The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action, 1780–1850 by Philip D. Curtin

By Philip D. Curtin

In this encyclopedic paintings of highbrow heritage, Philip D. Curtain sought to find the British snapshot of Africa for the years 1780-1850.

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0 Map 2. - " I / / 30 f - - 20 / Miles 500 50 10 -1 20 20 The New World lers who went a few hundred miles inland rarely published what they had seen. Many such trips are undoubtedly unrecorded; others are simply known to have taken place . 23 Another traveller went about 120 miles inland from the Gold Coast and reported, " that the Country, was entirely cleared, and so immensely Populous that as far as the Eye could carry him whereve r he went , it was covered with Towns, and Villages. Furthermore India goods are in great demand there, so that the African merchants buy a slave for 22 s.

He even reproduced a map of Africa showing the "celestial" region at the center and the corrupted nations surrounding it. The worst of these corrupt people were shown in Egypt, those at the Cape were a little less corrupt, and those who lived in the east toward Asia still less so. " Many 35. John Wesley, "Thoughts upon Slavery," in W orks (London, 1872) , XI , 59-79 . First published 1774. 36. "That the Lord now establishe s a Church in Africa," The N ew Jerusalem Magazine (Lon don, 1890 ), pp .

The first term of the series was thus accepted by common agreement. Disagreement came only with the ranking of the others . One solution was to concentrate on skin color. If whiteness of skin was the mark of the highest race, then darker races would be inferior in the increasing order of their darkness. On this basis, and with no further evidence, Africans could be put at the bottom . Esthetic judgements could also be introduced. Blumenbach, who became in his later years a champion of the Negro, fell into this form of racio-esthetic pride.

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