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Conclusion: Atlantic Lives and Atlantic History

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Chapter Summary

This conclusion chapter briefly examines in what ways the experiences of the individuals and groups described in the preceding chapters are connected to the theoretical studies that have been recently written about Atlantic history. As Jeffrey Fortin indicates in the preface a surprisingly large amount of literature has been written about the strengths and weaknesses of Atlantic history. In what ways do the biographical approaches presented in this book illuminate and complicate the critical issues and themes that have been identified by the recently published anthologies advocating Atlantic history. The many individual lives presented in the book put human faces on what are often characterized as impersonal processes such as slavery, identity-formation, and trade networks. While this compilation of Atlantic lives is by no means intended to be comprehensive, all the biographies indicate that the Atlantic was a transnational space which bound peoples of various social and cultural backgrounds together.

Keywords: Atlantic history; Atlantic lives; Atlantic slave trade; biographical approaches



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