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The Barbary Wars: Piracy, Religious Liberty, and Slavery

Professor Mark Hanna

After 9/11 many pundits claimed that the first war fought by the United States was against Islam. They were referring to the Barbary Wars of the early nineteenth century, brought by the early republic against the city-states of North Africa that had supported acts of piracy against American shipping and the enslavement of American sailors. This lecture will tell the story of those wars while exploring their ramifications on both nations of religious liberty as understood by the founding fathers and the institution of American chattel slavery.

Instructor: Mark Hanna is Associate Professor of History at UC San Diego. His work focuses on piracy, smuggling, and other illicit activities in early America and the British Empire. He is the founding Associate Director of the new Institute of Arts and Humanities and the Honorary Curator of the Hill Collections of Pacific Voyages in UCSD’s Special Collections Library. His book, Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740, received the Frederick Jackson Turner award for best first book in American history and the John Ben Snow Prize for best book on British Studies before 1800.

Coordinator: Candace Gietzen

Course Number: OSHR-70070   Credit: 0 units

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