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History At Its Best Essay

2094 words - 8 pages

The modern era stands out as a time of great change. Throughout history, it is undoubtedly the period of time in which the most advancement has occurred in society, in the shortest amount of time. The three books, "The Interesting Narrative," by Olaudah Equiano, "Victors and Vanquished," by Stuart B. Schwartz, and "A Social Contract," by Jean-Jeacques Rousseau, each provide a view of the modern era in their own individual ways. Olaudah Equiano's account of his life as a slave is directed at the problem of slavery. Stuart B. Schwartz' "Victors and Vanquished," provides a collection of personal accounts about the conquest of Mexico under the command of Hernando Cortes. Lastly, Rousseau's, "A Social Contract," expounds upon the problems that occur in modern government, and preaches that a more "natural" form of government would better suit society's needs. All of these accounts of the modern era show how the writers personally perceived the events that were occurring around them. These occurrences did not embody the change that occurred in the modern era as a whole, but rather were the individual occurrences that illuminated their views on the change that

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either was occurring, or needed to occur.

In Olaudah Equiano's autobiography, "The Interesting Narrative," the author gives an account of his life as a slave taken from Africa by European slave-traders, and the horrors that accompanied the life of a slave at the time. The conditions of slave-trading were not known to the general public, because of the fact that they were not involved in slave trading. This all changed when Olaudah wrote his narrative and published it in 1789. After it's publishing, "The Interesting Narrative" gave an opinion to those who didn't know of slavery, and gave those already in opposition to slavery a basis for protesting against the cruel practice. Olaudah's writing includes his own take on slavery, and in the conclusion of his book, he reveals his appeal to the public in order to end slavery. He argues on several bases which would appeal to the public of modern society. He gives them the account of slavery's horrors, and then takes on moral, economical, religious, and lawful standpoints, in order to persuade the public that slavery is an ill to society, especially in a time of positive growth.

Olaudah wrote a revised introduction to his readers,

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stating that his purpose, or rather the purpose of his book, is to, "be the means, in it's measure, of showing the enormous cruelties practiced on my sable brethren, and strengthening the genuine emulation now prevailing in this country, to put a speedy end to a traffic both cruel and unjust." (Equiano 1745, 5) This is written after the book's first release, and shows the purpose of his writing, referring to the effect it has had on the fight for slavery's abolishment. In his writings, Olaudah challenges the practice of slavery by an appeal to the senses. His story is obviously one of...

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