How did the African slave trade affect West African societies? I would especially like to know the effects the slave trade had on West Africa.

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The West African slave trade had a variety of effects on the nations in western Africa. Obviously, for one, they were being plundered of the young, able-bodied men and women who could work and grow the population, but these tended to be from smaller tribes and nations further inland. The coastal cities and tribes grew rich as they became ports of entry, creating trading establishments, and sold slaves to the traders. These cities benefited because they were oft visited, which allowed them to become vendors of many goods for the slave traders in addition to the supply of enslaved individuals.

The inner regions became more and more impoverished, but the coastal cities became more established. The effects of this are still evident today, as coastal cities are the prominent cities and capitals of West African nations like Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire.

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The impact of the slave trade on West African societies was uneven.  The societies that traded the slaves flourished during the era of the Atlantic slave trade.  By contrast, the societies from which the slaves were taken were badly hurt.

The coastal societies got slaves from farther inland and traded them to the white slavers.  By doing so, the coastal societies became rich and powerful.  As this was going on, however, the societies farther inland were drasticaly affected.  Those who came raiding for slaves tended to take the young and the fit.  These were the most profitable people to take.  Because of this, the most productive and important members of society (the young, fit workers) were taken away.  This, of course, harmed the inland societies.

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