Primary Source Evaluation

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Title of Primary Source: ACCOUNT OF THE SLAVE TRADE ON THE COAST OF AFRICA by ALEXANDER FALCONBRIDGE The book was published in 1788 -- substantially after the events described took place. The time gap did not seriously affect the main content of the material because the events he describes were very serious and unforgettable ones. He wrote the material at the time he had already been a member of the Anti- Slavery Society leaving room for a little suspicion of his tendency to exaggerate some descriptions in his narrative. This been said, it is pertinent to note that it is unequivocally clear that the events he describes in this book are those he witnessed firsthand and they made a lasting impression on him. Consequently, this impression motivated him to not only join the Anti-Slavery Society, but to be actively involved as well. The author Alexander Falconbridge, from the accounts in the book, is a British surgeon who wrote about (against) the slave trade aspect of “British commerce” as found in the preface of his account. He sailed with slave ships from 1780 through 1787 where according to him; he witnessed most of the things he gave account of in the book. He is a very appropriate as well as important source of information because he worked on board slave ships for very close to a decade. He was present from where the slaves are bought from their captors, on the ships used in transporting them through where they get to their final destination. He had the task of taking care and treating of the slaves which afforded him the opportunity of getting close to them and always been aware of the event taking place with them. Furthermore, he was not a merchant and most probably didn’t rely on the profit made on the slaves but on the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ent have affected the relationship between the European slave traders and the natives? Social history: Would a more cordial social interaction between the various native tribes in West Africa have prevented the flourish of the Slave trade? Military History: What effect would have a more advanced military by the natives had on the way the Europeans traded with them? *History of Education: What effect would have an educated native populace had on the way the Europeans traded with them? *History of population: What effect would a large population of individual tribes with large lands (rather than the fragmental distribution that was seen) have had on the way the Europeans traded with them? *History of Language: How would have a common language spoken across most of West Africa as is in Asia have affected the way the Europeans traded with the West African Natives?

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