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Creating a Paradox: Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and the Slave Trade's Violation of the Principles of Christianity, Reason, and Property Ownership

Creating a Paradox: Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and the Slave Trade's Violation of the Principles of... Abstract: In his groundbreaking narrative Thoughts and Sentiments (1787), Ottobah Cugoano expressed the paradox created by the slave trade that threatened to undermine the social fabric of European slaveholding societies. The commercial procedures involved in the slave trade violated the principles of Christianity, reason, and property ownership, while generating profits for European businesses and governments. The author argues that Cugoano's case for ending the slave trade and abolishing slavery depended on his ability to analyze the slave trade from the vantage points of Christianity, reason, and property ownership in order to counter apologist arguments that supported the slave trade by denying the humanity of Africans. Cugoano forced his European readership into a paradoxical predicament. They could either end the slave trade and actualize their religious, philosophical, and economic principles, or they could allow the slave trade to continue to undermine those principles, thus rendering European societies hypocritical. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

Creating a Paradox: Quobna Ottobah Cugoano and the Slave Trade's Violation of the Principles of Christianity, Reason, and Property Ownership

Journal of World History , Volume 21 (4) – Feb 3, 2010

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1527-8050
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Abstract

Abstract: In his groundbreaking narrative Thoughts and Sentiments (1787), Ottobah Cugoano expressed the paradox created by the slave trade that threatened to undermine the social fabric of European slaveholding societies. The commercial procedures involved in the slave trade violated the principles of Christianity, reason, and property ownership, while generating profits for European businesses and governments. The author argues that Cugoano's case for ending the slave trade and abolishing slavery depended on his ability to analyze the slave trade from the vantage points of Christianity, reason, and property ownership in order to counter apologist arguments that supported the slave trade by denying the humanity of Africans. Cugoano forced his European readership into a paradoxical predicament. They could either end the slave trade and actualize their religious, philosophical, and economic principles, or they could allow the slave trade to continue to undermine those principles, thus rendering European societies hypocritical.

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 3, 2010

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