Atlantic World Chapter 7 Analysis

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Chapter seven of the text book begins with the simple premise, that “the Atlantic world was one of commodities.” (p. 218) This simple statement belies the complexity of the effect that trade had upon the whole of the Atlantic region. It is this complexity that chapter seven attempts to convey within thirty five short pages. Given such limitations the resultant text does an admirable job of conveying many of the basic historiographic ideas relating to the vast repercussions relating to the movement of goods and people throughout the myriad locations of the Atlantic World. After a brief introduction the chapter proceeds in a similar manner to the previous sections of the book. Dividing the major elements of the topic into thematic sub-chapters, …show more content…
In Africa, the rises of trade lead to “rapid political and social change.” (p. 222) Atlantic contact dictated a demographic shift from the interior to the coastal regions. This shift along with the introduction of new technologies, new wealth and new peoples, irrevocably altered the balance of power within sub Saharan Africa. In the Americas the changes were different but no less profound, the development of multiple European settlements, many of them centered around a specialized trade dictated by the geography of the region. Unlike Africa, North American natives moved away from the coastal regions even while they integrated European goods into their traditional lifestyles. The drivers of the majority of these changes were the commodities that could be produced or extracted from the new world. It is these resources that lead to the next section of the chapter, “The Culture of …show more content…
“ The effect of the slave trade on Africa deserves a far more thorough examination than this short overview can provide. However, the text does an admirable job of not only examining the basics of African history but many of the principle historical debates involved in that study. Primarily the demographic debate over the depopulation of Africa through the slave trade, and the effects those shifts had on the political and social life of the

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