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Added on 18.11.2016 22:52
The author explores Morgan explores the role of land and labor in shaping culture, the everyday contacts of masters and slaves that defined the possibilities and limitations of cultural exchange, and finally the interior lives of blackstheir social relations, their family and kin ties, and the major symbolic dimensions of life: language, play, and religion. He provides a balanced appreciation for the oppressiveness of bondage and for the ability of slaves to shape their lives, showing that, whatever the constraints, slaves contributed to the making of their history. Victims of a brutal, dehumanizing system, slaves nevertheless strove to create order in their lives, to preserve their humanity, to achieve dignity, and to sustain dreams of a better future..
.The African slave trade was by no means a true manner of trade. It was trickery, banditry, kidnapping, and war waging that was used in the capture and selling of slaves in Africa to the Americas. Many of those capturing slaves were warriors under the direction of African rulers who traded captives for beads, cheap gin, cheap gunpowder, cheap cloth, and other low quality goods that did little to benefit people. The trade was quite unbalanced; Europe and the United States still stand on legs that stretch deep into money acquired through the slave trade, while Africa has only regrets and problems rooted in the heart of the slave trade.
Due to a lack of information concerning Africas population and population density up to the 19th century , the numerous illegal ships of undocumented slaves smuggled to the Americas, and the amount of slaves who died along the passage between slavehouse to ship, or died during the passage from port to port, there is no certainty in how many Africans were taken captive and killed during the Trans Atlantic slave trade. Numbers have been proposed that range between a few to one hundred million from 1445 to 1870. Current theories (during Walters times) suggest 10 million arrived in the New World, a number understated in hopes of whitewashing the atrocities of the slave trade, but even 10 million has drastic consequences. The vast majority of those taken represented what Africa could not afford to lose: its future.
The slave trade robbed Africa of its healthiest able bodied young men and women. The preferred age for a slave was 15-35, the most desirable was early twenties. Often even younger African children were taken. While the rest of the world grew exponentially in population during the trade, Africas population is believed to have remained stagnant from 1650 to 1850. This is due to the loss of young adults responsible for reproduction. Population growth played a large part of the development of European markets, as well as the development of pre-capitalist societies in Asia. Africas low population density capped its potential for the natural growth many other regions experienced.
While many African rulers no doubt engaged in the trading of slaves for what they perceived as their own self-interest, all rationality shows how disastrous it was for African societies. Economic activity and growth was negatively affected by the loss in population. As the continents density was depleted, the remains of many ethnic groups were forced to leave their homes due to an inability to fight certain diseases and perform certain tasks with such low numbers. The presence of slave traders also increased violence in many regions. Raids were common and many lived in fear and insecurity. Many of Africas youth were raised keeping an overly watchful eye on their own livelihood instead of experiencing educational growth and making new discoveries. This, added to the fact that many of what composed Africas youth, its future, were lost to the hands of the slave trade, seriously hindered the ability of African peoples to contribute significantly to better their conditions. The smartest, strongest, healthiest men were taken, the most fertile appearing women were captured, and sold with them was the future of many African societies.
Economic development takes an entire village, and usually takes place during peaceful conditions. There have, however, been periods in history when social groups grew stronger through imposing adversity upon others by slave-raiding across the borders for women, cattle, crops and other goods which were then used within the community. This was not the case during the Transatlantic slave trade. Those captured were not utilized within Africa, instead shipped outside the community destroying any chance for the perpetuation of wealth. It caused chaos in the place construction. The areas affected most were West Africa, from Senegal to Angola extending 200 miles inland, and east-central Africa including Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, northern Zambia and eastern D.R.C.
Although some still argue adversely, there were no benefits to Africa in the slave trade. The imports from Europe only competed and drew money away from African goods, those that did not were usually useless trinkets to be stored away or quickly consumed. While some maintain that it provided Africa with needed food staples to prevent starvation, the slave trade is responsible for much of the hunger present in Africa due to a loss of ability to till the land. Also, the food Africa received from America cannot be attributed to the trade of slaves. The Italians staple food spaghetti was introduced when Marco Polo visited China and witnessed first for the west Chinese noodles..
.Perhaps the hardest of these areas to address is the impact on Africa, because of the lack of reliable statistical information. Historians\” estimates of the effects of the slave trade range widely, from those who see the trade as fundamental to the problems that blighted Africa both then and later, to those who see it as only a marginal factor in Africa\”s historical development.
Nevertheless, it is possible to make a number of observations. Whatever the African impact of the Atlantic trade, it was at its greatest in West Africa, which supplied the largest number of captives, although at the height of the trade many other parts of Africa were also used as a source for slaves. In addition, the trade had a disproportionate impact on the male population, because male slaves were the most sought after in the Americas; it is thought that roughly two-thirds of the slaves taken to the New World were male, only one-third female.
Powerful Africans who engaged in slave dealing could make a sizeable profit from the trade, especially in view of the relatively high prices that European merchants were prepared to pay for African slaves. By the eighteenth century, slaves had become Africa\”s main export.
But whether African economies felt a significant benefit is far more doubtful. It seems that the period between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries was a time of economic stagnation for Africa, which fell further and further behind the economic progress of Europe as the years passed by. Little wonder, then, that some historians interpret this as a sign that the Atlantic trade was seriously retarding Africa\”s economic development.
The possible negative consequences of the trade were not only economic. Politically, as African rulers organised the capture of slaves, traditions were created of brutal and arbitrary intervention by the powerful in people\”s lives. Meanwhile, as rival African rulers competed over the control of slave-capture and trading, wars could result. On both counts, the Atlantic trade badly affected the political landscape of Africa, and set disturbing precedents for the future.
Admittedly, not all the consequences of slavery for Africa can be attributed specifically to the Atlantic slave trade. Before, during, and after the era of the Atlantic trade, African rulers were capturing slaves for their own use, and for sale to the Middle East. According to Manning, between 1500 and 1900, while twelve million captives were sent on the Atlantic slave ships, eight million were kept as slaves within Africa,
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