The World Of West Africa

1580 Words Jun 10th, 2015 7 Pages
Between the years 1500 and 1900, Europeans forced hundreds of millions of people from West and Central Africa to become slaves in the Americas. Once in the Americas, they were put on plantations and worked in brutal, degrading conditions. Millions of Africans were killed in the process. They were stripped of their identity and were no longer considered human, just a slave to the forces of white men. The people of west africa had a rich culture and history, as well as a variety of political systems, such as kingdoms and city states, before European slavers arrived on their shores. Art, learning and technology flourished in Africa. The people were skilled in medicine, mathematics and astronomy. They made luxury items in bronze, ivory, gold and terracotta. Each of these items were valued by the Portuguese and other Europeans, along with spices, particularly pepper. The Europeans bought and kidnapped some Africans who were for sale in Europe. However, transatlantic slaving did not become a dominant trade until the 17th century when plantation owners demanded workers to supply the ever increasing demand for sugar. Most of the Africans enslaved were war captives. Some, however, were kidnapped or sold into slavery to pay a debt. These captives were shackled to each other and marched to the coast where they waited in stone forts. The journey to the coast often took as long as months. Once the slaving ships arrived, the Europeans would offload the many trade goods to give to…

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