The Impact of Slavery on African Society Essay

1149 Words Apr 25th, 2012 5 Pages
The Impact of Slavery on African Society

Slavery has played a strong role in African society from as early as prehistoric times, continuing to the modern era. Early slavery within Africa was a common practice in many societies, and was very central to the country’s economy. Beginning around the 7th century, two groups of non-African slave traders significantly altered the traditional African forms of slavery that had been practiced in the past. Native Africans were now being forced to leave the country to be used as slaves. The two major slave trades, trans-Saharan and trans-Atlantic, became central to the organization of Africa and its societies until the modern era. Slavery and the slave trade strongly affected African society, and
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As European desire grew for products including sugar, cotton and rice, the demand for plantation labor also increased. African slave labor was cheap among European standards, leading to the influx of such a large number of African slaves in the New World. European and American slave-traders acquired roughly 12 million slaves from West and west central Africa. People may argue that the practice did not become "dehumanizing" until white Europeans came along and took slaves to the Americas’. " Slavery had existed in Africa as it had in other parts of the world, for centuries, but it was not based on race and it did not result in dehumanization and death, as did transatlantic slavery." This statement is claiming that because the economies of Africa did not depend on slave labor, the number of enslaved people was small until European traders arrived. I am convinced that the African slave trade led to the dehumanization of Africans because it was focused on the legal institution created by law in America, which allowed white American settlers to actually own Africans. This type of slavery was severe and brutal, and also degenerated Africans. The rise of industrialization in America brought the demand for large amounts of labor which Americans took advantage of to gain profit. The only group of Africans benefiting from the
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