Saturday, October 12, 2019

Essay --

The Journey of Knowledge In David Northrup’s Africa’s discover of Europe, he gives an overview of the encounter between Africans and Europeans from 140-1850. Africans played a huge role of the globalizing of cultural and economic transactions. The first encounters between the two continents were mutual. Both parties tried to gain from each other through their transactions. The purpose of this book is to inform readers that we shouldn’t look at Africans as the victim, rather as an active contributor in the African-European relation. Early encounters of Africans in the Western world and Europeans in Africa began to change the societies in Europe and Africa. The fifteenth century â€Å"marks the beginning of an era of continuous and increasing interactions between the two continents and their cultures† (Northrup 2). Also, â€Å"commercial and cultural interactions grew both Africans and Europeans made many adjustments in their ideas of each other† (2). In other words, the depictions of Africans in Europe began to change as Africans became more common in Europe, and â€Å"Africans were also expanding their knowledge and understanding of Europe† (3). One important aspect of the encounter between European and African precolonial nations was trade. Before the European voyages of exploration in the fifteenth century, African rulers and merchants had formed a trade link between the Mediterranean world and within the continent, there were local exchanges among regional neighbors which will later conn ect themselves in long range trade. For example, the supply of slaves from Africa into the Mediterranean Europe was increasing in the thirteenth and fourteenth century; â€Å"the number of â€Å"black† was rising among the Slavic and North African slave populations ... ...slave societies that emerged on Saint Louis and Gorà ©e. The emergence of slave societies created slave-owning merchants: â€Å"Gorà ©e and Saint Louis developed from a small society of signares, French merchants, and slaves into an urban slave society dominated by a slave-owning class of habitants† (Searing 107) due to the fact that slave society was an independent society from the Atlantic merchants and the habitants became obligatory intermediaries in the trade between the islands and the mainland (107). The urban slave population contained high proportion of skilled laborers and native born slaves who were less likely to revolt or run away (104). In conclusion, the relation between Africans and Europeans were mostly mutual. Africans should not be seen as victims of slavery as both parties profited and lost from each other, and were both victims in the Atlantic economy.

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