Essay on African Colonialism And Its Impact On African Culture

1715 Words Dec 20th, 2015 null Page
Throughout the fifteenth to the nineteenth century multiple aspects of West African society were dominated by the Atlantic slave trade, however it is debatable as to the nature and extent in which the institution transformed African culture and history as a whole. The Bight of Benin was Africa’s second largest slave trading zone , and therefore may have been the most affected area in West Africa. Slavery penetrated not only trade, politics, society and the economy of the area, but also in matters that have arguably taken less of a forefront, such as moral consciousness. Historians such as Lovejoy in his transformation thesis, opposed by Eltis, argue that West Africa was significantly transformed by slavery, and that the institution was on a large enough scale to have had a substantial effect on African culture . This can be seen specifically in the Bight of Benin, where prominent cities and states in the area, such as Lagos and Dahomey, grew and developed as a result.

The area perhaps most transformed by Atlantic slavery in the Bight of Benin was the economy, as “Slaves need not predominate in every sector of the economy, but they must be involved in production, whatever other functions they must also fulfil” . Every industry that prospered as a result of slave labour reinvested their profit back into the economy of the Bight of Benin, allowing an ever increasing improvement in every area of society that this affected. Lovejoy emphasises this as “Labor was almost the only…

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