Why do scholars generate an intense debate surrounding the ancient origin of human beings as explained in the chapter?

English- Essay Questions
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CHAPTER 1 Essay Questions

75) Why do scholars generate an intense debate surrounding the ancient origin of human beings as explained in the chapter?

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Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Outline the evolution of early hominids: Ardipithecines, Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus.
2. Outline the migration debate: Multiregional model: Modern humans evolved
from regional Homo sapiens and archaic homo erectus populations in Africa, Asia, and Europe
3. Note that the Out of Africa model: Modern humans evolved 200,000 years
ago in Africa and left 100,000 years ago, migrating to Asia and Europe and the Americas.
4. Conclude that both theories are consistent with archaeological evidence.

Learning Objective: LO: 1.2
Page Ref: 2-3
A-head: The Birthplace of Humanity
Skill Level: Analyze It

76) How did class, gender, and religion shape Egyptian life?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1) Describe the Afrocentric debate regarding the racial origins and impact of Egyptian culture on Greece and Rome: Egyptians may or may not have been “black” in skin color, however it is clear that the civilization influenced Greece and Rome in profound ways.
2) Discuss the patriarchal nature of ancient Egyptian culture and the role of women as having some control over earnings, family development, and political power.
3) Explain the role of religion within the Egyptian political and social system as having a central role in augmenting the political power of the pharaoh.
4) Conclude that ancient Egypt was a founding civilization of world history and continues to provide new clues to its existence through archaeological discoveries.

Learning Objective: LO: 1.3
Page Ref: 4-5
A-head: Ancient Civilizations and Old Arguments
Skill Level: Analyze It

77) What were the most important economic, political, and cultural aspects of West African society? In what ways did geography impact cultural differences among West African civilizations?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1) Describe the major West African kingdoms of the Sudan: Ghana, Mali, Songhai. All were politically competitive and involved in long distance trade relations.
2) Describe the major West African kingdoms of the forest region: Senegambia, Akan, Benin, Igboland. These all played major roles in the development of West African society through warfare, religious expansion, and trade.
3) Outline West African technology (iron production), religion (polytheism and Islam), trade systems based on iron, ivory, textiles; rigid class system, and family-based leadership systems.
4) Explain the role of the Sahara desert in creating North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa; the forests of West Africa provided many slaves to European colonies because of their close proximity to the coastline; the savanna or grasslands of central and southern Africa provided the home to large internal kingdoms involved in shaping West African national histories and the slave trade.
5) Conclude that geographical characteristics, primarily aridity, continue to shape modern African political and socioeconomic development.

Learning Objective: LO: 1.4, 1.6
Page Ref: 7-14, 15-19
A-head: West Africa, West African Society and Culture
Skill Level: Understand the Concepts

78) Explain the role, status, and power of African women in ancient Africa.

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1) Define “African” women as including North Africa and ancient Egyptian culture as well as West, Central, Southern, and Eastern African women.
2) Point out that women were often seen as the property of men, and men dominated African women to the point of widespread enslavement of women and polygamy.
3) Note that women did in some cultures have the right to own property, inherit property, control the income from property, and serve as government officials.
4) Note the irony that women who served as government officials were often slaves.
5) Provide an example of the power of African women: The Ashantee Queen held her own court to decide women’s affairs.
6) Conclude that women held considerable power over their sexuality; secret societies taught women to be virtuous.

Learning Objective: LO: 1.6
Page Ref: 16
A-head: West African Society and Culture
Skill Level: Apply What You Know

79) In what ways did Islam influence ancient African political, economic, and cultural development prior to European arrival? How does that impact manifest itself today?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1) Define Muslim countries in ancient sub-Saharan Africa as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Islam arrived from North Africa by Arab merchants who also brought Arabic culture.
2) Explain that Arabs replaced Romans as the major foreign traders in Africa by the ninth century, leading to the conversion of African leaders to Islam.
3) Note that in Ghana, Arab Muslims dominated the monarchy and introduced writing into the culture.
4) Explain that Islam shaped African slavery. In Islamic regions of West Africa, masters had obligations to their slaves similar to those of a guardian for a ward.
5) Point out that Islam in many areas particularly of North and West Africa influenced African religion and African culture, including architecture, family life, and the roles of men and women in society.
6) Conclude that in modern Africa, the historical imprint of Islam remains strong in cultural, political, and religious influences that define modern national development in a time of expanding democracy.

Learning Objective: LO: 1.4, 1.6
Page Ref: 7-14, 15-19
A-head: West Africa, West African Society and Culture
Skill Level: Understand the Concepts

CHAPTER 2 Essay Questions

72) How did European and African policies and beliefs regarding slavery differ over time during the Atlantic slave trade? What factors contributed to these differences?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:

1. Explain that both peoples viewed slavery as an economic institution.
2. Explain that Africans, unlike Europeans, did not view slavery as a racial institution.
3. Point out that neither Africans nor Europeans possessed the concept of racial solidarity. Africans remained the primary sellers of slaves to Europeans, and obtained Africans for sale either through village raids or the kidnapping of families and individuals.
4. Note that Africans initially resisted selling other Africans as slaves to Europeans but did not at first believe that it was wrong to do so.

Learning Objective: 2.1, 2.2
Page Ref: 23-24
A-head: The European Age of Exploration and Colonization, The Slave Trade in Africa
Skill Level: Analyze It

73) Trace the life of a West African slave through the major turning points of the Atlantic slave trade starting with capture in Africa. What stages would a typical slave experience as he or she awaited shipment to the colonies of the Americas?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:

1. Explain that West Africans were captured as slaves by other Africans through wars and village raids. Slaves were marched from the interior to the coast and held in factories awaiting sale. Some Africans were also kidnapped by Europeans.
2. Point out that slaves were loaded aboard European slave ships for shipment to the Americas.
3. Note that the crossing or Middle Passage varied from 40 days to several months.
4. Conclude that many Africans were seasoned in the Caribbean before being shipped elsewhere or put to work on sugar plantations.

Learning Objective: 2.5, 2.6
Page Ref: 30-37, 37-38
A-head: The African-American Ordeal from Capture to Destination, Landing and Sale in the West Indies
Skill Level: Understand the Concepts

74) Explain the technology of a slave ship in terms of transporting African slaves. How did Europeans use technology to outfit slave ships for transporting Africans across the Atlantic to the colonies of the Americas?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:

1. Define that slave ships (called slavers) varied in size but grew larger over the centuries. A ship’s tonnage determined how many slaves it could carry, with the formula being two slaves per ton. A ship of 200 tons might therefore carry 400 slaves.
2. Note that captains often ignored the formula and kept their human cargo light, calculating that smaller loads lowered mortality and made revolt less likely.
3. Point out that most captains were “tight packers” who squeezed human beings together hoping that large numbers would offset increased deaths.
4. Explain that the slavers’ cargo space was generally only five feet high. Ships’ carpenters halved this vertical space by building shelves, so slaves might be packed above and below on planks that measured only 5.5 feet long and 1.3 feet wide. Consequently, slaves had only about 20 to 25 inches of headroom.
5. Conclude that to add to the discomfort, the crews chained male slaves together in pairs to help prevent rebellion and lodged them away from women and children. Crewmen often strung nets along the sides of the ship to prevent African suicide attempts.

Learning Objective: 2.5
Page Ref: 31-32
A-head: The African-American Ordeal from Capture to Destination
Skill Level: Apply What You Know

75) Discuss the concept of “cruelty” as it applied to the treatment of African slaves during the Middle Passage segment of the Atlantic slave trade. Is it possible to use modern moral arguments to understand European and African participation in the Atlantic slave trade?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:

1. Explain that historians debate how much cruelty slave ship crews inflicted on African slaves. The goal of captain and crew was to deliver as many live African slaves as possible.
2. Point out that the slave trade required extremely large amounts of investment capital in ships, supplies, and crewmen.
3. Note that some historians argue that the ordeal of slaves on ship was similar to the challenges experienced by indentured servants.
4. Explain that the lack of freshwater, adequate food, overcrowding, and extreme weather combined to inflict suffering on all passengers at sea during the colonial period.
6. Conclude that African women were sexually exploited during the Middle Passage, and this experience sets off the ordeal as unique compared to indentured servitude.
7. Conclude that cruelty and suffering are historically relative in that practices acceptable in the past are now considered inhumane. Cultures distinguish between what constitutes acceptable behavior to their own people on the one hand and to strangers on the other.

Learning Objective: 2.5
Page Ref: 36-37
A-head: The African-American Ordeal from Capture to Destination
Skill Level: Apply What You Know

76) How did the Atlantic slave trade end? What major political figures were involved in the process? Why did slavery continue in the Americas into the mid-1800s?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:

1. Explain that the cruelties associated with the Atlantic slave trade helped to end the system as did the rise of the Industrial Revolution in England.
2. Note that in the late 1700s, British politicians such as William Wilberforce, Granville Sharp, and Thomas Clarkson began a religiously based moral crusade against slavery and the slave trade.
3. Point out that Britain’s antipathy to the slave trade helped abolition because the British dominated the trade.
4. Explain that the English realized that industry and trade rather than plantation slave-based agriculture provided the most profits during the 1800s.
5. Note that Britain banned the slave trade in 1807. The U.S. followed suit in 1808. But American, Brazilian, and Spanish slavers defied abolition of the slave trade for decades.
6. Conclude that slavery continued in the Americas because of the high demand for cotton and sugar for factory development and elite market sale.

Learning Objective: 2.9
Page Ref: 41
A-head: The Ending of the Atlantic Slave Trade
Skill Level: Analyze It

CHAPTER 3 Essay Questions

72) What forms of labor did the British initially use in North America? Why did they begin to turn to African sources?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Explain the lack of use of Indian slavery by white colonials because of resistance, disease, and high death rates for native people.
2. Explain the development of white indentured servitude as the most common form of coercive labor in the early American colonies.
3. Explain the creation of new laws by Virginia whites that slowly enslaved blacks for life, closed religious loopholes, defined a child’s status as the same as the mother’s status, and made slavery a lifelong institution for the individual.
4. Comment on other factors that produced black slavery, such as European cultural attitudes against African people, and the presence of slavery in the Caribbean.

Learning Objective: 3.2
Page Ref: 48-51
A-head: Black Servitude in the Chesapeake
Skill Level: Understand the Concepts

73) How did African Americans continue various elements of their African heritage during slavery? What does this tell us about Africans from a social and cultural standpoint?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Explain how Africans preserved culture in religious practices and language.
2. Explain how Africans preserved their culture in naming of children, clothing patterns and adornment, and dietary cuisine.
3. Conclude that African preservation of African culture tells us that Africans resisted slavery and remained bicultural over time. Slavery did not destroy African American people, their memories and practices of Africa, and their will to surmount slavery.

Learning Objective: 3.6
Page Ref: 58-62
A-head: The Origins of African-American Culture
Skill Level: Apply What You Know

74) Discuss the importance and origin of music, language and folk literature for the slaves. How can these be seen as elements of resistance?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Describe the African origin of African American cultural forms in music, language, and literature: the banjo, Creole and pidgin languages, and Br’er Rabbit stories.
2. Explain the importance of African cultural forms within African American culture as a continuation of identity and resistance within the confines and dehumanization of slavery.
3. Explain that whites expected blacks to assimilate to American culture; any preservation of African culture was viewed as a potential threat to discipline and efficiency, though some African practices were allowed by the master class.

Learning Objective: 3.6
Page Ref: 60-61
A-head: The Origins of African-American Culture
Skill Level: Apply What You Know

75) What specific gender ideas did the British have about slave women? How did these ideas impact the lives of black women?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Explain British views of European women as superior and pure in sexuality and race.
2. Explain British views of African women as overly sexual and impure.
3. Describe the impact of these ideas on African women slaves in terms of sexual exploitation and work regime: European men sexually exploited black women while failing to extend to them the customary protections that white women enjoyed in European society. Black women worked alongside men in the fields in America.
4. Discuss the fact that interracial children produced by the sexual exploitation of black slave women were often left to the slave community to raise, though on rare occasions the child was raised by the white master, often in Europe.

Learning Objective: 3.10
Page Ref: 65-66
A-head: Black Women in Colonial America
Skill Level: Analyze It

76) How did slaves resist their situation and the oppression of slavery? What groups were more likely to resist? Why?

Ideal Answer: The ideal answer should:
1. Comment on the commonality of resistance in multiple forms on a daily basis in most circumstances regarding slavery.
2. Define resistance as passive vs. active or direct vs. indirect. Slaves faked happiness, sickness, injury, and love for their masters. They actively broke tools, ran away, and sometimes fought back violently alone or in small groups, as in the Stono rebellion in 1739 in South Carolina.
3. Explain that resistance took place in the northern colonies primarily through arson attacks.
4. Define groups who resisted more than others: New Africans who had just arrived were the most likely to resist the regime before they had become seasoned to plantation work and assimilated to slave and European society in North America.


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