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How did contact with Europeans affect West Africa socially, politically, and economically? I know about how the slave trade did it, but I want to know if there are any other factors.

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Contact with the Europeans did affect West African societies in other ways. The European traders brought new diseases to West Africa, for example. Smallpox and tuberculosis had a devastating impact on the populations of West Africa. Similarly, the European traders were so afraid of African disease that they did not venture far beyond the West African coast, thereby limiting the geographical remit of slave trading.

Depopulation was not only caused by the arrival of new diseases. As the reference link notes, two-thirds of the people captured and sold into slavery were male. The loss of so many young males would have had wider consequences on the African economy and society.

In addition, the economic character of many West African coastal towns and villages changed. Where they had once between centers of fishing and the production of salt, the growth of slavery transformed these towns and villages into centers of slave trading. They became bustling ports and harbors in response to the...

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