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African Economic History

African Economic History - African Economic History The...

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African Economic History The early African economy was based on fishing or hunting. Over time, populations became sedentary as livesstock and crops became domesticated, allowing for permanent settlement, and society became based on agriculture or on agro-pastorialism. Specialization lead to commercial networks. Africans began long distance trade. The demand for slaves arose with the development of European-owned sugar plantations. Slave trade was declared illegal between 1810 and 1870, but by then the impact of the slave trade on the African economy was already declining. Colonialism was imposed to protect the economic interests of the Western world and eventually spread as imperialism to protect strategic transport routes and to demonstrate national power. Industrialism led to Africans converting to cash crops. Men migrated to cities and mines to meet European demand for mineral resources. Women eventually took over the agricultural tasks formerly done by men. Colonialism was not designed to be mutually beneficial.
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