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7.1 The Atlantic Slave Trade 1 – Effects on the Societies of West and West-Central Africa:What were the effects of the slave trade of West and West Central Africa?TAST was not the only slave trade in African history – generally, it is considered to be one of four:The Trans-Saharan slave tradeThe Indian Ocean World slave tradeThe Internal slave tradeThe TASTThe TAST (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) was the most devastating. A (conservative) estimate is that 12.8 million Africans were exported.It all began pretty innocuously, with the Portuguese, looking for gold, capturing one woman and a man. Until the 16thcentury the more lucrative business was Gold, not slaves.European sugar addiction, and a labour shortage brought on by the Black Death, led to the need for slaves.At first, it was only surplus slaves from the Kongo kingdom that were sold off. The Kongo kings adopted Portuguese dress and customs.1640 saw a major increase in demand for slaves (who were immune to many old world diseases, like smallpox). The surplus slaves were no longer enough.The earliest slaved regions were Senegambia and upper guinea coasts, but this quickly changed to become Loango and Angola coasts, also the gold coast and the bight of BeninOne argument (Eltis and Jennings) was that the Slave Trade did not have a major effect on Arica, because it made up only 5-9% of the economy. The other side (Lovejoy) was that it had a major effect, because of the effect it had on the African populations, and the lives of people in this “empty” Africa.People would sell their enemies as slaves. With many of the men gone, and lots of women left in the continent, a violent system of organized rape was implemented to repopulate the continent with the next generation of slaves.
The only way to survive was to sell slaves; if you didn’t sell slaves, you were liable to become one yourself.Therefore, the TAST was the beginning of a long-term, unequal economic relationship between Africa and the rest of the world. It’s important to see the true brutality of the slave trade than just glossing it over with numbers.7.2 The Atlantic Slave Trade 2 – Shaping the Atlantic World:How far were identities, political ideals and cultural forms in the African diaspora shaped by collective memories and perceptions of Africa?Africans that arrived in the Americas were from all over the African continent; they did not necessarily speak the same language.Slaves were taken from Angola and Luango coasts to all over the Americas, but the majority ended up in the Caribbean (50%) and the Brazil (25%, thanks to the Portuguese)Creolizationis the process by which people from all regions of Africa come together to forma new society. The ability for Africans to conceive of Africa as a whole came form their beingtaken away. This process was slow and took various forms.Among the slaves in the Caribbean there were extremely high death rates, mostly from Malnutrition.