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The Sense of Casualness marking the 17th Century English Slave Trade - Essay Example

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The following essay is focused on the Chronicle entitled "A Voyage to New Calabar (Africa)" by James Barbot. Admittedly, this chronicle elaborately explains the foray of the major European powers of those times engaging in the transatlantic slave trade. …
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The Sense of Casualness marking the 17th Century English Slave Trade
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"The Sense of Casualness marking the 17th Century English Slave Trade"

Download file to see previous pages The narrator comes out as a shrewd European trader, who on the one side is perturbed by the competitive tactics evinced by the traders from other European nations, and on the other side is harrowed by the long negotiations he had to manage with the African intermediaries, war-lords, and feudal headmen. The prime concern of the narrator is to secure young and strong African slaves at the right price and at the right time and one scarcely finds this account being marked by any emotional interjections or moral pangs on the part of the writer. The entire process presented in the narrative is astutely mattered of fact and business like. Thereby, the account presents a realistic picture of the systematic and extensive nature of the African slave trade, which comes out as being a well engrained economic activity in the coastal communities in Africa. The European slave traders certainly preferred to maintain amicable and cordial relations with the African feudal lords and the intermediaries appointed by them so as to assure the success and safety of their business operations.
If one studies the given account in the light of the intellectual and moral progress registered by the 17th century Europe, one stands simply amazed and nonplussed at the fact that a civilization that tended to be the cradle of the best of thought and progress, happened to be so callous about trading in human beings, preferring to keeping the African slave trade bereft of any human or ethical considerations.
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The European traders traded in African slaves without giving in to any moral or ethical pangs, being more concerned about the fortunes to be accrued from the transatlantic demand for cheap manpower. The narrator comes out as a shrewd European trader, who on the one side is perturbed by the competitive tactics evinced by the traders from other European nations, and on the other side is harrowed by the long negotiations he had to manage with the African intermediaries, war lords and feudal headmen. The prime concern of the narrator is to secure young and strong African slaves at the right price and at the right time and one scarcely finds this account being marked by any emotional interjections or moral pangs on the part of the writer. The entire process presented in the narrative is astutely matter of fact and business like. Thereby, the account presents a realistic picture of the systematic and extensive nature of the African slave trade, which comes out as being a well engrained economic activity in the coastal communities in Africa. The European slave traders certainly preferred to maintain amicable and cordial relations with the African feudal lords and the intermediaries appointed by them so as to assure the success and safety of their business operations. If one studies the given account in the light of the intellectual and moral progress registered by the 17th century Europe, one stands simply amazed and nonplussed at the fact that a civilization that tended to be the cradle of the best of thought and progress, happened to be so callous about trading in human beings, preferring to keeping the African slave trade bereft of any human or ethical considerations. In that sense one certainly finds a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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