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Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850



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Oxford University Press
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  • Africa's Discovery of Europe
    Africa's Discovery of Europe
  • Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850
    Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850
  • Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850
    Africa's Discovery of Europe 1450-1850


What did Africans think of the first Europeans they saw? Why did some Africans seek political and religious alliances with Europeans? How successful were African traders in acquiring what they wanted from Europeans in the new Atlantic trade? Africa's Discovery of Europe: 1450-1850 providessurprising answers to these and many other questions.This groundbreaking book on African-European interactions is the first to look broadly at the subject from an African perspective rather than from a European one. David Northrup explores the African side of this cultural collision as it unfolded in Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic world between 1450and 1850. Featuring extensive use of life stories and quotations from Africans, the text is organized thematically with chapters devoted to first impressions, religion and politics, commerce and culture, imported goods and technology, the Middle Passage, and Africans in Europe. Northrup examinesAfricans' intellectual, commercial, cultural, and sexual relations with Europeans and describes how the patterns of behavior that emerged from these encounters shaped pre-colonial Africa. The book concludes with an examination of the roles of race, class, and culture in early modern times, andsuggests which themes in Africa's continuing discovery of Europe after 1850 were similar to earlier patterns, and why some themes were different.

Author Biography

David Northrup is Professor of History at Boston College.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
First Sights-Lasting Impressionsp. 1
Elite Africans in Europe to 1650p. 3
Enslaved Africans in Europep. 6
Discovering Europeans in Africap. 11
Southeast Africa, 1589-1635p. 17
Kongo Cosmologyp. 20
Politics and Religionp. 26
The Meanings of Religious Conversionp. 29
Benin and Warrip. 32
The Kingdom of Kongop. 37
Swahili and Mutapap. 43
Ethiopiap. 45
Conclusionp. 48
Commerce and Culturep. 54
African Trading Strategiesp. 55
The Eighteenth Centuryp. 61
Language, Trade, and Culturep. 64
Sexual Encountersp. 69
Conclusionp. 75
Atlantic Imports and Technologyp. 83
Evaluating Inland Tradep. 84
Textiles and Metalsp. 87
Tobacco and Distilled Spiritsp. 92
Guns and Politicsp. 96
Economic and Social Consequencesp. 105
Africans in Europe, 1650-1850p. 115
African Delegates and Studentsp. 118
Servants High and Low in Continental Europep. 123
Anglo-Africansp. 128
Scholars and Churchmenp. 139
Conclusionp. 149
Passages in Slaveryp. 158
Capture in Africap. 161
The Middle Passagep. 164
New Identitiesp. 173
Creolizationp. 175
Africanizationp. 179
Conclusionp. 185
Epilogue: Trends after 1850p. 191
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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