Acknowledgement First I would like to thank god for giving me the strength and ability to complete this project. I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the following persons who have made the completion of this assignment possible. My Teacher, Mr. Harvey, for giving me this project as I have learnt many things about The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the effects it had on Africa and African arrival into the new world. My Bother, who helped me with the collection of data and My family and friends for the constant reminders and encouragement to remain committed to the task at hand. Table of Contents
Topics Page # Introduction iv The Negative And Postive Effects of The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: 1 Negative Social Effects 2-3 Negative Economical Effects 4-5 Negative Political Effects 6-7
Positive Effects 8 Conclusion 9 Bibliography 10 Appendices 11 Candidate’s Name: Toniqui Adams Candidate’s #: Centre #: School’s Name: Meadowbrook High
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Introduction This project will be about the Effects the Atlantic slave trade, also known as the Transatlantic slave trade had on Africa, this was the trade of African people supplied to the colonies of the New World that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean. It lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century. Most slaves were shipped from West Africa and Central Africa and taken to the New World . Generally slaves were obtained through coastal trading with Africans, though some were captured by European slave traders through raids and kidnapping and this led to the great period of
African hardship, turmoil and the coming of Africans to the New World now known as North, Central and South America and the West Indies. The main aim of this project is to show whether the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade had more negative effects than positive effects on Africa. Negative Social Effects The trans-Atlantic had a lot of negative social effects as it led to the removal of millions of young men and women led to depopulation that stifled African creativity and production. It led to general feeling of insecurity in African societies as Africans ere afraid of being captured and then enslaved, which caused persons to abandon their homes and relocate to be secure from the threat of slave raids and some areas however encountered overpopulation as people sought safety and protection from the trade, in remote areas where the soil was not so good and they were unable to grow enough crops to feed themselves. Africa became a continent of violence, war, fear and famine. The men who remained or was left behind in Africa began to take on second and third wives, mostly to produce more children, a ready source for the slave market.
As greed and insatiability for money grew, raising children became a business many women often had their children kidnapped and enslaved. Africa also lost more men than women in the slave trade and this caused the balance of society to be distorted. This eventually generated crucial environmental effects. The trade contributed to the diminishing of brotherhood and community spirit in African societies as Africans began to capture other Africans for money and European wealth, communities fell apart because of slave raids which destroyed villages and left some Africans dead and others homeless.
It also led to the degrading of certain religious cultures, as they were warped to complete the needs of the slave trade. Kings, chiefs and rich merchants exploited the common people by bartering them to African traders and Europeans for guns, cloth and metal wears. (Appendix 1) According to J. D Fage “King Tegbesu of Dahomey made ? 250,00 a year by selling slaves in 1750, this was even more than an English duke’s income. ” Families were also disrupted, they were left with orphans, families with single parents and in some cases some families did not survive slave raids. In addition they did not have the ccustomed support system as to help in providing security, health and community spirit. It also led to some Africans losing their culture and some lost their identity as they were brought to the New World (Appendix 2) and was exposed in learning the cultures of the Americas and the language and names used in the Americas this led to persons cutting their ties with their culture in Africa. The Slave Trade led to the Africans having low self-esteem because they were effectively turned into a commodity to facilitate the trade, that impacted the self image of the Africans despite heir enormous amount of talent, and resources that the continent and its people are endowed with. So most Africans today, see themselves as inferior to Europeans. Negative Economical Effects on Africa The Trans-Atlantic slave trade had crucial negative economical effects on Africa. It caused a downfall of Africa’s economy as it stifled technological advancement, and created a class of elite rulers and traders. It led to many of Africa’s coastal areas being dependent on slavery and human merchandise as many of Africa’s coastal areas had been exchanging humans for merchandise for centuries.
Their economies were geared to slave exporting, and they were dependent on the commodities they obtained for slaves. Ceasing the slave trade caused economic hardship, especially for groups who had no products to substitute for slave exports. It also led to a decline in agriculture, owing to the devastation of land during slave raids and wars, the capture of farmers, and the abandonment, by farmers, of in favour of slavery. The mining industry was also ruined and the economy dominated by slaving and imported manufactured goods from Europe. Imports like firearms which helped ncreased inter-tribal wars, led to Africa giving away a lot of their wealth buying British-made firearms (of very poor quality) and industrial-grade alcohol. The trade robbed Africa of skilled craftsmen and helped to ruin the livelihood of those craftsmen who remained, for example cloth, iron, pots and hoes, were imported goods made in European factories, which were cheaper than the locally produced ones, and were bought with slaves. The Trade Brought underdevelopment to Africa as they were trading all their wealth and skilled persons to the Europeans for simple European goods and not luxury goods.
Hugh Thomas stated that “The shortage of blacks threatened the total ruin of the kingdom , for the black slave is the basis of the hacienda and the source of wealth which the realm produced. ” The continent’s human resources were kidnapped, kept in dehumanizing Barracoons (appendix 3) and sold out to eager and willing buyers and were shipped in more barbaric and appalling conditions (Appendix 4) on the slave ships to the New World where most of them died or laboured perpetually to build the New World without due compensation and thus Africa was raped of future leaders, prospective uilders and this led to Africa setting back a lot of progress made by many African Societies. The trade led to an influx of interior European goods and this undermined local industries, especially salt-making, the manufacturers of cotton goods and metal- ware. It about a sense of insecurity that discouraged economic enterprises and it also led to some traditional art being inferior to those previously produced and thus Africa lost out on the creative art works because its standards became very low. Africa’s wealth began to drift and went to European countries and thus Africa became nderdeveloped and began to suffer an economical crisis. Negative Political Effects The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade had major negative political effects on Africa. It led to a rise of professional armies as big the influence the European imported guns had on Africa. This however, many wars and conflicts among Africans because the demand for slaves usually went hand in hand with the demand for guns. The slave trade caused political instability, weakened states, promoted political fragmentation and resulted in a deterioration of domestic legal institutions.
In many cases the village chiefs had a say in the negative effects on Africa as most of them were corrupted and greedy for European wealth. The village leaders made laws and if disobeyed Africans would be punished by being sold into slavery to the Europeans. The political system was undermined and in addition the legal system was also undermined. This was because the feeling of Superiority the village chief felt with guns. This led to military skills in some areas becoming more important than the traditional political systems. States such as Benin , Oyo and Dahomey acquired the trength to expand and impose their authority upon their neighbours from the economic prosperity derived from the slave trade. The influence of the trade tended strongly towards the corruption of the judicial process, with law breakers being often sentenced to slavery for minor offences and the innocent declared guilty in order to augment the supply of slaves. Aggressive tribalism increased, and in some cases whole tribes and nations were virtually destroyed as a result. Slave trading built up the power of chiefs where it was already present, from a broadly representative character into an autocratic one.
It also caused an emergency of a number of large and powerful kingdoms that relied on a militaristic culture of constant warfare to generate the great numbers of human captives required for the trade with the Europeans. Some kingdoms began to expand rapidly as a result of this commerce trading slaves for firearms. These kingdoms with their formidable army, aided by advanced iron technology, captured immense numbers of slaves that were profitably sold to traders. The aggressive pursuit of slaves through warfare and raiding led to the ascent of these kingdoms being a major slave exporter.
Positive Effects In spite of being overwhelmingly detrimental to Africa the slave trade did have some positive effects. Social Effects It brought about into being a class of merchants and businessmen who were able to meet and deal with their counterparts on equal terms, and the entrepreneurial spirit of West Africans stimulated as a result. Economic Effects Agriculture production in the coastal areas received a boost, brought about by the demand for provisions for both the slave ships and the prisons in which the slaves were kept before being shipped. The crops grown included maize and cassava, Appendix 5) both of these had been introduced from the Americas by the slave trade, and both became staple crops of Africa. Political Effects. There were political benefits to Africa from the slave trade because some members of the African elite benefited from the trade. Some of them were directly involved in the trade and gained a lot of firearms and European wealth and thus making them wealthy in their villages . Conclusion The immense misery and suffering prod-Atlantic slave trade cannot be measured. It was the greatest and most inhumane trade of this type the world has ver known, far worse than that of the Arab slave trade, or that carried on across the Sahara. It can be said that a few positive effects that Africa gained was only beneficial for slave traders, Europeans and village chiefs and was nothing compared to the turmoil and suffering that was bestowed on Africa. The rights that were deprived from the Africans, millions of lives were lost, families were torn apart and Africa was destroyed in all aspects. It breathed such new life into African slavery that by the beginning of the twentieth century there were still several million slaves to be found in Africa.
The shortage of man power had a great economic impact and this helped to destroy Africa’s valuable economy. Africa was so ruined that the few positive effects could not heal Africa’s slavery scars and it is perhaps not too difficult to see a connection between Africa then and the under-development of present day Africa. Bibliography Claypole, W. and John Robottom, Caribbean Story, Book one: Longman Publishers, 1990 Hamilton-Willie, D. Lest You forget, Caribbean Economy and Slavery: Jamaica Publishing House Ltd, 2001. Greenwood, R. and Hamber, S, Amerindians to Africans: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 2003
J. D Fage , The History Of West Africa: Cambridge University Press Publishers, 1969. Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade, The Story Of The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870: Simon & Schuster Publishers Ltd, 1997. Websites: Africanhistory. about. com Antislavery. org Appendix 1 Osnaburg Cloth and Guns traded for slaves. Appendix 2 Slaves Conformed on the plantations wearing Osnaburg Clothes. Appendix 3 Slave Barracoon Appendix 4 Slaves chained aboard the ship in barbaric conditions. Appendix 5 Crops Gown on the coast to provide food for the slave ships (Cassava and Maize).
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