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W. Africa & The Slave Trade

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marah kelsey richards

on 7 September 2017

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Transcript of W. Africa & The Slave Trade

West Africa &
The Slave Trade

Africa
-2nd largest continent in the world

-3 types of areas:
-Desert
-Savannah & Steppe
-mountain ranges & high plateau
Where did people come from?
Multi-regional – evolved through Africa, Asia, and Europe

Out-of-Africa – humans originated in Africa

“Eve” Hypothesis – humans descended from a single African woman
Ghana
-first kingdom in the area

-Soninke people ruled there through commerce & warfare
-pepper
-gold
-slaves

-Ghana’s Kings-were known in Europe and southwest Asia as the richest of monarchs

-Islam
Slavery
-slaves are captives of war

-men are sold off to other kingdoms

-women are incorporated into society

-children freed

How is this different than American slavery we see centuries later?
Mali
-Mandinka people

-lots of gold led to making the first cities in west Africa
-Timbuktu: center of learning and trade

-Islam
-Mansa Musa- very rich king goes to Mecca w/60,000 people, tons of gold, & elephants. He made west Africa famous for gold.

-gold, slaves, salt, mosques, 150 Islamic schools, & law schools
Songhai
-great traders and warriors

-All conquered people had several freedoms

-Center of Theology, law, mathematics, and medicine
-huge push for literacy

-as history goes on becomes increasingly Muslim

-The Moroccans take over & left region with a weak government

-Europeans and the African kingdoms come and region became more interested in trading for human beings than for gold.
European Slave Trade
-The rulers of West African kingdoms restricted the Europeans to a few points on the coast,
-while other kingdoms raided the interior to supply the Europeans with slaves.

-Africans were initially reluctant to sell members of their own ethnic group to Europeans

-Slavery is an age-old practice that existed in the earliest known history of Africa as well as other places (i.e. Egyptians, Greeks & Romans all practiced slavery)

-When Muslims invaded Africa; they contributed to the development of slavery
-Seized women for harems and men for military & menial service
-Recruited African slaves & shipped them off to Arabia

Slave Trade in Africa
The Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade
-The role of the Portuguese:

-Ships off the Guinea Coast traded for gold, ivory, pepper and slaves

-Began to purchase slaves from African traders; in 1472, a Portuguese merchant gained permission from the King of Benin to trade for slaves
-The role of inter-ethnic rivalries
-Led to warfare that produced African slaves during the 16th century (1500)

-Africans did not consider it immoral to sell members of other African ethnic groups to foreigners
-no concept of racial solidarity yet
The Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade
-Trading of the African Slave
-unit early 16th century, Portuguese conducted the Atlantic slave trade on a small scale
-Africans were introduced to West Europe as servants
-Under Prince Henry (Portugal), slaves were transported annually

The Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade
-Trading of the African Slave
-Europeans began to rely on the Atlantic slave trade to replace American Indian labor

-Christianity was used to justify the importation of slaves (especially by the Portuguese & the Spaniards)
The Origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade
Growth of Atlantic Slave Trade
-Brazil sugar plantations

-Cultivation of tobacco, rice and indigo in British North America

-A new form of slavery emerges
New Form of Slavery
-By 1510, Spain had joined Portugal in the Atlantic Slave Trade

-A harsher form of slavery emerges in the Americas
-Males are used as agricultural laborers rather than soldiers or domestic servants
-Enslaved people become chattel

Chattel means property
New Form of Slavery
-Portugal and Spain dominated the Atlantic Slave Trade during the 16th century;

-By 1550, the Dutch, French, & English were involved

-After a series of wars, England controls the slave trade (Triangular Trade)
The Middle Passage
-part of the Triangular Trade Route that took slaves from Africa to the New World (Caribbean, Brazil, or North America)

-conditions are extremely tight, as a number of slaves will not survive the journey (~15-20%)

-Diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, measles, small pox, hookworms, scurvy, and dysentery were rampant
Impact on West Africa
-initially brings guns into the region

-Slavery is a false commodity- seller has no cost invested in bringing up the person - 100% profit

-10-12 million slaves taken from West Africa. This will strip the economic power from West Africa.
Slave Auction
-Enslaved Africans were “prepared” for landing
and sale
-This included shaving, bathing, exercising
dying their hair, concealing their blemishes, etc.

-process done fairly quickly before died

-2 types of Auctions:
1- highest bidder

2- grab and run: buyers would pay slavers in advance. Slaves would be in a larger area and buyers would run in and grab the slaves they wanted
What did West Africa look like prior to the European Slave Trade?
They believed slaves were heathens (didn't know God) and therefore enslaving them and introducing them to God was better than an eternal hell
Five Stages of becoming a slave
1- Captured

2-trek from the interior

3-held in slave prisons

4- Middle Passage

5-Auction

Warm-up:
List 5 things you know about the slave trade.
Full transcript