Ch.27

Ch.27 - Africa and the Africans in the Age of Atlantic...

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Africa and the Africans in the Age of Atlantic Slave Trade Intro With the rise of the West, the traditional alignment of Africa with the Islamic world was altered. External influences exerted both by the West and by Islam accelerated political change and introduced substantial social reorganization.After 1450, much of Africa was brought into the world trade system, often through involvement in the slave trade. Through the institution of slavery, African culture was transferred to the New World, where it became part of a new social amalgam. Involvement in the slave trade was not the only influence on Africa in this period.East Africa remained part of the Islamic trade system, and the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia continued its independent existence. In some parts of Africa, states formed into larger kingdoms without outside influence. The Atlantic Slave Trade Intro Along the Atlantic coast of Africa, the Portuguese established trade forts and trading posts, the most important of which was El Mina. Forts normally existed with the consent of local rulers, who benefited from European trade. The initial Portuguese ports were located in the gold- producing region, where the Europeans penetrated already extant African trade routes. From the coast, Portuguese traders slowly penetrated inland to establish new trade links. In addition to trade, the Portuguese brought missionaries, who attempted to convert the royal families of Benin, Kongo, and other coastal kingdoms. Only in Kongo, where Nzinga Mvemba accepted conversion, did the missionaries enjoy success.The Portuguese continued to press southward along the Atlantic coast. In the 1570s, they established Luanda, which became the basis for the first Portuguese colony of Angola. On the Indian Ocean coast, the Portuguese also established merchant bases that were intended to give access to trade routes in the interior. Somewhat later the Dutch, French, and English followed the established pattern of founding trade forts in Africa.Although gold was the primary export item in the initial trade relationship with Africa, slaves were always important. The first African slaves brought directly to Portugal arrived in 1441. As relations with African rulers expanded, the export of slaves grew in volume. With the development of plantation agriculture in the Atlantic islands and then the Americas, slaves became the primary component of the coercive labor system. By 1600, the slave trade was the greatest component of European trade with Africa. Trend Toward Expansion Between 1450 and 1850, about 12 million Africans were shipped to the plantations of the Americas. Perhaps as many as four million more Africans were killed in slaving wars prior to shipment. The volume of slaves shipped increased from the sixteenth century to a zenith in the eighteenth century. By 1800, about three million slaves resided in the Americas. At its end in the nineteenth century, the slave trade still shipped more than one million slaves to Cuba and Brazil.High slave mortality in the plantation environment
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course ? ? taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at Gustavus.

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Ch.27 - Africa and the Africans in the Age of Atlantic...

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