From the 1740s to the 1830s, the institution of slavery continued to support economic development. As the slave population reproduced, American planters became less dependent on the African slave trade. Ensuing generations of slaves developed a unique culture that blended elements of African and American life. Episode two follows the paths of several African Americans, including Thomas Jefferson’s slave Jupiter, Colonel Tye, Elizabeth Freeman, David Walker, and Maria Stewart, as they respond to the increasingly restrictive system of slavery.
Slavery and the Making of America is a four-part series documenting the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end in the Southern states and the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction.Drawing on a wealth of recent scholarship, it looks at slavery as an integral part of a developing nation, challenging the long held notion that slavery was exclusively a Southern enterprise.At the same time, by focusing on the remarkable stories of individual slaves, it offers new perspectives on the slave experience and testifies to the active role that Africans and African Americans took in surviving their bondage and shaping their own lives.