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Arming slaves as soldiers is a counterintuitive idea. Yet throughout history, in many varied societies, slaveholders have entrusted slaves with the use of deadly force. This book is the first to survey the practice broadly across space and time, encompassing the cultures of classical Greece, the early Islamic kingdoms of the Near East, West and East Africa, the British and French Caribbean, the United States, and Latin America. To facilitate cross-cultural comparisons, each chapter addresses four crucial issues: the social and cultural facts regarding the arming of slaves, the experience of slave soldiers, the ideological origins and consequences of equipping enslaved peoples for battle, and the impact of the practice on the status of slaves and slavery itself. What emerges from the book is a new historical understanding: the arming of slaves is neither uncommon nor paradoxical but is instead both predictable and explicable.
Proof that the renaissance in colonial Chesapeake studies is flourishing, this collection is the first to integrate the immigrant experience of the seventeenth century with the native-born society that characterized the Chesapeake by the eighteenth century.Younger historians and senior scholars here focus on the everyday lives of ordinary people: why they came to the Chesapeake; how they adapted to their new world; who prospered and why; how property was accumulated and by whom. At the same time, the essays encompass broader issues of early American history, including the transatlantic dimension of colonization, the establishment of communities, both religious and secular, the significance of regionalism, the causes and effects of social and economic diversification, and the participation of Indians and blacks in the formation of societies. Colonial Chesapeake Society consolidates current advances in social history and provokes new questions.
Shedding new light on British expansion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this collection of essays examines how the first British Empire was received and shaped by its subject peoples in Scotland, Ireland, North America, and the Caribbean.An introduction surveys British imperial historiography and provides a context for the volume as a whole. The essays focus on specific ethnic groups -- Native Americans, African-Americans, Scotch-Irish, and Dutch and Germans -- and their relations with the British, as well as on the effects of British expansion in particular regions -- Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the West Indies. A conclusion assesses the impact of the North American colonies on British society and politics.Taken together, these essays represent a new kind of imperial history -- one that portrays imperial expansion as a dynamic process in which the oulying areas, not only the English center, played an important role in the development and character of the Empire. The collection interpets imperial history broadly, examining it from the perspective of common folk as well as elites and discussing the clash of cultures in addition to political disputes. Finally, by examining shifting and multiple frontiers and by drawing parallels between outlying provinces, these essays move us closer to a truly integrated story that links the diverse ethnic experiences of the first British Empire. The contributors are Bernard Bailyn, Philip D. Morgan, Nicholas Canny, Eric Richards, James H. Merrell, A. G. Roeber, Maldwyn A. Jones, Michael Craton, J. M. Bumsted, and Jacob M. Price.