Effects of the Slave Trade on West Africa

1135 Words Apr 22nd, 2013 5 Pages
DSC Date:12th/3/13
History Assignment
Topic: Examine the social, economic and political effects of the slave trade on West Africa

The trans- Atlantic slave trade was a system developed in the late 15th century which exploited and brought the African people into enslavement by transporting them to the colonies of the new world where they served their purpose as a ‘’cheap’’ labour force . As a result of this, the slave trade brought about many social, economic and political effects on West Africa.
Firstly, the population in West Africa decreased significantly in order to meet the great demand for
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Great fear of being enslaved developed among many Africans who even abandoned their homes for safety. This gave rise to distrust and divided communities as aggressive tribalism increased and in some cases entire tribes and nations were virtually destroyed. Another effect of the slave trade on West Africa was that it led to cultural diversity. As Europeans (such as the Dutch and Portuguese) began to settle in African states they spread their cultural practices such as language; many African tribes and European languages were mixed thereby forming new languages like ‘swahili’. The slave trade also contributed to spiritual erasure. Certain religious institutions were so focused on meeting the needs of the trade and consequently, became depraved. They developed a deep desire for Europeans goods and this also resulted in a new class of African entrepreneurs. The Europeans traded goods such as firearms, iron, horses, cloth and tobacco in return for slaves. And with the supply of these goods, the Africans created businesses by selling the valuable products to the public and received great profits.
The trans-Atlantic trade also had several effects on the economy of West Africa. The slave trade resulted in West Africa being robbed of its most valuable raw material, which was its human resource. The economic development of the nation was therefore hindered by exporting and exploiting its human labor force. Additionally, they neglected their
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