Impact on Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Economies Essay: Book Notes

History of Africa: Kevin Shillington, Revised 2nd Edition, Palgrave Macmillian 175 fifth avenue, New York, N.Y. 100010

Page 143: The indigenous development of the Kongo Kingdom was disrupted after the 1480’s by the arrival of the Portugese and their increasing demand for a trade in slaves.

Page 186: During 17th 18th Century Wolof Kingdoms engaged with Europeans in slave trade. Export 100s a year rather than thousands. Many Slaves were ‘retained’ with in Wolof Society and worked to produce surplus foodstuffs for both the royal courts and for export to the coastal trading towns. *The Atlantic trade created a thriving market for foodstuffs to feed the slaves awaiting export…Wolof engaged in this trade became well-established* at coastal towns, making Wolof the dominant urban culture and language of Senegambia region.

Page 288: Roman Catholic Christian missionaries from Portugal had closely followed the early Portugese coast penetration of tropical Africa. (Intro-Background.)

Page 230: During the course of the 18th century Britain overtook all other European nations as the single largest exporter of Africans from Africa.

Page: 231: By the end of the century more than half the captives transported from west Africa were carried across the Atlantic in British ships. yet…Britain had become the first major European nation to abolish the trade in slaves, in 1807. French ban 1790s-lifted and continued. Danish-1805-banned citizens from trading. This did not abolish the institution of slavery itself. U.S. 1808- Holland, France followed 1814-1817.

-Economically: Important changes made in relationships between Europeans and west Africans. Course 19th Century. These were to ‘culminate’ in the notorious ‘scramble for Africa’ of the 1880s and 1890s. contributing factors: The American war of Independence against Brittian 1776-1783. French Revolution 1789. ‘Provided important stimulation for the abolitionist cause.

Leading to abolition

  • Growing belief. european intellectuals. humans had universal rights. freedom. equality. most important factor: early 19th c. slavery and slave trade. were in many ‘respects’. becoming. uneconomic.
  • Rapid expansion in Carribean sugar plantations-Late 18th-led to overproduction: fall in the selling price of sugar= same time west African rulers and merchants: charging higher prices for the sale of their captives.
  • Reduced Euro profit leves further.
  • Plantation owner could not pay debt to banks.
  • Euro saw if slaves were left in Africa they could provide euro with raw materials.
  • Euro saw profit opportunity.
  • “prompting abolishon of slavery, -struggle of Africans themselves to ‘obtain’ their own freedom.
  • Evidence: Olaudah Equian: ex-slave: Equin’s autobiography. best-seller. publicized evils of trade and strongly condemning slave system. (Page 232-233) Toured England. Speeches. Selling book. Also: Ottabah Cugoano. Others. Speak. Write. Personal experiences

Slaves in Brazil. 17thc. ‘Runaway’ slaves set up an independent black republic known as ‘Palmares’. Lasted for 100 years before Portugese took it over. Haitian revolution: France’s major sugar producing island. Production increased so rapidly. Early 1790s. 400,000 slaves, rose and killed masters 1791. Beat off French and British navies. Establish the independent, ‘Republic of Haiti’ in 1803. The Haitian revolution had a major impact upon the willingness of European governments and bankers. to continue to support the slave trade.

  • Slavery was not finally abolished until 1832 in British Colonies- 1888 US. Other in between. 1.3 million slaves set 1888 across Atlantic.
  • Dominate Trade West Coast 2-3 Centuries
  • Socio-Cultural: Negative- disrupted. distorted. developments. in interior. Use of slave labor became more widespread. Local agriculture. often disrupting. greater level of violence. warfare. deep class division. society. Rich traders and rules. poor peasantry and enslaved.
  • Positive: Farmers experimented- developed growing of new crops in Americas. Maize. Cassava. Trade in ‘age-old commodities’ continued. developed. within African communities. Europe. Across sahara. Europe found west Africa ‘fertile’ for ‘legitimate commerce’ exports: gum arabic, groundnuts, palm oil
  • As Europe gradually outlawed slavery


‘—–‘ words that need to be changed into students vernacular.



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