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Resistance during the Transatlantic Slave Trade - Essay Example

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In the paper “Resistance during the Transatlantic Slave Trade” the author analyzes slave resistance, which was the initial, gradual and ultimate response of the African slaves against transatlantic slavery. Slaves ‘naturally’ resisted their enslavement because slavery was fundamentally ‘unnatural’…
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Resistance during the Transatlantic Slave Trade
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"Resistance during the Transatlantic Slave Trade"

Download file to see previous pages The resistances in Africa were defensive, offensive and protective in nature3. These were meant not only to discourage the Europeans from getting more slaves from Africa but to somehow send a message to the Western world that slavery is really unnatural and that no one has the right to declare that a person can be someone’s property. Some resistances in African in the 18th century were in the form of relocation, particularly by the West Africans. As the market for slaves increased, many West Africans tried to look for areas that were less accessible to the slave traders. These Africans moved to lake areas where it was difficult for the invaders to cross4. Nevertheless, although some were spared through this way, there was no stopping the European invaders from getting more slaves from Africa. Another strategy of Africans is by architectural means like building homes and villages with labyrinths, as well as high walls and several points of ingress or entry points, and egress or exit points5. This further confused the slave traders as most of them did not know how labyrinths worked. There were no reports, however, regarding the true effectiveness of these architectural works in preventing European invaders from capturing slaves. Aside from these, there were also protective strategies like captive redemption, or the system of helping each other avoid slavery by using cash protection. Mostly, these were secret societies like those of the Efik and Ekpe, although they were able to help protect the African slave traders6. Still, just like the other previously mentioned strategies, there was no way to account for the effectiveness of captive redemption. After all, it obviously could not accommodate everyone.
There were protective strategies but there were also offensive ones. The offensive forms of resistance included several rebellions in Africa itself. Among these were the Mandingo Rebellion in Mali and Niger from 1785-1796, the Hubbu Rebellion in Guinea in the 1850s, and the Bilali Rebellion in Sierra Leone from 1838-1872. These were all armed resistances that helped resist slavery and assert the freedom of the Africans from slavery7.
Other offensive strategies included forming alliances among communities in order to protect people from the slave traders; Africans deliberately dropping poisoned food, wine and water along the paths of the European slave traders for an obvious purpose; and young men undergoing military training in order to be able to protect their communities8.
The problem is that in many parts of Africa, all cultural and religious movements instituted to counter transatlantic slavery were brutally quelled by the government. One example of this was the Congolese ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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