INDEPENDENT RESEARCH PROJECT FOR HONORS WORLD HISTORY
ASPECTS OF SLAVERY IN WORLD HISTORY
- Worth: 200 points
- Length: Long enough to be good – and not one word longer!
- Sources: Minimum of 5 valid permitted secondary sources and evidence of their use in your paper. Primary sources a welcome addition.
- Annotated Bibliography: According to Turabian or Chicago Style. Use the Cheat Sheet.
- Footnotes or Endnotes? YES! Footnotes preferred; endnotes okay. Use the Cheat Sheet.
- If your paper does not enter the room stapled on the day you turn it in, it will cost you 10 points.
Your goal is to write an independent research paper on some aspect of the African Slave trade in the period 1450-1850.
Here are some topics and some sample questions to get you started thinking. YOU DO NOT have to answer all the questions. Your paper should ask a good question and the answer to your good question will be your good thesis. Remember that you need to know a lot of information before you can ask your good question.
- Role of Food in the Slave Trade: What kinds of food did slaves eat and why? How did foods from one part of the world make a difference in other parts of the world to which they were brought? Some foods to think about include: rice, corn, yams (from Africa,) sweet potatoes (from alleged New World,) peanuts, cod.
- Role of Sugar in the World Economy: Early history of sugar production. Movement of sugar production to the Caribbean. Origins of plantation system. History of the price of sugar. Impact of sugar prices on every day lives of Europeans. Impact of sugar industry on slavery.
- Islam: How did Islam participate in the slave trade in this period? Where did the slaves go? What sorts of jobs did they do? Who were the slaves? How did they get to be slaves? How did slavery in Islamic lands compare to slavery in Christian lands? How big a factor was slavery in various Islamic economies?
- East African Slave Trade: Who were the participants? Who were the slaves? Who were the slavers? Who were the purchasers? What were the demographic effects of slavery on the East African population? How do you account for African participation in the slave trade?
- West African Slave Trade: Demographic impact of this kind of slavery on the West African population? How could slavery have become such an enormous part of society and economy? Who was participating as slavers, slaves, purchasers? Role of West African slavery in the economy of Liverpool, England? How do you account for African participation in the slave trade? How were women’s experiences in African slavery different from men’s?
- Slavery in Brazil: Describe this kind of slavery? Where were the slaves working? What was the role of slavery in the agricultural economy? Who was getting rich? What sorts of “opportunities” did they have? How did they fit in, or not fit in, to society? What if any, racism existed? How did racism develop? How were women’s experiences in Brazilian slavery different from men’s?
- Slavery in the Caribbean: Describe this kind of slavery? Where were the slaves working? What was the role of slavery in the agricultural economy? Who was getting rich? What sorts of “opportunities” did they have? How did they fit in, or not fit in, to society? What if any, racism existed? How did racism develop? How were women’s experiences Caribbean of slavery different from men’s?
- Ideology of slavery: What were Early Modern attitudes towards slaves and how did they differ, if they did, among Muslims, English, Spanish and other slave holders. How did these attitudes change, if they did? At what point do you see racism develop and why do you think it developed when it did?