The Slave Trading Kingdoms Of Africa

Nov 2018
South Africa
Its estimated that close to 11 Million Africans were sent from the African Continent to the New World as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Were Europeans alone responsible for the trade or was there African complicity and involvement?

Slave Trading Kingdoms Of Africa

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Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
The bigger issue is the massive trade existed because there was a market for it- slaves being traded out of Africa had a long history but the rise of warlords and kingdoms whose stability was largely due to control of the slave trade was linked to the market for slaves in in the Atlantic European colonies.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Republika Srpska
I think no one denies that Africans sold other Africans into slavery. It was a lucrative bussiness.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
They were primarily responsible where it really matters. It really was a matter of demand an supply. And the Africans first of all didn't bring that level of demand. It's not as if they came up with the idea of enslavement for bulk sale across the Atlantic. The Europeans turned up with that one.

The Europeans also turned up with the necessary gear to sell to those African rulers they could entice to step into the European-run global trade-network, and exploitation of the New World, where they had concluded that African slaves was a viable way to go with that. Firearms most of all, creating the African variety of 17th c. "gunpowder empires". Finally the Europeans topped it off with developing the ideological rationalizations for the system, up to and including scientific racism. It still holds true that the Europeans didn't enslave Africans because they were racist, but they certainly did become racist by the process of rationalizing it.

One has to adopt a fairly myopic view of these things to not recognize that the primary driver of the situation also in Africa was the European profit motive, generated by the conquest of the Americas and the establishment of the European run global trading system. African slavery and slave trading was an established feature of the African situation, but the European demand for slave labour dwarfed anything the Africans could even have imagined, and their infusions of capital and guns to make it happen put the situation on steroids.

At the same time on the other side of the Atlantic whole native societies stopped doing all kinds of traditional crafts, opting instead to drop everything to retool their entire societies for the sole purpose of trapping beaver for sale to the Europeans, in exchange for finished products and, again, firearms. Those firearms were then used to make war on their neighbours once the beaver was all trapped-out in their own territory, leading to another set of gunpowder empire and the cycle of "Beaver wars" from the 1640's on.
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