                    25    %

                                4) Class Participation through 12/10 12.5 %

                                5) Final Paper due 12/ 7                                       25    %


The instructors will assign grades jointly.  However, final authority for students registered for this class

as HIST 3395 lies with Linda K. Salvucci; for those registered for ECON 3343, with Richard J. Salvucci