|Effect of the Atlantic Slave Trade in West Africa
Effect of the Atlantic Slave trade on some West African Societies-
Albert von Dantzig Rerue Francoise d historic d outré-mer
The Atlantic Slave Trade had different effects on various slaves of Africa. Also, the trade affected the people on a micro level as well. Among there people you are able to distinguish:
Societies that are mainly targeted Slaves raid.
Societies mainly engaged in capturing slaves.
Societies who engaged in the trade either as middlemen or retailers who sold directly to Europeans.
An obvious effect is warfare, either among once unified states or towards the Europeans. The Portuguese didn’t rely on the Gold coast to supply them with slaves as they “realized that the purchase of slaves, mostly war-captive would encourage warfare, which would negatively affect the gold trade.”(189) In addition, there was battle between states that were once unified. Allada raided neighbouring states that were considered “sons” of Allada, Weme and Dahomey, when there were shortages in the supply of slaves in their states. (191)
Depopulation led to the lack of labour for the agriculture industry, where the absence of the able-bodied leaving either the very old or the very young who would insufficiently try to carry this practice. It was not only caused man’s capturing but by the disruption and discontinuity of community life after a raid.
N.B The gradual increase in the demand and sale of slaves on the Gold Coast, led to the diminish exportation of gold and also its production.
Overpopulation faced a palliative effect as persons fled to neighbouring areas because unknown by many. Densely populated areas were key target for slave raiding. (201)
All the warfare and animosity about slave trade within states and empire did nothing good but led to the eclipse of these African States. The slave capturing policy in Akwamu Empire was a main cause of the revolts among the people, which weakened the empire and led to its collapse. The slaves trade also led to the collapse of other states such as Allada and Whydah. (194)
The Atlantic Slave trade gave great insecurity towards the people as they began to distrust the government. At present, natural and man-made defences can be seen around Mahi Villages for protection. (195) states ( Dahomey) who looked to more developed states ( Wydah) for protection , turned to others ( Oyo) when their weakness wa taken advantage of.
The Slave Trade brought economic wealth and power to various individuals and groups. Fanti, Akwamuand Whydah, who had large stakes in the Slave Trade started to gain emense power. (190) Europeans preferred to make deals with the coastal African dealers and wholesalers who became very wealthy from the trade. (197) along with this, one may say that the slave trade to a greater or lesser extent, “ suppressed the development of an African Industry of European Luxury goods such as silks, velvets and gold embroidered cloth. (198)
With the migration of varions European Nations into Afica, there was the establishment or introduction of European factories in states such as Grand Apo, Allada and Homedas.
The Slave trade gave the governments the opportunity to discard the “unworthy” people. Whydayh was able to supply them with most of their criminals and those sold on the gold coast was far inferior than the slaves of the other areas.
The Europeans’ introduction of firearm not only helped the states to protect themselves but promoted violence and further turmoil, as the firearms were more superior to their own weapons.
Done By: Kayan Douglas