Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade


Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade C20 EQs: Why/How did slave trade begin/why was it necessary? What impacts did slave trade have on Africa? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Africa and the Africans in the Age of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Africa and the Africans in the Age of the
Atlantic Slave Trade
  • C20
  • EQs Why/How did slave trade begin/why was it
  • What impacts did slave trade have on Africa?

The Beginnings
  • ONE IMPORTANT POINT Slavery existed in Africa
    BEFORE Europeans arrived
  • Remember, Portuguese explorers initiated contact
    with the African coast in the early 15th
    centurythey built factories (forts) for
    tradethe most important was El Minathese forts
    were established with the consent of local
    African kings seeking trade alliances and
    military support
  • The Portuguese and Afro-Portuguese (mulatto)
    traders followed traditional routes into the
    interior to open markets with savanna
    kingdomsreligious efforts soon followed,
    particularly in the kingdoms of Benin and Kongo,
    where kings were converted
  • In the end, few Portuguese settled
    permanentlyand other European nations soon
    followed this pattern of establishing fortified
    positions and the coast and making contacts with
    regional civilizationsNO COLONIZATION (except
    South Africa)

The Statistics of Slave Trade
  • Between 1450 and 1850 about 12 million Africans
    were shipped across the Atlantic
  • About 10 to 11 million made it alive!
  • Around 1/3 of those who died were either killed
    in raids by African slave traders or on the trip
    to the coast
  • The volume of trade was greatest after 1700, with
    over 80 of the total arriving
  • Brazil received more than 40 of the slaves
    shipped to the AmericasWHY???
  • High volume was important because of the high
    slave mortality rate in the Americas (WHY?) and
    low fertility rate (only in the Southern US were
    slaves able to have children)
  • WHO was most likely captured for slavery?

Organization of Slave Trade
  • Portugal control slave trade until 1630then the
    Dutch seized El Minameanwhile, the British and
    French began to seek slave trade to supply labor
    for their New World coloniesby the 1700s France
    was dominating trade
  • In terms of trade, slaves were bought from
    African slave trading kingdoms with iron bars,
    brass rings and cowry shells early onbecause of
    the value of trade benefits for African kings,
    coastal kingdoms began the process of raiding
    interior kingdoms (warfare), capturing prisoners
    and entering them into the slave marketrarely
    did actual Europeans go into interior Africa to
    capture slaves
  • The commercial profitability of slave trade was
    great, though many questioned which group was in
    total control of the processwhat has been proven
    is that slave trade led to the expansion of
    Commercial capitalism and the advent of the
    Industrial Revolution in Europe (WHY?)
  • English traders estimated their profits from
    slave trade at around 5 to 10 in the late 1700s
  • The most important pattern that emerged from
    slave trade was

The Triangular Trade Network
African Societies, Slavery and the Slave Trade
  • Once againAfrica already had systems of
    slaverytribal kings owned the land, the people
    on the land were tied to it and the number of
    slaves a noble had was tied to their wealth and
    statusslaves had many occupations but still had
    limited rights (no choices about lives or
  • It is important to remember that enslaving women
    was central to African societyand polygamy
    increased in African societies and Islamic
    religion influenced kingdomsin effect, the male
    slaves were most likely to be sold where female
    slaves became harem members or domestics
  • In general, during the early periods of the slave
    trade, Africans did not SELL their own people
    (changes by the mid-1700s)

Slavery and African Politics
  • Slavery shifted the balance of power in Africa
    from powerful central states to newly emerging
    slave trading kingdoms on the coastlinesKingdoms
    in the interior (Ghana, Mali, Songhai) crumbled
    as kingdoms from the coast (Asante, Benin and
    Dahomey) raided them for riches and slaves
  • What factors accounted for this shift in power?

Coastal Kingdoms
  • Asante On the Gold Coast, the empire of the
    Asante (Ashanti) emerged from slave trade
    interactionsthe clans of the Asante (Akan and
    Oyoko) were unified by Osei Tutu, who created the
    title asantehene (supreme leader)his golden
    stool stood as a symbol of unificationthe
    asantehene had a council of rulers and began to
    use military force to exercise powerthe Dutch
    made connections with the Asante by 1700slaves
    (2/3 trade) and gold became their major exports
    and the Asante maintained their power until the

Coastal Kingdoms
  • Benin Was already a well developed, advanced
    society when Europeans arrivedThe obas (leaders)
    of Benin was largely interested in only trading
    goods with arriving Europeanseventually pressure
    from Europeans forced the obas by the 1700s to
    begin slave trade (though it never was their
    dominate source of economic prosperity)
  • Dahomey By the 1700s, the influence of Europeans
    and their weapons transformed this society into a
    slave producerthey used the typical pattern of
    forming armies to capture slaves from the
    interiorthey continued as a major slave supplier
    into the 19th C, with slavery having negative
    impacts on their society (Such as?)

Slavery and East Africa
  • The Swahili trading states remained largely
    unaffected by European slave trade to the
  • Slaves in this region were primarily women who
    were destined to become members of Arabian harems
  • Unique to this region was the establishment of
    local plantations with slave labor and the
    establishment of European plantations on offshore
    islands that required E. African and even Hindu

Southern Africa
  • South Africa remained unaffected by slave
    trademainly thanks in part to sparse population
    and the colony established by the Dutch East
    India Company
  • The Cape Colony was established was a provision
    post for ships traveling east to Indonesiathe
    people who settled it were pioneers and sought a
    measure of separation from the Dutch crownthey
    did use local natives as slaves but a large
    measure of intermarriage occurred as well
  • None of these peoples were ever exported out as
    slave labor, but many were locally enslaved by
    the Dutch or killed in constant warfare with
    Dutch and eventually British colonists
  • Eventually, the Zulus solidified their power in
    the beginning of the 19th century under their
    greatest warrior Shakahis people carried on the
    traditions he established in the mfecane or wars
    of crushing and wandering...they influenced the
    development of kingdoms (Swazi and Lesotho)
  • Afrikaaners (or Boers as they also became known
    as) felt increased pressures from Zulu tribes
    that existed in large numbers on the high plains
    (velds) and the northeastern fringes of the
    territorythis threat lasted well into the latter

The Slave Experience
  • Slaves became a significant portion of the
    population in the Americas
  • The journey for slaves to America on the Middle
    Passage was horrificslave ships were packed
    fullmany slaves died on the journey (What ways?)
  • Those that survived became plantation or even
    mine labor replacing natives and indentured
    servants in the Brazil, Caribbean and Southern US
    (Demographically, Caribbean islands and Brazil
    became predominately black)
  • In America, distinct slave hierarchies
    emergedthere was a difference between saltwater
    slaves (pure African) and Creole/mulatto slaves
    (mixed)Creole/mulatto slaves were more likely to
    win freedomand their were free people of color
    (many who had been fortunate to travel to Europe
    and become westernized rather than sold into
  • Rebellions were not uncommon, particularly where
    slaves with common ethnicity lived (Brazil,
  • Despite the negative effects of slavery, African
    societies STILL brought with them their complete
    cultural identity (language, practices,
    religions)only family traditions were hard to
    re-establish, as most areas lacked female slaves

The Decline of Slave Trade
  • Opposition to slavery grew out of Enlightenment
    ideas and religious sentiment
  • Writers such as Rousseau and Adam smith decried
    the abuses of traders, characterizing them and
    their practice as backwards and immoralit was
    the abuses and cruelty that brought the movement
    to the forefront of human society in the early
    19th century
  • Religious humanists such as John Wesley and
    William Wilberforce began the early abolition
    movements in Britain at the end of the 18th
  • In 1807, British parliament outlawed slave trade
  • The full end to slavery and slave trade from
    Africa did not come until the end of the 19th

  • Tuesday Video Clips on Slavery
  • Wednesday Change Analysis
  • Thursday DBQ on Slave Trade
  • Friday Test on C20 MC DBQ NOTES DUE