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Africa and the Slave Trade. Chapter 21. Colonial Set-up. Portuguese first travel the African coast because… Wanted to skirt the Ottomans, who were becoming powerful. Needed to new gold source to fix imbalance with Asia. While on their explorations, Portugal sets up plantations on…

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Africa and the Slave Trade

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Africa and the Slave Trade

Chapter 21


Colonial Set-up

  • Portuguese first travel the African coast because…

    • Wanted to skirt the Ottomans, who were becoming powerful.

    • Needed to new gold source to fix imbalance with Asia.

  • While on their explorations, Portugal sets up plantations on…

    • Azores, Madeiras, and Canary islands

    • Producing sugar, needed lots of labor for the plantations


Colonial Set-up

  • While the Portuguese continued down the West coast, they starting building “factories”- forts and trading posts, and begin to trade

    • Past the range of their cannons, Portugal couldn’t enforce their rule, so they had to get consent from local rulers to set up their factories

    • Originally, most trade was gold, ivory, pepper

    • Had some missionary aspects


Colonial Set-up

  • With Iberia’s history of slavery (frontier of Christianity) and the demand for slaves in the Atlantic islands, Portugal’s direct involvement in Sub-Saharan trade gave them direct access to slaves

    • First brought to Portugal in 1441

    • Found raids to not be profitable, but trading for slaves was


Colonial Set-up

  • Other competing countries quickly followed

    • Netherlands

    • England

    • France

      • Each established fortified merchant towns

      • Combination of force and diplomacy

      • Alliances with local rulers

      • Predominance of commercial relations


Effect on Africa

  • Demand for slaves from Europe created a new market in Africa for slaves

    • Africans themselves supplied the slaves

  • Europeans didn’t have firepower passed the coast, and diseases leveled Euros in Africa

  • The Africans just beyond the coast became the most successful in filling the need for slaves

    • Controlled access to the coast, and took over trade routes to the coast

      • Like Ghana and SonghayearlierColonial Set-up


Effect on Africa

  • Most importantly, the demand for slaves also gave African kingdoms the incentive to expand their empires

    • Influenced by the “gunpowder empires” and the growing international commerce of the Europeans


Compare/Contrast

  • Compare the Social and Economic impact of European exploration on Africa and South America


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