aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade or Africa during the period of the slave trade (15th to the mid-19th century)
Choose a research topic that deals with some aspect of the trans-Atlantic slave trade or Africa during the period of the slave trade (15th to the mid-19th century). Your topic can be a research question you would like to answer or a subject in which you are interested. The topic should be chosen so you can use multiple secondary sources in your paper.
The paper will be between 5 and 7 pages. You will be graded on the following components: your argument, use of supporting evidence, writing style and grammar, and correct use of citations. The paper must include an easily identifiable argument and supporting evidence. You should also include a descriptive title. Make sure any opinion you offer is grounded in evidence. The honor code applies to this paper and any violation of the honor code will result in a failing grade on the paper. Use quotation marks and footnotes to cite any and all information you found in your research using Chicago-style footnotes. If it is not your idea, cite it! If you have any questions on how to do so, please see Dr. Hooper. This is YOUR responsibility.
Write your paper using Times New Roman font, size 12, double-spaced, with standard margins, and include page numbers. Proofread your writing carefully, checking for clarity, your use of verb tense, and paragraph structure. If you need assistance with your writing, I urge you to visit the writing center.
Suggested Research Paper Topics
These are only a few examples of some of the topics or research questions you might choose that I came up with:
The trans-Atlantic slave trade:
– explaining changes in the size and shape of the slave trade
– Why did the slave trade increase dramatically at certain times? Or decrease?
– Why were Africans enslaved and not other groups?
– Where/when was the demand for slaves the highest? Why?
– What parts of Africa supplied the largest numbers of slaves? Why?
– What goods were traded along with slaves? How did they change over time?
– the Middle Passage
– the involvement of different European groups: the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, etc.
– slave ship revolts
– Why were certain individuals enslaved? How did gender impact enslavement (ie, were women preferred or not? Why?)
– the development of navigational technologies and ship-building techniques
– Why was the slave trade abolished? Who were the main individuals involved in abolition?
– racial prejudices and the slave trade
– recent debates over compensation
The trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Americas:
– the cultural/religious/linguistic/culinary/etc. impact of Africans in the Americas
– African communities in the Americas
– African ethnicities in the Americas
– How was the middle passage remembered by slaves in the Americas?
– How is the slave trade remembered in the Americas today? Contrast different parts of the Americas.
Africa in the era of the slave trade:
– How did the slave trade impact African communities? Economically? Politically? Culturally?
– Focusing on certain African states, such as the Kongo, Asante, Yoruba, Hausa, etc., or particular slave trading ports, such as Lagos, Ouidah, Loango, etc.
– slavery within Africa
– African slaves exported throughout the Indian Ocean/Asia/Middle East
– the abolition of slavery within Africa
– religious change in African communities: spread of Christianity and Islam
– the memory of the slave trade in Africa today (museums, tours, political movements, etc)
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