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Africa Before and After the Slave Trade

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Natasha McPherson

on 8 September 2015

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Transcript of Africa Before and After the Slave Trade

Africa Before and After the Slave Trade
Map of Africa
Largely agricultural societies-- communal, equitable production
Hunting/gathering, farming, fishing, raising livestock
The continent was rich in natural resouces, but there was a relatively low level of production and manufacturing
housing, cloth, pottery, jewelry, art, weapons, and agricultural tools.
Trade for secondary goods produced in Europe, Middle East, and Asia
guns/gunpowder, spices, beads, silk, hats, etc.
Pre-colonial Africa: Politics
Several African kingdoms had large political bodies
In most cases, Africans organized in small kinship groups lead by chiefs and elders-- not a king or a national state
Africans did not see themselves as "Africans" but rather identified with their kinship group
Prisoners of war were sometimes sold into slavery
Although large, organized nation states were not necessary in Africa, the lack of widespread political unity made it easier for European colonize and exploit African territories.
Pre-colonial Africa: Religion
African religion was a complex and all-encompassing social institution that involved philosophical views, belief in the super- natural, and rituals'
Religion played both a positive and a negative role in African society.
On the one hand, it was an integral part of the social life of the people and facilitated the cooperation and discipline needed to aid the group's survival.
On the other hand, it often exercised a conservative influence on social development since it changed slowly, if at all.
Pre-colonial Africa: Production
Pre-colonial Africa: Education
Education reflected the needs of African society.
The process of education took place with groups of young people under the supervision of an older person.
The high point of the educational process was their initiation into adulthood, or the "rites of passages."
Thus, the main aspect of this educational process is that it was based on the accumulated practical experience of the people-- passed from generation to generation by the oral tradition and apprenticeship relationships.
Pre-colonial Africa:
Women and the Family
Family is the basis of social organization
Many families are matrifocal
More equitable relationship between men and women than among European cultures
In what ways were women unequal?
The Slave Trade
The foundations of European capitalism (mercantilism) led to the mass enslavement of Africans as a labor source
Africans traded prisoners of war and kidnapped and sold slaves for guns, manufactured products, and other valuable goods
Once colonization had taken root, Europeans had greater control over the trade in humans.
Colonialism-- the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.

Colonialism is, therefore, the policy by which the 'mother country,' the colonial power, binds her colonies to herself by political ties with the primary object of promoting her own economic advantages.
Imperialism--a policy of extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force.
Africa before Europeans
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