Article

The Black Atlantic in the Age of Revolutions

Roderick McDonald and Michelle Craig McDonald

in Atlantic History

ISBN: 9780199730414
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0009
The Black Atlantic in the Age of Revolutions

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  • History of the Americas
  • European History
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Between 1630 and 1780 at least five Africans landed in Britain’s Atlantic empire for every two Europeans, and between 1700 and 1780 the ratio increased to 4 to 1. Such demographics gave shape to a Black Atlantic world during the age of revolutions and established the history of the nearly twelve million Africans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean between the 16th and the 19th centuries as central to the field of Atlantic history. Whereas early Black Atlantic studies tended to focus on the economic and demographic importance of the African diaspora to the Atlantic’s northern and western shores, with some attention to slave rebellion, more recent studies have considered the cultural impact of African community and family structures, language and artistic expression, labor, and resistance. Black Atlantic history finds analytic strength in its separation from national historiographies, for while transatlantic perspectives on colonialism, imperialism, and slavery still rely more on frameworks bounded by European states and nations, Black Atlantic scholarship crosses British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Danish boundaries in understanding the complex history of Africans and their descendants within a broader Atlantic context.

Article.  8810 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; European History ; African History ; History ; Regional and National History

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