Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, by John Thornton

By John Thornton

This ebook indicates how very important the African function was once in shaping the Atlantic global that constructed after the navigational breakthroughs of the 15th century. The measure of African initiative displayed during this interval is under pressure, either by way of African elites in facing the hot viewers and buying and selling companions and, even by way of African slaves within the New international. flippantly divided into sections on Africa and Africans within the New global, this research stresses cultural and institutional backgrounds to Africa and African slaves. even supposing the booklet is meant to assist Africanists know how Africans fared within the Americas, its major goal is to provide readers conversant in Afro-American background a fuller and extra dynamic imaginative and prescient of Africa, to allow them to see the African slave as an African and never simply as a laborer.

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Wh~n ~fric~ns were brought to the Americas as slaves, they found th1s Situation often worked to their advantage, and for them, the unsettled nature of the Americas provided the opportunity to escape~ to play off the ~ontending parties, or to use the potential for defection or escape to 1mprove their situation. By the middle of the sixteenth century, then, the Atlantic world had begun to take shape. ca and for Cari~ military prowess in general, see Joseph Barom~, Spam and Domm1ca, 1493-1647, Caribbean Quarterly 12 (1966): J0-47· 11 9 Antonio Herrera y Tordesillas, Historia general de los heclzos de los Castellanos ...

54 Charles Verlinden, L'esclavage dans /'Europe mtdiroal: I. Peninsule iberique-france (Bruges, 1955), pp. 628. On Malocello and the Aragonese, see Charles Verlinden, "Lanzarotto Malocello et Ia decouverte portugaise des Canaries," Revue beige de philologie et d'histoire (1958): 1173-90; on the French at~~mpt, Clement VI, "Tue deuotionis sinceritas," 15 November 1344, Monumenta Henncma 1:207-14; and on Castillian tactics, B. Bonnet Rever6n, " Las expediciones a las Canarias en el siglo XIV," Revista de Indias 6 (1945): 215-18.

Lisbon, 1960), 1:12. 70 33 Like the African wing, the Atlantic wing of exploration began from the . Canaries, ~~tit was fu~led b~ the poten tial for collecting wild products ) and colomzmg otherwise urunhabited areas. Because its results were less impressive, it was slower. 7s Because th ey were uninhabited, islands such as Madeira and the Azores offered no commercial prospects for trading, but they could still ~ be exploited for wild products. s• Early colomzahon of the Azores was similar. BJ On the other hand, the Azores were never particularly rich and served more as a base for operations in the Atlantic than as a major center of production.

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