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International area study - Essay Example

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Instructor Date Compare and contrast the accounts of Mary Prince and John Barbot Slave trade defined a historic event across the globe that remains significant till this century. The practice was a definition of how insignificant human life was perceived by wealthy individuals and companies…
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International area study
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International area study

Download file to see previous pages... The significance of the slave trade made historians feel the need of coming up with literature on the practice. Numerous literature pieces have been written with different scopes on slave trade. For instance, some pieces are written by slaves, by the slave traders and by the slave masters. This particular paper will analyze two literature pieces: one by Mary Prince, a slave and the other by John Barbot who was a slave trader. Additionally, the paper will also analyze the significance of historians in distributing the moral responsibility of the slave trade. The narration by Mary Prince is done by a slave. The story is a narration of the slave’s life in the hands of her masters. Mary Prince was a slave to more than one master since her birth (230). She was born of a slave mother, what made her an automatic slave (Prince 230). At a young age, Mary Prince was not subjected to hard labor like the rest of the slaves. Her role as a child was to ensure that the duties given by her masters or her mother were done. As years progressed under her master, the duties given to her became more complex like taking care of the master’s children. However, in this particular narration, her first master had a polite wife who took care of her as her own. She developed a connection with her master considering her status at the farm as a slave. Indeed, this was a rare relationship (Prince 231). It is evident the master was a cruel man, and spent time away from home which gave her wife an opportunity to be nice to the slaves (Prince 282). As she grew older, she was sold to a neighboring farm which also had a polite master (Prince 282). She acted as a guardian to a master’s child after which they became close. Apart from these two farms, Mary Prince was exposed to cruelty in other farms as she was subjected to hard labor and mistreatment (Prince 289). It is at this juncture of the narration that the real perspective of the slave trade is displayed. At one point in the narration, Mary gives a description on an elderly slave who died after being thrown in a thorny bush by her master (Prince 289). She also narrates when she had to be tied with their hands and flogged till they shed flesh from their back (Prince 289). From this narration, the reader is able to get a glimpse of the slave trade on the view of a slave. Other written stories are based on scholarly literatures. The narration by Mary gives the real picture of the situation inside slave farms. Additionally, the fact that she was traded from homestead to homestead is a clear indication of how insignificant slaves were to their masters. The narration by Mary Prince also explains the tribulations of slaves in a detailed perspective in terms of raising families and slaves and losing children to their masters. The narration by Barbot is neither based on a slave nor a master. The story is a report of a slave trader. The account also focuses on the origin and destination of slaves from the Atlantic to Europe. Barbot starts the narration of his account by highlighting trading specification in the Atlantic (Barbot 181). Apart from precious stones, the author cited slaves as the most valuable commodity in the Atlantic trade (Barbot 181). Slave trade in the Atlantic was a chain or an organization by major European dynasties. The slaves mostly originated from West Africa (Barbot 180). Upon arrival, each trader would mark their slaves with a hot iron as a mark of ownership. Purchasers of slaves in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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