Was American slavery efficient? Was it profitable? Was slavery capitalist or its opposite? Historians have debated these questions for nearly a century. More recently, they have been flashpoints in political battles over how U.S. history is taught. In this course we will trace the emergence of slavery and its relationship to the rise of capitalism in United States and broader Atlantic world economy. We will examine the instruments of credit, debt, and investment that financed human bondage and created slavery's linkages to capitalism, with special attention to why scholars in this field have disagreed so often. This course is a capstone to the History major, but is open to all students.