History of the Atlantic World

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#11
The exploration of the North Atlantic beginning over 1000 years ago is part of Atlantic history Even if it was not as large scale as laver global expansion.
 
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#12
Absolutely! I regret that I did not do an episode at least to better highlight the how Northern European seafaring traditions played a huge role in the creation of the Atlantic World!

Alas, my knowledge of medieval history is so scanty that I feared getting bogged down doing the research - for example it was very difficult for me to finish Chivalry! episode 1.1 (and looking back I could have probably done a better job in a number of ways).
 
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#13
Thank you so much for the help you guys, my newest episode actually was too big so I turned it into 2 episodes. This is the first - the other will be out I think before the weekend.

Boy, I thought Chivalry! was tough to do - and it was - but yikes, medieval Africa required a lot of reading. Nevertheless, I think it is impossible to tell the story of the Atlantic World without giving the African background.

So, in this episode I spend a lot of time trying to answer a single question - Why did African rulers and other elites sell African slaves to Europeans?

The answer might surprise you, or maybe it won't. But in a nutshell, I can boil it down to this - if you understand the historical relationships between horses, land, slaves, and the tsetse fly then everything about early modern African political economics makes a lot more sense.

Here is a link for my soundcloud page, but of course you may also listen on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and really most podcasting platforms. I hope you enjoy, and if I am unable to add corrections in to next episode (since I plan to publish 1.5 Wednesday or Thursday) I will have corrections on both for episode 1.6.


https://soundcloud.com/atlanticworld/pirate-mutiny


Thanks again, and if you do enjoy the podcast please make sure to give me a 5 star review on iTunes or whatever - because the way the algorithms work more people interested in history will see the podcast if I am able to get more reviews.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2010
7,146
Cornwall
#14
So, in this episode I spend a lot of time trying to answer a single question - Why did African rulers and other elites sell African slaves to Europeans?
Why not? There were slave markets everywhere

Funnily I was just reading up on the Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhay. Slaves were a part of their societies just as they were in North Africa and Europe. They could be traded for salt in the gold-salt-slave trade routes. Also read that a good cavalry horse would cost the army/emperor (Mali I think) 15 slaves.

So whilst it's easy to think of selling slaves as something exceptional, just part of life at the time.
 
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#15
Why not? There were slave markets everywhere

Funnily I was just reading up on the Empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhay. Slaves were a part of their societies just as they were in North Africa and Europe. They could be traded for salt in the gold-salt-slave trade routes. Also read that a good cavalry horse would cost the army/emperor (Mali I think) 15 slaves.

So whilst it's easy to think of selling slaves as something exceptional, just part of life at the time.
Because to answer the question of Why with the question of why not is to not answer it at all but merely inverts the question.

Yes and no - slavery and slave markets were not exceptional but the number of slaves sold and exported from within Africa to me demanded an explanation - hence my episode :)

As for what my answer is - I suppose I should say listen to the episode, which if you are interested I spend a good portion talking about Mali - but chattel slavery also developed in parts of Africa very far removed from the Sudan and for slightly different reasons. In riverine West Africa, the really, really short answer is that if you understand the relationship between horses, land, slaves, and the tsetse fly than you understand how the institution of chattel slavery evolved from within African economics and politics.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,469
Benin City, Nigeria
#16
Thank you so much for the help you guys, my newest episode actually was too big so I turned it into 2 episodes. This is the first - the other will be out I think before the weekend.

Boy, I thought Chivalry! was tough to do - and it was - but yikes, medieval Africa required a lot of reading. Nevertheless, I think it is impossible to tell the story of the Atlantic World without giving the African background.

So, in this episode I spend a lot of time trying to answer a single question - Why did African rulers and other elites sell African slaves to Europeans?

The answer might surprise you, or maybe it won't. But in a nutshell, I can boil it down to this - if you understand the historical relationships between horses, land, slaves, and the tsetse fly then everything about early modern African political economics makes a lot more sense.

Here is a link for my soundcloud page, but of course you may also listen on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and really most podcasting platforms. I hope you enjoy, and if I am unable to add corrections in to next episode (since I plan to publish 1.5 Wednesday or Thursday) I will have corrections on both for episode 1.6.


https://soundcloud.com/atlanticworld/pirate-mutiny


Thanks again, and if you do enjoy the podcast please make sure to give me a 5 star review on iTunes or whatever - because the way the algorithms work more people interested in history will see the podcast if I am able to get more reviews.
I think these sort of subjects are better discussed in writing, or at least that is my preference. I do not listen to podcasts and definitely cannot listen to an entire 2 hours of any podcast.

Could you summarize the main points of the argument you made in this episode of your podcast? I was listening to some of the early parts and a lot of what I was hearing were just descriptive quotes from Cadamosto, which I had to skip past. I was basically trying to get to the main points or actual arguments but it was difficult to do so.

I skipped around a bit and saw that you cited the work of the historians David Northrup and John Thornton, whose works I have already read (so this podcast might be more geared toward people who have not read any of their work). I can't dedicate nearly two and a half hours to listening to something without knowing if it isn't stuff that I already know or without knowing if it is probably worth the time beforehand. So do you just replicate their (Northrup's and Thornton's) arguments? Or is there anything else in your argument?
 
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#17
I skipped around a bit and saw that you cited the work of the historians David Northrup and John Thornton, whose works I have already read (so this podcast might be more geared toward people who have not read any of their work). I can't dedicate nearly two and a half hours to listening to something without knowing if it isn't stuff that I already know or without knowing if it is probably worth the time beforehand. So do you just replicate their (Northrup's and Thornton's) arguments? Or is there anything else in your argument?
Podcasts definitely aren't for everybody, but thank you for giving mine a chance! I think part of the problem is my fault because originally - I split an episode into 2 and admittedly that was a bit of a learning experience for me - I may not have cut up the one episode and put it back together into two separate episodes in the best way possible.


My main goal in my introductory series was to examine the creation of the Atlantic World. The episode you listened to is definitely geared more towards those who aren't really familiar with the work of Thornton - or even with the idea of the trans-Saharan Slave Trade in general, so I also spend a lot of time talking about Ralph Austin's book as this is not a topic many people are familiar with in the United States. Because this is not well known there are a lot of misperceptions about Africans here - many people I think assume that Europeans enslaved Africans because they had guns and just simply conquered them. Or, alternatively - because Africans were not advanced enough in some other way - perhaps being too savage. The goal of this episode was to show that this is not true. Africans were not conquered, nor were they more savage or perhaps "noble savage" - and in doing so hopefully I am able to show people who haven't read any books on the history of Africa will know some of it.

In conclusion I am more forceful than Thornton in ascribing the relationship between human beings, animals which require pasturage, and the tsetse fly as being responsible for the differences in how power and wealth were accumulated in the old world. But basically, yes I agree with Thorton!

On the other hand, it isn't easy to hear that I did not properly present my argument at the beginning of the episode - but thank you very much for the criticism it is definitely something I need to be mindful of!


The next episode is entitled The Chroniclers - if you are more interested in a narrative style - I return to Zurara and really get into some episodes of human drama and then go through the Voyages of Cadamosto. Much will have changed between the relationship of Africans and Europeans in the 8 years or so between the end of Zurara's tale and the beginning of Cadamosto's.

In next episode I will also take the opportunity to talk about historiography. I think it is a great time to do so because Zurara and Cadamosto are such radically different writers (with very different goals).
 
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#19
Decades before the voyage of Columbus, the armies of Portugal and Spain face off against each other on the Canary Islands in the very first European colonial war. At risk was control of nothing less than all the wealth and power of a newly developed overseas empire based on sugar and slaves.

For the Guanche, the native islanders of the Canaries - far more was at stake.


https://soundcloud.com/atlanticworld/16-the-canary-wars
 
Last edited:
Dec 2012
1,129
Savannah, GA
#20
Hello everyone, I hope you are well!

This is the conclusion to my opening series Rise of the Conquistadores!

https://soundcloud.com/atlanticworld%2F17-the-world-of-columbus

The series ends up with Vasco da Gama in India - and given my lack of background expertise in Asian history generally (let alone Indian history specifically) I'm sure there are some errors - but with that said it was an awful lot of fun to work on and I especially enjoyed learning about how the Portuguese were certain that the Hindu people of India were Christians since they had a habit of saying things like "Krishna" which sounded an awful lot like Christ to 15th century European ears.


If anyone would like to discuss the episode please feel free!

I compare Portugal and Spain's race to opening trade with west Africa and the attempt to reach Ethiopia, India, and Prestor John to the 20th century Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union - I think it's actually a pretty good metaphor though obviously there are some limitations.
 

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