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Holly Brewer
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC 27695-7003)
Slavery and Freedom, Aristocracy and Empire in Early Virginia and the British Atlantic

I seek to recreate the broad cultural, legal and institutional context for the emergence of slavery in Virginia and in the British empire between 1660 and 1720, when slavery became a birth status more sharply defined and regulated than any other. I argue that slavery was both justified by the same arguments that upheld the divine right of kings and challenged by democratic/republican arguments such as John Locke's. Slavery, in short, was embedded in the great contest between hereditary status and consent that shaped England's two seventeenth century revolutions as well as Americans' own revolution in 1776.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010