Slavery in Africa Home
Since ancient times slaves had been bought and sold in Africa. When two tribes fought against each other, the victorious tribe would make the people of the defeated tribe their slaves.
Slavery differed from one part of Africa to another, but in most places slaves were released when they had served their masters for a certain number of years, or else they could buy their freedom by good behavior and hard work. Slaves were free to marry.This meant that their children might marry the children of their masters or of other local people, and so within a short time, there was nothing in their looks to make them seem different from the local people, and so within a short time, there was nothing in their looks to make them seem different from the local people or to show that their ancestors had been slaves. However, when the white Europeans became involved in the slave trade they changed it dramatically. They wanted to take strong slaves to work on the sugar plantations in their new lands in America and the West Indies.The Europeans could not gather all the slaves they needed just by kidnapping Africans from the coast, so they dad strong links with the African chiefs. The European traders took goods to Africa which were of great value there.
These included fine cloth, metal bars, alcohol, guns and gunpowder. In return, African traders brought men, women and children from inland to the coast, to be handed over to the Europeans as slaves. What few Europeans knew – or wanted to know – was that the Africans had built up many remarkable kingdoms over hundreds of years.One of the greatest was the Empire of Shanghai, far inland. In 1525, an Arab visitor described the capital city of Timeout: “Here are many shops of craftsman and merchants. The region yields corn, cattle, milk and butter in great abundance. Salt is brought he from over eight hundred miles away.
The king has much gold and rides upon a camel. His soldier ride upon horses. Here are great stores of doctors, judges, priests and other learned men. Books are brought here which are sold for more money than other goods. Kingdoms such as Shanghai lost their power in the 17th century. In the 18th century, other kingdoms such as Benign became rich through the slave trade. The kings of Benign fought many wars against other tribes.
Their soldiers won easily, because the kings had bought guns from white slave readers. As they took more land, the kings of Benign encouraged the slave trade. Bands of African raiders from inland tribes attacked the villages and kidnapped young men and women. They sold them to other black traders who marched them hundreds of miles to the coast.By 1 804, one trader explained that the slave trade: “is carried on by a chain of merchants from the coast indefinitely in many directions towards the interior”. Some tribes refused to take part in raids on their neighbors – but these people missed out on the wealth that came from the slave trade and they grew weak. In this ay power shifted in West Africa as kingdoms went to war against each other.
In some areas the population fell alarmingly as parents lost their young, healthy sons and daughters, and their traditional crafts and ways of life were lost.When white Europeans got involved they started the triangular slave trade. Homework Task B – Decide whether these statements are true or false. Statement True False 1 . Slavery has existed in Africa since ancient times. 2. Africa slaves could never hope to become free.
3. The children of slaves could marry people who weren’t slaves, so that they and their children would seem to be the same as other people. . When white Europeans became involved in the slave trade, nothing changed. 5.The Europeans wanted slaves to work in factories in England, Spain and Portugal. 6.
The Europeans sailed to Africa with goods such as fine cloth, metal bars, alcohol, guns and gunpowder to exchange for slaves. 7. African traders brought men, women and children to the coast, who had been captured further inland. 8. There had never been any important kingdoms or civilization in this part of Africa.