Let us address Part 1 of the question first: how the Atlantic slave trade reshaped sub-Saharan African societies. The slave trade caused a general weakening of the African societies as a whole because able-bodied men, women, and children were being enslaved. This left the continent open to colonization by European settlers in search of diamonds, gold, spices, and any other valuable trade items.
In general, sub-Saharan Africa in the 1700’s was a series of small states or loose federations. These groups often warred among themselves in order to gain power and land. Around this time, the Europeans introduced firearms into Africa. They would help one particular city-state defeat another, then buy the captives for the slave trade. It was common for European traders to ally with one tribe seeking to overthrow another. This caused wars to escalate, leading to a large increase in the number of people enslaved. Warfare of varying degrees occurred all along the Atlantic coast.
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