What effects did the slave trade have on Africa?

The slave trade had negative effects on Africa in both the short and long term. In addition to displacing a significant percentage of the population, the slave trade encouraged African nations to wage war and disrupted local cultures and economies. This destabilized the region as a whole and made it almost impossible for African countries to industrialize, which in turn made the nations of Africa far more susceptible to European colonization and exploitation.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The slave trade had many effects on Africa. Most of them were, of course, negative, though we can argue that the slave trade was beneficial for some African states in the short term.

One negative about the slave trade was that it tended to increase the amount of war that occurred in West Africa. The reason for this is that European (and American) slave traders did not simply go out into the African countryside and kidnap their own slaves. Instead, they bought slaves from the coastal kingdoms. Those kingdoms generally got slaves to sell through war and through raids against inland tribes. Because the slave traders wanted more slaves, the coastal kingdoms were encouraged to wage more wars and conduct more raids against...

(The entire section contains 371 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team