Effects of the Slave Trade on West Africa Essay

Words: 1137
Pages: 5

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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Consequently, West Africans concentrated almost exclusively upon only on one export ‘crop’ which was the trading of humans and this created a sense of insecurity that discouraged economic enterprise.
Furthermore, West Africa suffered from brain drain as it lost its skilled craftsmen due to depopulation as significant numbers of skilled people were export elsewhere. The system diminished the livelihood of the craftsmen who remained because they were unable to compete with the new market. This in turn affected the craft industry. The imported goods made in European factories, for example cloth, iron pots and hoes were available at cheaper prices than the locally produced ones, and were bought with slaves. There was now an increased dependency on European goods. This discouraged internal trade in African commodities and the goods provided incentives for the African to engage fully in ‘fueling’ the trade.
Moreover, agriculture was sacrificed in favour of slaving even by some agricultural workers. The decline in agriculture was as a result of the abandonment of plots, the scarring and destruction of arable land during slave raids and wars, as well as the capture of famers to work as plantation slaves in the new world. In spite of this however, new crops were introduced to the African people, these included sweet potato, maize and cassava. By growing such crops farmers would generate an income by selling to trade stations in areas