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Reader Response Paper on the - Book Report/Review Example

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The subject of Atlantic slave trade is one of the well-researched in the early modern period historiography, yet the new contributions continue to shed light on this page in world history. The study by Herbert S. Klein which is to be analyzed here represents an ambitious attempt…
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Download file to see previous pages... He observes that all major slave regimes, such as the Roman one, were ultimately founded on the utilization of slaves as the cheapest and most mobile labor force in agricultural occupations, rather than in household and specialized ones, and that the system of plantations, such as existed under Arab Caliphate in the eastern Mediterranean or in the Crusader states in Palestine and Cyprus, had to a significant degree presaged the development of the Caribbean system of plantation slavery (5-6). In Africa itself, the ‘pure’ slave systems were few and far between, the significant exceptions being the sub-Saharan empires (such as the Songay) or the mercantile city-states of the eastern coast (8). Nonetheless, the extensive slave-trade system arose in northern and eastern regions of African continent as early as the 900s, with 3.5 to 10 million slaves having been transferred through it until the 13th century (9).
However, it was with the arrival of the Portuguese that the external slave trade gradually came to be more widespread than the internal one. The Portuguese, for the first time, extended the network of slave trade operations from the Mauritanian and Guinean coasts of West Africa to the more southern regions of modern Congo and Angola, laying the foundations for the slave hunt operations in the interior of the continent.
The importance of African slave trade was, in the author’s opinion, increased due to the necessity to exploit natural reaches of the New World in the absence of opportunities for the use of either Native or free European workforce in large numbers. Therefore it was the African slaves that became a preferred source for the replenishment of servile labor resources.
In Chapter 2, the author dwells on the particular factors that influenced the Europeans’ decision to rely on African slaves for the economic exploitation of their Western Hemisphere empires. He proposes several explanations for this development. Firstly, the Spaniards were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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