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Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade Chapter 20 Focus Questions: Why/How did slave trade begin/why was it necessary? What impacts.

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Presentation on theme: "Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade Chapter 20 Focus Questions: Why/How did slave trade begin/why was it necessary? What impacts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade Chapter 20 Focus Questions: Why/How did slave trade begin/why was it necessary? What impacts did slave trade have on Africa?

2 The Beginnings  ONE IMPORTANT POINT: Slavery existed in Africa BEFORE Europeans arrived  Remember, Portuguese explorers initiated contact with the African coast in the early 15 th century…they built “factories” (forts) for trade…the most important was El Mina…these forts were established with the consent of local African kings seeking trade alliances and military support  The Portuguese and Afro-Portuguese (mulatto) traders followed traditional routes into the interior to open markets with savanna kingdoms…religious efforts soon followed, particularly in the kingdoms of Benin and Kongo, where kings were converted  In the end, few Portuguese settled permanently…and other European nations soon followed this pattern of establishing fortified positions and the coast and making contacts with regional civilizations…NO COLONIZATION (except South Africa)

3 The Statistics of Slave Trade  Between 1450 and 1850 about 12 million Africans were shipped across the Atlantic  About 10 to 11 million made it alive!  Around 1/3 of those who died were either killed in raids by African slave traders or on the trip to the coast  The volume of trade was greatest after 1700, with over 80% of the total arriving  Brazil received more than 40% of the slaves shipped to the Americas…WHY???  High volume was important because of the high slave mortality rate in the Americas (WHY?) and low fertility rate (only in the Southern US were slaves able to have children)  WHO was most likely captured for slavery?

4 Organization of Slave Trade  Portugal control slave trade until 1630…then the Dutch seized El Mina…meanwhile, the British and French began to seek slave trade to supply labor for their New World colonies…by the 1700s France was dominating trade  In terms of trade, slaves were bought from African slave trading kingdoms with iron bars, brass rings and cowry shells early on…because of the value of trade benefits for African kings, coastal kingdoms began the process of raiding interior kingdoms (warfare), capturing prisoners and entering them into the slave market…rarely did actual Europeans go into interior Africa to capture slaves  The commercial profitability of slave trade was great, though many questioned which group was in total control of the process…what has been proven is that slave trade led to the expansion of Commercial capitalism and the advent of the Industrial Revolution in Europe (WHY?)  English traders estimated their profits from slave trade at around 5% to 10% in the late 1700s  The most important pattern that emerged from slave trade was…

5 The Triangular Trade Network

6 African Societies, Slavery and the Slave Trade  Once again…Africa already had systems of slavery…tribal kings owned the land, the people on the land were tied to it and the number of slaves a noble had was tied to their wealth and status…slaves had many occupations but still had limited rights (no choices about lives or actions)  It is important to remember that enslaving women was central to African society…and polygamy increased in African societies and Islamic religion influenced kingdoms…in effect, the male slaves were most likely to be sold where female slaves became harem members or domestics  In general, during the early periods of the slave trade, Africans did not SELL their own people (changes by the mid-1700s)

7 Slavery and African Politics  Slavery shifted the balance of power in Africa from powerful central states to newly emerging slave trading kingdoms on the coastlines…Kingdoms in the interior (Ghana, Mali, Songhai) crumbled as kingdoms from the coast (Asante, Benin and Dahomey) raided them for riches and slaves  What factors accounted for this shift in power?

8 Coastal Kingdoms  Asante: On the “Gold Coast”, the empire of the Asante (Ashanti) emerged from slave trade interactions…the clans of the Asante (Akan and Oyoko) were unified by Osei Tutu, who created the title asantehene (supreme leader)…his golden stool stood as a symbol of unification…the asantehene had a council of rulers and began to use military force to exercise power…the Dutch made connections with the Asante by 1700…slaves (2/3 trade) and gold became their major exports and the Asante maintained their power until the 1820s

9 Coastal Kingdoms  Benin: Was already a well developed, advanced society when Europeans arrived…The obas (leaders) of Benin was largely interested in only trading goods with arriving Europeans…eventually pressure from Europeans forced the obas by the 1700s to begin slave trade (though it never was their dominate source of economic prosperity)  Dahomey: By the 1700s, the influence of Europeans and their weapons transformed this society into a slave producer…they used the typical pattern of forming armies to capture slaves from the interior…they continued as a major slave supplier into the 19 th C, with slavery having negative impacts on their society (Such as?)

10 Slavery and East Africa  The Swahili trading states remained largely unaffected by European slave trade to the Americas  Slaves in this region were primarily women who were destined to become members of Arabian harems  Unique to this region was the establishment of local plantations with slave labor and the establishment of European plantations on offshore islands that required E. African and even Hindu slaves

11 Southern Africa  South Africa remained unaffected by slave trade…mainly thanks in part to sparse population and the colony established by the Dutch East India Company  The Cape Colony was established was a provision post for ships traveling east to Indonesia…the people who settled it were pioneers and sought a measure of separation from the Dutch crown…they did use local natives as slaves but a large measure of intermarriage occurred as well  None of these peoples were ever exported out as slave labor, but many were locally enslaved by the Dutch or killed in constant warfare with Dutch and eventually British colonists  Eventually, the Zulus solidified their power in the beginning of the 19 th century under their greatest warrior Shaka…his people carried on the traditions he established in the mfecane or wars of crushing and wandering...they influenced the development of kingdoms (Swazi and Lesotho)  Afrikaaners (or Boers as they also became known as) felt increased pressures from Zulu tribes that existed in large numbers on the high plains (velds) and the northeastern fringes of the territory…this threat lasted well into the latter 1800s

12 The Slave “Experience”  Slaves became a significant portion of the population in the Americas  The journey for slaves to America on the Middle Passage was horrific…slave ships were packed full…many slaves died on the journey (What ways?)  Those that survived became plantation or even mine labor replacing natives and indentured servants in the Brazil, Caribbean and Southern US (Demographically, Caribbean islands and Brazil became predominately black)  In America, distinct slave hierarchies emerged…there was a difference between saltwater slaves (pure African) and Creole/mulatto slaves (mixed)…Creole/mulatto slaves were more likely to win freedom…and their were free people of color (many who had been fortunate to travel to Europe and become westernized rather than sold into servitude)  Rebellions were not uncommon, particularly where slaves with common ethnicity lived (Brazil, Jamaica)  Despite the negative effects of slavery, African societies STILL brought with them their complete cultural identity (language, practices, religions)…only family traditions were hard to re-establish, as most areas lacked female slaves

13 The Decline of Slave Trade  Opposition to slavery grew out of Enlightenment ideas and religious sentiment  Writers such as Rousseau and Adam smith decried the abuses of traders, characterizing them and their practice as backwards and immoral…it was the abuses and cruelty that brought the movement to the forefront of human society in the early 19 th century  Religious humanists such as John Wesley and William Wilberforce began the early abolition movements in Britain at the end of the 18 th century  In 1807, British parliament outlawed slave trade  The full end to slavery and slave trade from Africa did not come until the end of the 19 th century


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