The Slave Trade Social Studies for 10th E.G.B. Teacher: Mauricio Torres
Europeans and Africans European encounters with Africa had occurred for hundreds of years. Yet the European explorers who arrived in the 1400s brought great and unforeseen changes to Africa’s peoples and cultures.
Portugal Gains Footholds Portuguese searched for a direct route to Asia They wanted to bypass the “middlemen” and trade directly with the source. They began establishing ports and forts throughout West Africa, as supply outposts for their long expeditions. They were also trading posts. They left enough men and firepower to defend the forts and not to colonize.
African Coastline They sailed on through the coastline, reaching East African cities such as: Mombasa and Malindi. With the use of force, they expelled the Arabs that controlled Eastern Africa’s trade networks. Over the next couple of centuries, they established limited trade through the coast and the interior. They didn’t have enough resources or knowledge of Central Africa Africans in the interior resisted such exploration.
The Slave Trade Slavery has existed since ancient times (Romans, Greeks, Persians, Aztecs, Egyptians, etc). Slavery was: cheap labor. Slaves were taken to the Americas to work on plantations. For the next 300 years the slave trade grew into a profitable business. Slaves were the most important “resource” that Africa provided.
Selling their own Europeans seldom ventured into Africa’s interior. African rulers and traders seized captives from the interior. The captives were exchanged for textiles, metalwork, rum, tobacco, weapons and gunpowder.
Defending their own Some African leaders tried to slow down or stop the transatlantic slave trade. The system was just too strong. King Affonso I, of Kongo raised his voice against the slave trade. He had been tortured by Portuguese missionaries. When he became a king in 1505, he asked the Portuguese to help him develop his country. Only slave traders answered.
Immediate Consequences on African Soil During the 1600s and 1700s, the loss of countless young men and women resulted in some small states disappearing forever. As a new “resource”, slavery led to new powerful states to rise: The Asante Kingdom (present-day Ghana). The Oyo Empire (present-day Nigeria).
Ask Yourself Describe: How the Portuguese established footholds on Africa’s coasts and why. Analyze: How European actions affected the salve trade. Evaluate: What was the cause for small states to decline and some other to rise?
Homework Scan newspapers or online sources for articles about turbulence or economic difficulties in Africa. Have these issues stemmed from events that occurred during the age of European exploration? Cut/print the article and write a small report expressing your opinion and answer the question above.
Bibliography Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC. Images taken from Google.com
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