Impact on the People of Nigeria by Muslims, French and British

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Africans have been migrating through out the continent, including Nigeria, long before there was even written record. Because of this, there has always been an extensive amount of inter-mingling between various ethnic groups, making it difficult to actually trace back who came from where. Aside from this amalgamation, there has been a huge impact on the peoples of Nigeria by outside forces. In particular, three major groups that had a major impact were Muslim merchants from across the Sahara, British slave traders and eventual colonizers, and the French and British Christian missionaries. The combination of these three groups has had both an economic and cultural impact on Nigeria that is still present today.

External penetration of
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Nigeria became known as the “Slave Coast” until the middle of the nineteenth century. Characteristics traceable to Yoruba culture have been found in communities of African descent in Brazil, Cuba and in the West Indies. Also, many of the Creoles of Freetown, Sierra Leone, are descendants of early Yoruba freed slaves. Even after the British supposedly abolished slavery in 1807, slavery merely stopped becoming an export but was replaced by forced labor to work for cultivating groundnuts, palm oil and gathering ivory. Also, during this “abolishment,” the Portuguese came back to trade of slaves and pick up where the British left off. During the 400 years that the population was being depleted and controlled by Britain, Europe had gone through its agricultural, industrial and intellectual revolutions.
Not only were Europeans interested in the cash value of Africans, but they also wanted their souls. Missionaries, unlike traders, did not just stick to port towns, rail and river lines or commercial centers. They went out of their way to penetrate the most remote parts of Nigeria’s interior. Catholic Missionaries arrived in Benin, a bordering country of Nigeria, in 1516 and were there until 1688 but their initial efforts failed to make a lasting impression. In 1841 missionaries tried again and eventually
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