HIS 379

Prepare: Read


Benjamin, Thomas. The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History, 1400-1900. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.


  • Chapter 7: Uprooted: West Africa, the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade
  • Chapter 8: Bondage: The Atlantic Plantation Complex & the Cultures of Slavery


Fassnacht, Max, Stephanie Fink, Robert Jackson, and Michelle Warn. “The Anatomy of a Discussion Board (Links to an external site.).” Accessed February 15, 2016. https://sites.google.com/site/anatomyofadiscussionboard/home.


Fassnacht, Max, Stephanie Fink, Robert Jackson, and Michelle Warn. “Critical Thinking: A Guide to Skillful Reasoning (Links to an external site.).” Accessed August 15, 2016. http://www.criticalthinkingandreasoning.org/evaluating-critical-thinking.


Reflect: The Atlantic World was intimately and intricately shaped by the use of slave labor and the associated slave trade that linked together Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Although slavery or other forms of coerced labor were not new to many areas of the Atlantic World, it changed in dramatic ways with the introduction and intensification of the transatlantic slave trade, which was central to commodities production, particularly sugar, in the Americas. Not only did the slave trade affect commercial activity, but also it resulted in social and cultural change affecting both the enslaved and slave-holding societies. Consult “Critical Thinking: A Guide to Skillful Reasoning (Links to an external site.)” as you formulate your response. 


Write: How can the slave trade and slavery be considered central to Atlantic World systems that connected Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries? As part of your initial post of at least 250-300 words, include a focus on a minimum of one of the following sub-topics by providing specific examples drawn from required and recommended readings:


  • How did the slave trade represent a continuation of extant systems of enslavement, yet at the same time, a transformation of these practices due to the specific demands of the Atlantic economy?
  • How did the experience of enslavement compare or contrast in at least two different areas of the Atlantic World?
  • To what extent were distinct African cultural identities preserved or changed by the experience of slavery in the Americas?
  • How did the slave trade affect different African societies?
  • What were some of the causes and consequences of the sugar revolution?
  • How did slaves exercise agency and self-determination, despite being subjected to bondage?

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