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The African slave trade held economic benefits for both the countries of Europe and the colonies of the Americas. However, the effects of the trade on Africa were far from beneficial. What effects did the trade have on Africa, and how did these effects weaken the economic, social, and political structure of that continent?

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The slave trade did actually benefit some African people, especially monarchs and traders of West African states who profited from it. But its effects were catastrophic for the vast majority of West African people. European slave traders initially bought African slaves who had been captured in war. This was a longstanding practice, though African slavery, which was not hereditary and usually not permanent, was very different from the slave system that developed in the Atlantic World. Over time, the demand became so overwhelming that it incentivized war--African kingdoms launched slaving raids into the interior, and against their neighbors, that resulted in endemic conflict. This naturally destabilized the region. Over time, as well, the practice of taking young men--highly in demand among slave traders--had a dramatic effect on demographics in the region.

Beyond these effects, the slave trade decimated villages, destroyed families, disrupted the ancestral culture of African societies,...

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vanvelzorj | Student

Okay, just saying, it wasn't only Europeans stealing slaves, there was African Americans who captured the slaves to get them to the ship, for money...

aljennenicole | Student

omg i did not mean to post that ^