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How did the rise of the Atlantic slave trade affect Africa, economically, politically,...

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kayla94 | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM via web

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How did the rise of the Atlantic slave trade affect Africa, economically, politically, and demographically between 1450 and 1750?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 17, 2011 at 7:06 PM (Answer #1)

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There are bound to be profound impacts in anything that involves a condition that involves about 9 to 12 million people.  This sheer volume of slaves who were moved due to the Translantic Slave Trade makes it profound on all scales, sadness present in every realm.  From an economic standpoint, I think that the slave trade increased much in way of foreign capital in Africa and parts of the continent where slaves were taken.  Local authorities, such as tribal chiefs or village elders, were paid for their attempts in securing captured prisoners and numbers of their own people for European slave dealers.  The demographic impact was broad and deep, affecting populations and social development.  This capital was not invested or sought to strengthen the continent, so individuals were being taken from it without much in way of sustainable economic reality being fostered.  From a political point of view, the slave trade made Africa dependent on the West.  Africa became the reservoir for the rest of the world for its slave labor.  This helped to create a political condition that, to a certain extent, lingers today in that Africa was not seen as able to maintain its own viability without the influence of the West.  At the same time, it helped to make colonization a reality that would soon emerge more easily.  In this, the political condition whereby Africa would become victim to the West's continued exploitation was enhanced to a large degree by the Atlantic slave trade.

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