The Atlantic Slave Trade
The Atlantic slave trade involving West African countries initially began as basic commercial trade but its activities turned to inhumane capture and transportation of Africans to the Americas (M’Baye 178). The eventual consequences greatly affected the lives of many Africans. This paper focuses on outlining some of the social, economic and political effects of this trade.
According to M’Baye, the trade brought about the loss of industry, skills, technological invention and production of Africans (182). The capture and exportation of young skilled Africans for slavery resulted to brain drain on the African Continent. The prevalence of European and African raiding, capture and torture of Africans from the coasts and the hinterlands hampered the involvement of Africans not earlier involved in the trade since they feared for their security and well being (M’Baye 183).
The Atlantic Slave Trade also subverted the existence of the previous political stability of the traditional societies. Africans began preying on one another as a means to get revenue from the trending slave trade. African leaders organized gangs to kidnap people who were to be sold as slaves (M’Baye 184).
In Senegal slave ownership added to the African kings’ dominance of the peasantry (186). It also led to the pseudo-feudal class after intermarriages in major slave islands which led to the Afro-French Class that emerged at the top of the local political hierarchy (M’Baye 186).
Moreover M’Baye explains that there was social insecurity among Africans. The social systems that were initially based on legality and respect became tyrannical systems of kidnapping vulnerable individuals. There was a considerable gap between social classes. The Afro-French islands were experiencing widening prosperity as opposed to the raided populations that languished in poverty and misery. In addition, the sexual demography also changed affected the total populations (189)
It is evident that the Atlantic trade had gross impacts on the African nations. The eventual turn of events from the once peaceful trade left the African economy maimed. To date the adverse effects of the trade are still experienced in the constant internal and external wars (M’Baye 190).
M’Baye, Babacar. “The Economic Political, and Social Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on Africa.” (re)Tracing Africa: A Multi-Disciplinary Study of African History, Societies, and Cultures. Ed. Salome Nnoromele and Ogechi Anyanwu. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt, 2012. 1-17. Print