PLS 451-01

early trade : Ghana -> Mali -> Songkai

AFR compared to EUR

  • diversity
  • multiple empires
  • advantages?
    • steel weapons
    • navigation
  • what changed everything?
    • slave trade

The transatlantic slave trade

  • 500 years of trade (1400-1807-UK/1808-US)
  • began by Portugese (Canary Is.)
    • had been trans-saharan,
    • shifted to transatlantic
    • could not have existed w/o African participation
      • pre-existing trade networks & cities
      • Hausa: example seller
      • Yoruba: example “product”
      • Ibo: example of minimally impacted population
  • numbers
    • ~12.5 million people?
    • estimates range from 11mln to 100mln
    • extreme mortality rates during passage, difficult to estimate accurately
  • middle passage
  • devastation

African participation

  • Fon, Akan, Hausa, Mbundu: Nzinga
  • Redirected trade
    • networks, forts
  • profitability
  • resistance by targeted populations:
    • defensive wars
    • migration
  • issue of African domestic slavery
    • freedom possible
    • hereditary slavery unheard of
    • not racially/ethnically based
    • slaves had rights and obligations, not just obligations

Beginning of the end

  • divida and rule
  • trading houses
  • African middlemen
  • “legitimate trade”
    • abolished 19th century: humanitarian motives?

Colonialism in Africa

why did Europe colonize?

  • Mazrui and the 3 G’s: gold, glory & god
  • economic motive
    • example of Lenin’s theory of imperialism
  • strategic interests
  • “white man’s burden”

cont’d

  • informal empire
  • “legitimate trade”
  • the scramble for Africa
    • conference of Berlin 1884-85
    • who and where = ???
    • partition
    • borders
      • French: W. Afr, Central Afr
      • British: E. Africa, Southern Africa
      • Italians: Libya
      • Belgians: Congo, Rwanda Burundi
      • Germans: mw Africa, Tanganyika
      • Dutch: remainder
    • multinational states
    • stateless nations
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