The Atlantic Slave Trade Was A Movement Of Millions Of Africans

1130 Words Mar 17th, 2016 5 Pages
Afrique Engagée
The Atlantic slave trade was a movement of millions of Africans to the New World and was a major historical phenomenon. African slaves virtually built America and had a profound effect on history of the Americas. This effect can is often viewed through two competing frameworks. One such framework is the concept of “emergent Africa.” Emergent Africa claims Africa’s social order was not disturbed by the slave trade. Proponents of “emergent Africa” believe that Africa was unchanged by the slave trade. On the contrary Afrique engagée claims that Africa was profoundly impacted by the slave trade. Proponents of this theory believed that Africa was on the losing end of a trade relationship that caused a decline in population which led to a decline in the economy. Although Emergent Africa makes some strong claims, it cannot be denied that Africa was negatively impacted by the slave trade. Thus it is reasonable to say that Afrique engagée presents a more compelling argument.
John Thornton, an American historian, is less willing to blame external forces for Africa’s social ills and supports the framework of emergent Africa. Thornton argues that Africans participated in the slave trade willingly, with full understanding, and from a position of strength. Thornton describes the African slave trade began by authorities in African states insisting to Europeans buyers that they benefit first and certainly from trade. African rulers usually allowed trade to take place…

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