Adam Rothman, Milton Academy Class of 1989, associate professor of American history at Georgetown University, and author of the recently published Slave Country will come to Milton on November 30. Professor Rothman is the 2005–2006 Henry Heyburn Speaker.
Reviewed in the most recent Milton Magazine by Academic Dean David Ball ’88, Slave Country looks at how the institution of slavery flourished in the early national United States. “The slave population more than tripled in the 50 years after independence,” Mr. Ball summarizes. Slave Country focuses on the Deep South, “where the growth and evolution of slavery was most pronounced,” he writes.
Professor Rothman states that by 1820, the region that included Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama had emerged as “the leading edge of a dynamic, expansive slave regime incorporated politically into the United States and firmly tied to the transatlantic system of commodity exchange.” He argues that “contingent global forces, concrete policies pursued by governments and countless small choices made by thousands of individuals” drove the expansion of slavery.
In reviewing Professor Rothman’s book, Mr. Ball notes that “even as Adam [Rothman] makes arguments about economic forces and political deal-making he returns regularly to the lived experience of the people who by choice or by coercion shaped the Deep South.”
Professor Rothman’s courses at Georgetown indicate the area of his scholarship within American history: History of the Atlantic World; History of New Orleans; and Society and Politics in Jeffersonian America, and Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World, for example. Professor Rothman earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American History from Columbia University. He did his undergraduate work at Yale, and graduated in 1993 Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with Distinction in the Major.