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Slave Trade and European Imperialism


Slave Trade and European Imperialism The Slave Trade When Europeans began to colonize the Americas, they used Native Americans for slave labor. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Slave Trade and European Imperialism

Slave Trade and European Imperialism
The Slave Trade
  • When Europeans began to colonize the Americas,
    they used Native Americans for slave labor.
  • Diseases, however, decreased the population of
    Native American slaves dramatically.
  • The Native Americans were not used to diseases
    the colonists carried.
  • By the mid-1600s, colonists in the Americas had
    turned to Africa as a new source of labor.

Triangular Trade
  • A pattern of trade known as triangular trade
    occurred between Europe, the Americas, and
  • Merchants from Europe brought manufactured goods
    to trade for captured and enslaved Africans in
    one leg of the triangle.
  • Africans were traded for items such as guns and
    cloth from Europe, and rum and gunpowder from the
    American colonies.

Triangular Trade
  • Another part of the trade triangle was known as
    the Middle Passage. Enslaved Africans were
    transported from Africa to the West Indies on
    crowded, dangerous ships.
  • They were traded for sugar, molasses, and other
    products in the Americas.
  • These agricultural goods were shipped to Europe
    and European colonies, making up the third leg of
    the trade triangle.

Triangular Trade
  • A Dutch ship that landed in Jamestown, Virginia,
    in 1619 was the first known slave ship in North
  • The ship left Africa carrying 100 Africans, but
    arrived in Jamestown with only 20.
  • It was common for people to perish on slave
    ships. Often the ships carried hundreds of
    people in dangerous conditions.

Triangular Trade
  • They were chained together by their hands and
  • The people were held in spaces that were only
    tall enough to sit in, so they were unable to
    stand up.
  • Illness spread quickly in the slave ships, and
    many Africans died in transit between Africa and
    the colonies.

Colonization of Africa
  • At first, European explorers would only explore
    the coasts of Africa.
  • The interior was unexplored and unknown.
    Exploration became safer as science improved.
    Most of Africa had been mapped by the mid-19th
  • Steamships and railroads allowed travel into the
  • This started the age of colonialism.
  • Colonialism is the forced control of one nation
    by another nation to use its resources.

Reasons for Colonization
  • Africa is a continent of vast wealth.
  • It has many raw materials such as cotton, rubber,
    ivory, and minerals that are not found in Europe.
  • South Africa is rich in diamonds and gold.
  • New industries in Europe needed metals like
    copper and tin.
  • The industrial revolution in Europe needed more
    raw materials.

Reasons for Colonization
  • Europeans also used Africa as a source of cheap
  • African countries were new markets for European
  • They wanted to keep a positive trade balance.
  • A trade balance is the difference in value
    between a countrys imports and exports.
  • The trade balance is favorable when exports are
    greater than imports.

Suez Canal
  • Colonizing Africa made it possible to create
    secure trade routes for European countries.
  • The Suez Canal was the most important trade
  • It is a man-made water route between Europe and
  • The Suez Canal is located in Egypt, and was
    completed in 1869.

Suez Canal
  • Before its construction, ships had to travel
    around the continent of Africa.
  • Both the British and French wanted to control the
  • Cities and forts on the coast of Africa helped
    protect trade ships.

European Way
  • Europeans wanted to change African culture to be
    more like European culture.
  • A missionary is a person who goes to a foreign
    country to spread his or her religion.
  • Missionaries brought Christianity to Africa.
  • They also tried to end the slave trade.

Beginnings of New Imperialism
  • The end of the 19th century is called the age of
    New Imperialism, which refers to countries
    competing for land and power.
  • The growth of European colonies in Africa is
    called The Scramble for Africa.

Great Britain
  • Great Britain and France fought for control of
    the region.
  • The British took control of the Cape Colony from
    the Dutch in the early 1800s so that the French
    could not control it.
  • The British also controlled some forts in West
    Africa, which gave them control of the gold and
    ivory trade.
  • Britain took control of the Suez Canal and Egypt.

  • France wanted to increase its trade.
  • It also wanted to spread French culture. By
    1848, the French established themselves in
    northern Algeria, their first colony.
  • Trade outposts were built in West Africa for the
    slave trade.
  • Most of the French-controlled land was desert.
  • The French also traded palm oil and timber.

  • Belgium was also competing for African land.
  • King Leopold II purchased the Congo River basin
    with money from investors.
  • Belgians did not support the purchase.
  • The amount of land purchased was bigger than
    Belgium itself.
  • The king wanted to make sure that other European
    countries could not control the region.

Berlin Conference
  • The Berlin Conference was a series of meetings in
    Berlin, Germany, held by European nations from
    1884 to 1885.
  • African rulers did not attend.
  • The European nations discussed Africas land and
    how they wanted it to be divided.
  • Ten percent of Africa was in European hands going
    into the meeting.
  • Europeans owned most of Africa by its end.

  • Explain the significance of how Europe's
    interests in Africa changed over the years.
    (Include the triangular trade, reasons for
    colonization, Suez Canal, Berlin Conference.
  • What roles did Great Britain, France and Belgium
    have in colonial Africa?