The Atlantic Route: a history of mutual discoveries

Edited by Marco Luppi

online presentation of the book

11 giugno 2021 – ore 18:30

Thanks to the book “The Atlantic Route: a history of mutual discoveries”, the series Tracce boasts now a new contribution, which is the result of an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research group’ s work. Institutions aiming at creating spaces based on dialogue and academic research in a spirit of sharing and fraternity worked together to write such contribution. These are founding aspects of Sophia’s tradition. These elements have been combined with the work to create a local branch of the Sophia University Institute in Latin America and the Caribbean (Sophia ALC) and the actual and formal existence of agreements and conventions with several global university institutions to launch shared academic projects. Among the various institutions, there is a special tie of academic friendship with the Tabosa de Almeida ASCES-UNITA University Centre in Caruaru, Brazil, which took part in this publication thanks to the contributions of some scholars of its Centre of advanced studies.

The topic of the Atlantic Route has been fascinating scholars for more than seventy years. Rightly so, it has all the characteristics to attract generations of scholars and a passionate reading public. In fact, it relates three, four continents and its respective civilizations. It links the development of imperial European Nations (Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, France), the era of explorations and geographical discoveries, voluntary or forced continental migrations (slave trade) of large numbers of people that contributed to develop of a whole, complex and fascinating geographical, social and political space, America. It reconstructs and enhances revolutions and movements of ideas which underlie the self-determination process that has led to the current North and South America. The new methodological approaches connected to Global History and World History provided great contributions. They helped to demolish the hierarchies according to which there are cultural traditions with scientific solidity and academic authority to investigate and tell its own story and others that don’t. They acknowledged cultural traditions that have been considered up to date minor in “thinking historically” and ask questions about what happened in their past. It created links between human sciences in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary studies able to provide a more dialogical and universal approach. This publication is open to this new sensitivity and tries to compare methodologies and skills with a continually evolving historical moment.

The opening essay by Marco Luppi offers a general framework of this topic going back to the beginning when the Atlantic Route definition was firstly used, when the Atlantic world or Atlantic system was created to underline the complexity of this topic and the wide range of proposals.                

The following essay written by Vanuccio Medeiros Pimentel reconstructs the slave trade in one of the most ancient Brazilian areas of the Portuguese colonization: the Pernambuco’s region.

The third essay by Décio de Alencar Guzmán deals with exploration and the first contacts of English, Dutch and Portuguese people with natives of the Amazonian and Caribbean area. The study is particularly valuable because it states that the European colonization was not a unidirectional process. There was a mutual contamination, including European representatives to a certain extent had to “indigenize themselves”.

The last contribution is Osvaldo Barreneche’s essay about Latin America’s legal and criminal system between the second half of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century with a specific case study concerning the reception of European legal ideas in Argentina, specifically in the forum of Buenos Aires.