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"What were the main features of the African slave trade, and what effects did it have on Africa Restrict your answer to the period before 1800"
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This in fact was the worst slave trade in history according to the author. (Buxton, 2005 p16)
Africans in general, the ones involved in the slave trade and those who were left, faced a lot of pain. It was total horror and disgust to Africans as they went through the miseries. The territories left behind by the slaves would become wilderness and expose the villages to a great extent of conflagration and chaos. Their children would be kidnapped and murdered in pursuit of some inferior supplies from the continent of Europe.
Europe would always treat the slaves and those Africans left behind in a very evil and cruel manner. The traders would give to the chiefs who would sell the slaves very minute revenues in compensation and leave them to apply to the ones left. The chieftains would sell approximately 250,000 (to the higher) slaves per annum and the revenue would be about 4 pounds per head. Sometimes they would be duped and even at times the recipients of the slaves would describe the received merchandise as one that would only fit an inferior description.
It would result into a very infeasible business, shunning off the fact that the whole process was so dehumanizing. Firstly, the revenues received would sometimes not meet the costs at all since it had to be applied to pay the armies that would involve in the trade of slaves. The reprisals among the chieftains would also be a requirement and the cost of the ravaging of their land as well as property destruction. The other items that would prove costly as well were such items as ammunition, and arms.
There were also the goods that would be imported into Africa that would not match the gains from the traded slaves in exchange. Also the slaves hunting process was not a very nice experience and it would only be described as horrid. Millions of acres of land would be left abandoned since the owners would be traded as slaves. They (chiefs) would trade the slaves basically to get ball, powder and brandy and
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The following illustrations depict slave trade and my interpretations for the same. Picture 1 Clothing Styles, Houses, Musical Instruments, Gambia River Region, early 18th cent. This picture has been taken from the category ‘Pre-Colonial Africa: Society, Polity, Culture’.
The African slave trade eventually ended but not just by itself. But rather, with the incessant drive of the abolitionist north and the subsequent abrogation of the trade by Britain and France. It may have ended more than a century past but its effect still lingers until today among the African states whose best able bodied human resource (age between 18 to 40) were forcibly taken during the height of the slave trade.
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