History of America Through 1877 Research Proposal

Pages: 2 (655 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies

History Of America Through 1877

Jordan, Winthrop. White Over Black. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.

In his book on the European views of 'blackness' and Africa entitled White Over Black, the historian Jordan Winthrop grapples with the question of the degree to which racism caused or was caused by the European slave trade. After all, slavery existed in both Europe and Africa before the interaction between the two cultures created the particularly noxious form of slavery that was to define so much of the 18th and 19th century relationships of black and white, even while the ideology of the brotherhood of man was advocated in other aspects of the Enlightenment popular discourse. Jordan suggests that the interrelationship between the two was symbiotic -- racism justified the forms that slavery took, and European prejudices of Africans as inferior fed the flames of the slave trade.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Proposal on History of America Through 1877 Assignment

Jordan begins his book with a focus on the first slave 'entrepreneurs,' the Portuguese, although most of his book focuses on English, who arrived in the 16th century. The Portuguese, echoing the gaze of Columbus upon the native inhabitants of the Americas, tended to see the Africans as natural slaves, but Jordan believes that the evidence suggests that the first English settlers tended to see the Africans as more 'natural men' but not necessarily inherently inferior and in need of conversion. Finding other commodities to sell was the early Englishmen's first priority. Not until a century later, was the first English settlement and the Royal African Company established with the intent of enslaving the African people. Up until then, the primary source accounts Winthrop uses to reexamine racial attitudes differ widely in their emphasis -- some English authors stress Africans' exotic differences, such as their alleged cannibalism and savageness, others the surprising capability of their administration. Some Englishmen called the Africans 'Black Moors,' to distinguish them from black, Muslim Moors living in Europe. Even positive portrayals of Moors in English… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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