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The Slave Trade in Africa

The slave trade would carry Africans far from their homeland, but the problem of slavery begins in Africa as warring tribes would capture members of other tribes and sell them into slavery. The slave trade in West Africa served the labor requirements of the New World and other areas for more than three centuries. The slave trade in West Africa began with the Portuguese in the fifteenth century and increased until it was a major trade linking Africa with Europe and North and South America. Slave ships headed for the New World would stop at sites along the West African coast to pick up their human cargo, often purchasing members of one tribe from another. The Spanish and English would also become involved in the slave trade over the next two centuries, and slavery in the New World in particular would be a matter of economic need because of an agricultural system that needed a large labor force for as little economic outlay as possible. When the Native American population did not prove viable as a labor force, the various European settlers turned to Africa and the slave trade to solve their labor problems.

Africa was a point of interest in Europe long before any European powers invaded that territory, for beginning in the eleventh century, Christian kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula were aware of Africa and of two Muslim dynasties, the Almoravids and Almohades, which came from Africa. Trade was carried on with the Muslim world, and into the fifteenth century, the Mediterranean region was still primarily a Muslim sphere. Early Portuguese expeditions to Africa were supported for economic reasons, and mariners from Portugal began exploring the African coast after 1415. They reached the Canary Islands and colonized that region in 1424. The Portuguese continued exploring the region as they developed sailing technology so they could sail more easily against the prevailing northern winds, and they reached the area of modern day S...

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The Slave Trade in Africa. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:06, November 30, 2021, from