Peter Kolchin was born on June 3, 1943 in Washington, Dc; he was the son of Ellis Robert a Mathematician and Kate Kolchin. Peter Kolchin’s education took place in Columbia University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in 1964 and had gone to Johns Hopkins University where he earned his Doctoral Degree (PhD) in 1970. The memberships he had had were American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, and last but not least Southern Historical Association. Peter’s career throughout life had taken place in University of California where he became a lecturer in history from 1968-1969 for the meanwhile then had joined University of Wisconsin to be a assistant professor of history from 1975-1976. Peter Kolchin accomplished many achievements that come from the National Endowment for the humanities of fellowship in Afro-American history, 1971-1972, and had then been awarded for his fellowship in independent study and research in Harvard University, 1975-1976. Peter Kolchin has written 4 novels and all books primary focus is on the culture after slavery.
In American Slavery 1619-1877, Peter Kolchin expresses on dealing with the historical controversies over slavery and how it was a devastating time for them. In this bibliographic book he aims the reader to have a better understanding on the slaves, the slave owners, and the system that bounded them together. Peter’s purpose also focuses on its impact on both white and black Americans that touches over on the slave relationship broadly conceived like their day-to-day behavior, family lives, religious practices, and social values. Furthermore, Kolchin narrates tales of deprivation, it dives deeply into the sabotaging events that took place mostly in the Southern despite it existed in all American colonies, from 1619-1877 and how even though this is all from the past, hatred for blacks still remains strongly on this earth.
Peter Kolchin’s book, American Slavery 1619-1877, comes with 7 chapters. In chapter one, “Origins and Consolidation”, speaks on the colonial demand for labor and how it was surging with immigration, he tells the reader that Indentured servants in the Americas was dissimilar to Europe and explains how in the Americas, it was an institution allowing Europeans to have free transatlantic crossings in exchange for being a temporary slave. Meanwhile, in Europe it was being handled differently as in it being used for education and protection.
In Chapter two, “The Colonial Era”, Kolchin provides in this chapter four examples on African acculturation, one of the examples he uses contributed to whereas Africans escaped their masters in groups in hope of returning back home, the second example he used had to deal with was the changing pattern of names to newly imported slaves and how it sometimes intervened in the naming of slave babies. He elaborates on how African names lost their original meaning, in addition how biblical names were highly increased while African names made a huge downfall. The third example was pointed towards African dancing in Congo Square taking place in New Orleans, it began with an event in where Africans kept alive their native traditions. The fourth example involved the African customs slave women maintained on the practice of nursing their babies until they reached about two years of age as opposed to a single year of nursing their children.
In chapter three, “The American Revolution”, is based on the Revolutionary War that had a major impact on American Slavery, wartime disruption that undermined normal plantation discipline, and whereas division within the master class offered slaves unprecedented opportunities that were not slow in grasping. The Revolutionary Era also saw an increasing gap between the South as a whole, where slavery survived the challenge to its legitimacy and remained firmly entrenched, and the North where slavery gradually gave away a severely restricted freedom.
In chapter four, “Antebellum Slavery: Organization, Control, Paternalism”, discusses the Antebellum years on the big slave trade business that occurred between 1828 and 1836, a disproportionate number of slaves sold west were youths and young adults but with the exception of those sent to New Orleans where the demand was for strong men capable of working in the sugar fields. Moreover, meaning that domestic slave trade differed from the transatlantic trade.
In chapter five “Antebellum Slavery: Slave life”, is talked on historians examining the lives and behavior of antebellum slaves using slave sources to explore the slaves thought, ideology, values, identification, along with the mistreatment and duties. It covers on slave families that exhibited a number of features such as a family serving as a fragile buffer to shield the slaves from the worst rigors of slavery, young children were often received little supervision; with their parents and other siblings at work, they spent most of their time playing and often with white local children and on top of that speaks on slave religion that exhibited fragile autonomy evolution over time.
In the sixth chapter, “The White South: Society, Economy, Ideology”, portrays the slave labor system of the Antebellum South and the Southern economic performance during the decades preceding the Civil War. The economic growth of the South was similar to the North compared to the Southerners that caved farms out of wilderness and shipped agricultural products to the East. The author talks about during 1840 and 1860 on how the South economy grew briskly but its growth rate slightly exceeded the North.
In the seventh chapter of this book, “The End of Slavery”, Kolchin broadly goes over The Civil War and the concept of Radical Republicans that changed throughout the war from ending slavery to extending equal voting rights to blacks. This chapter discusses the impact on reconstruction, showing that black people were just as rational as white people.