Unformatted text preview: Slavery, Africa, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade
Nature of African Slavery Why was Europe interested? TransAtlantic Slave Trade Did Europe Underdevelop Africa? African Slavery Trans-Saharan Slave Trade (650 ACE to 1800) approximately 6,220,000 million enslaved Africans Transported for commercial purposes (long sporadic history) Gold, Salt, Ivory, Slaves Children were not born as slaves Islamic Slavery Shar'iah (Islamic law permitting slavery as an institution due to its endorsement by Allah) Islam roots the tenets of freedom in the lineage of Adam (believers versus nonbelievers)- Cain and Abel Non-believers were regarded as enemies living in a state of warfare (become less than human, less than free; taxes)- Jihad confusion Slaves, non-believers were obtained through war African Islamic Slavery cont. Islamic Slavery Slaves also were ransomed as an act of gratitude between believers Slaves also were obtained through prayer support (e.g. the Jakhanke prayed for the Samori and received slaves) "The Prophet" instructed slaveholders to "show kindness to slaves Clerics (priest) used slaves Slaves were used in agrarian labor but rarely led ceremonial functions Slaves did assist bondspersons in religious obligations (could make the hajj with slaveholder) Slaves were allowed to own crops, read, write, (impact on future rebellions in Americas) and purchase freedom European interest in Africa 4 Key Interests in Africa #1. Locate the Gold Mines of West Africa and control the gold trade in Southern and Eastern Africa #2. Break the Islamic hegemony of the TransSaharn trade through maritime trade #3. Discover route to the Far East and control the spice trade #4. Spread Christianity Debate on the "numbers game" and the impact of the slave trade on the African continent (approximately 5-200 million) Nature of Raw Materials and the Industrial Revolution (triangle trade) Europe provided the capital and the managers, Africa provided the labor force, and the Americas were the source of raw material (Azevedo) African middlepersons were given iron bars, gold dust, "manila" (a brass or copper bracelet), cowry shells (form of money, prestige), as well as fees for interpreters, wood, and water Traders left with over $4,000 of goods (gunpowder, spirits, foodstuffs, cotton textiles) Pre-voyage (packed Indian corn, kidney beans, yams, fruits, coconuts, and plantains Chained by twos, hands and feet Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade facts Picture of the "Brookes" (built to accommodate 451, packed in as many as 609 slaves); Overcrowded vessels (Global Institution) Morbidity (Smallpox, Flux, Hunger, Filth and stench, maiming from chains); typical that no more than of slaves shipped became effective workers in New World (death as a form of resistance) Capitalism and the Profit Motive = a ship captain could make a commission of 360 pounds for 307 slaves (slave trader 465 pounds), ship of 250 slaves could net 7000 pounds Liverpool traders alone traded 304,000 slaves (17831793) Did Europe Under-develop Africa? Walter Rodney (Guyanese historian) Slavery was not in existence in the upper Guinea-Sierra Leone until Europeans brought the slave trade Azevedo sides with Rodney by referring to the slave trade as a "shameful commercial undertaking" Europeans initiated the slave trade by directly attacking coastal positions and later realized the need for middlemen (offered commercial goods) African Middlemen took the responsibility of raiding, capturing, and transporting Africans from the interior to the coast Under-development of Africa cont. Rodney cont. "Tribal Conflicts" Europeans sowed the seeds of hatred and hostility among Africans by supporting inter-ethnic conflict (introduction of guns) African Industrial Revolution Did not occur due to slave trade (teleological). Africa robbed of best young minds, of artistic creativity, and commercial and intellectual leadership Population decreased (lack of growth due to slave trade) Counter Argument to Rodney John Thornton (historian) Argues that Africans were active participants in the Atlantic World Africans were not passive individuals who suddenly were dominated by Europeans (visaa-versa) Waterways (large oceanic ships unable to penetrate internal waterways) Europeans hoped to profit on wheat, sugar, wine, slaves, and gold (unable to dominate either local coastal commerce or internal societies). Often met violent resistance (1446Portuguese) Diplomacy and commercial relations became Europe's goal Counter argument cont. Thornton Africa as a flourishing location Willingness to trade cloth, iron, copper, steel, wood, and cowry shells to Europe between 14001800 Thornton asserts African ironworkers created a more durable fuel conservation system than Europe. Additionally, only 10-15% of European imports could have accommodated African people (flourishing civilizations already exited) Some African leaders valued the "unique" items (a means to heighten social status) According to Pacheco Pereira (16th century Portuguese trader), the favor of the slave trade shifted in favor of the Africans Did Europe Under-develop Africa? Gwendolyn Midlo Hall = "the eager participation of much of the African elite in this process should not be used to excuse European responsibility for the rape of Africa" Leopold Sedar Senghor (poet and 1st President of Senegal) = "the slave trade ravaged Africa like a brush fire, wiping out images and values in one vast carnage" ...
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- Spring '10
- Atlantic Slave Trade