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The Effects of the African Slave Trade - Term Paper Example

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Name Class Teacher Date The Effects of the African Slave Trade It may seem incomprehensible that at some point in our history, human beings were also bought and sold as slaves (circa 15th to 19th century). Accounts of cruelty were horrific that the historian Bokolo were amazed how could cruelty of such magnitude lasted that long and how come everybody just let it happen…
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The Effects of the African Slave Trade
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Download file to see previous pages The slave trade did not start with the intention of selling human beings. Rather, it was a product of a vicious cycle that spiraled into its final form of trading humans. It was not certain if the Arab slave trade was the precursor to the West slave trade. Initially, the Arabs had the slave trade only as a supplement to their more lucrative commerce in Africa with Sudanese gold and other rare and exotic woods. The Arab slave trade however was not geared towards a full scale buying and selling of humans but rather only as a means to satisfy their domestic needs. The Europeans (later the Americans) found the slave trade to be profitable followed suit and made a full scale business out of it whose numbers of the slaves traded accounted to millions (historians dispute the actual numbers but they agreed that it accounted to millions). The slave trading was intensified especially when the plantations on the islands off the coast of Africa (Sao Tome, Principe, Cap Verde) were successfully established. Also, when the New World (America) embarked on its plantation and mines of gold, copper, cocoa, sugar, corn, tobacco and coffee, the slave trade became a convenient source of forced labor. Suffice to say that the international trade during the 15th to 19th century was driven by the slave trade. The commodities that were traded were not only grown and attended by slaves, but the slaves themselves were also part of the commodities that were traded internationally. These centuries of trade slave, ten centuries of slave trade from the Muslim countries that spanned between ninth to ninenteenth century, four centuries of slave trade from Western countries that eclipsed the ten centuries of trade of the Muslim countries, had a widespread implication among the African countries. African countries bled from the forced raid and stripping of its human resource whose trade passed through all her possible routes from the Sahara, through the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean ports and across the Atlantic (Bokolo). “The figures, even where hotly disputed, make your head spin. Four million slaves exported via the Red Sea, another four million through the Swahili ports of the Indian Ocean, perhaps as many as nine million along the trans-Saharan caravan route, and eleven to twenty million (depending on the author) across the Atlantic Ocean” (Bokolo). The most obvious effect of slave trade among these African countries is non-development. The African countries being robbed of its able bodied human resource were not able to embark on the development of its agriculture which was a pre requisite towards industrialization (people has to eat first before they can industrialize). Instead, its human resource and best able bodied men and women were used to till the lands of their European and American counterparts and also manned the factories and mines that became the engine of growth in the Western world. While Europe and America prospered, the African source of labor languished in poverty. The underdevelopment of African countries even lingered until today even if the slave trade already ended more than a century past. The slave trade was so prevalent that the magnitude and depth of the damage brought by the trade that literally stripped these African ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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