Essay Title: 

Stanley Elkins, Slavery

March 29, 2016 | Author: | Posted in american history, history

Running head : SLAVERY

A Book Report : Slavery : A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life by Stanley Elkins

John Q . Student

Wright State University

A Book Report : Slavery : A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life by Stanley Elkins

In Slavery : A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life Stanley M . Elkins presents a series of essays intended to treat the “problem ” of slavery . He presents a broad based , though certainly not comprehensive treatment of slavery . Elkins uses a variety of disciplines to explore his : historiography , sociology , psychology , history [banner_entry_middle]

law and philosophy among others , and provides a more well rounded approach than other volumes have offered . Essentially Elkins writes that black slavery in America put the slaves in relation to their owners in a similar position as that of a child in relation to his or her parents The developing their own culture and introduced a cultural dependency on their owners and white overseers that continued to exist for more than one hundred years after the end of the Civil War

Elkins is a professional historian , currently associated with Smith University . This book was originally published in 1958 with a second edition in 1968 and the third edition in 1976 . In the third edition Elkins adds two new essays to the original text . He has also co-written a prize-winning history about the Federalist period in the United States

Although Elkins treated a number of s in Slavery : A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life , space limitations necessitate concentration on only two areas . In Part I Elkins writes about historiography regarding slavery from before the Civil War until the writing of his book . In Part III Elkins engages in a discussion of his most controversial subject , a comparison of the institutions and people involved in black slavery with those persons who were imprisoned in German concentration camps in World War II and survived the experience

In discussing the historiography about American Black Slavery , Elkins provides an exposition of the nature of writing about slavery from the early abolitionist /slavery writings early in the nineteenth century until the late 1950s . Elkins does not offer a qualitative judgment about each of the periods of writing during this period , merely a descriptive account without emotional evaluation of the ethics of the institution

According to Elkins , early writings consisted of a series of polemical writings each of which were designed to “prove ” that either slavery was wrong , or that it was essential to the economy of the South and provided a better lifestyle for slaves than would be provided if they were freed and worked for an employer . Frequently these writings were debates between non-slave owner abolitionists and slave owners . As Elkins points out these writings were not really either history or scholarship , but expressions of personal belief designed to convince and vent frustrations . This issue was never resolved in this forum because “Something of the sharpness and short by the termination of slavery as a fact (Elkins , 1976

After Reconstruction , such scholarship… [banner_entry_footer]


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