Slavery In West Africa

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The issue of slavery in Africa started with the Portuguese expedition of West Africa in the fifteenth century. Prince Henry sponsored the Portuguese as their governor and was later named Prince Henry the Navigator after his establishment of a school for navigators at Sagres, Portugal in 1419. The purpose of this school was to train explorers in navigation, map-making, and science so they could be prepared to travel along the west coast of Africa. The Portuguese, who eventually became the one and only European traders along the west, south, and east of Africa after seven decades, were interested in West Africa for many reasons: the gold trade, establishing the sea route to India and the Far East, forming an alliance against the Arabs, and …show more content…
This slave trade utilized the triangular trading system (Unholy Triangle) and its Middle Passage, which is the long sea journey from Africa to the New World, to ship millions of Africans. The triangular trade indicates trade between three regions: Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This multilateral system involved shipping goods from Europe to West Africa in exchange for slaves, who were then shipped to the Americas for profits like sugar, rum, and other commodities, which were eventually received by Europe. The need for labor and the recognition that the natives were insufficient with plantations were the probable causes for trading. African collaborators often sold their people for trifles and guns. When tribes are in rivalry with another, the conquered members of that tribe were traded. Around the end of the fifteenth century, gold miners and authorities were already receiving slaves in exchange for a payments of …show more content…
Demographically, the population distribution was affected. There was a great decrease in the African population while the New World population growed. The total number of slaves taken from Africa to India totalled to less than five million. However, there were at least twelve million slaves brought to the Americas. People who could farm were taken away, so agriculture decline, which made the economy suffer. Dancers, singers, carvers, and artists were taken from their communities, resulting in a cultural consequence. Out of all of the slaves that were taken from Africa to the New World, about two-thirds were men and only one-third were women (Hardy). Africa experienced a social consequence where able-bodied men and those who were head of their households were captured so women would have to do without or step up on their own. The psychological effect would be the mental damage of the slaves who were exported and of the people left behind. The slave trade may have influenced the way people trusted others, for slaves were often tricked into slavery by family members and friends (Nunn and Wantchekon 8). Everyone lost family members and that could trouble a person’s mental stability. There was also an intensity of rivalry among tribes and nations of

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