Africa's Discovery of Europe: 1450 to 1850
Oxford University Press
, 2002 - History
- 200 pages
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 provides surprising 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 1450 and 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 examines Africans' intellectual, commercial, cultural, and sexual relations with Europeans and describes how the patterns of behavior that emerged from these encounters shaped precolonial Africa. The book concludes with an examination of the roles of race, class, and culture in early modern times, and suggests which themes in Africa's continuing discovery of Europe after 1850 were similar to earlier patterns, and why some themes were different.
Africa's Discovery of Europe: 1450-1850 is ideal for undergraduate courses on modern African, Atlantic, and world history and is also engaging for general readers.