Early Contacts with the Middle East and Far East
- Social and Economic Motives of the contacts
- Major Commodities Exchanged During the Contacts
- Social, Economic and Political Effects of the Contacts
Contacts with Europe
- Contact with the Portuguese
- Social and Economic Motives of the Contacts
- Commodities exchanged During the Contacts
- Reasons for the fall of Portugal Rule in East Africa
- Impacts of Portuguese Rule in Africa
Dutch Settlement at the Cape
- Motives of the Dutch Settlement at the Cape
- Impacts of the Dutch Settlement at the Cape
Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean
- Reason for the expansion of Slave Trade in Indian Ocean frm18th C
- Techniques used to get slaves
- Social and Economic Effects of the Slave Trade on African Society
- Psychological effects of slavery on its victims
- Origin and Impacts of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Africa
- The origin of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
- Major Routes and Commodities involved
- Social, Economic and Political effect
EARLY CONTACTS WITH THE MIDDLE EAST AND FAR EAST
Early contact was a period when East Africa began to interact with people from Middle East and Far East. The Africa contact with Middle East and Far East dated back early in 200BC. The early contacts were initially at the coast but later some of the foreigners moved further into interior of the East Africa.
Those early foreigners who visited Africa were people from Asia including; Lebanese, Syrians, Indonesians, Persians, Arabs, Burma and China.
The visitors managed to travel to the coast of East Africa through the use of Sea Vessels with the help of South- Eastern monsoon winds.
Trade contacts between East African coast and the Far and Middle East intensified between 8th and 10th Century when many traders from China, Indonesia, India, and Arab came to trade to African countries.
The commercial contacts has been evidenced by the archaeologist through observing several remains of beads, porcelain, pottery, coins and tombs. Another evidence is a book titled The Periplus of Erythream Sea written by Greek traders around 1st century AD.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MOTIVES OF THE CONTACTS
Spreading of Islamic religion (The need to spread Islamic religion), Islam religion began in the Middle East in 7th AD from there it spread to many parts of Asia. In addition, Arabs wanted to spread their religion to new parts of the world including Africa.
Seeking refuge, some visitors who came to Africa experienced religion and political persecution in their countries so they came in Africa to search peacefully place to settle.
Establishment of settlement, some visitors decided to live permanently in Africa especially along the coast and they built permanent stone houses in the Arabic style.
Commercial exploration, some of the early visitors came to explore Africa and assess its resources. They wanted to know the climatic conditions, mineral resources, wildlife and economic activities found on the African continent. They plan to exploit resources available.
Trade (Trade activities), Traders wanted to trade and control commercial activities along the African coast as many of the early visitors were interested in products from Africa to take back to their home countries.
Exploration of African coast. The visitors from Middle East and Far East were interested to know the accessibility of the coast and the availability of market in the coastal areas. They were also interested to assess the volume of commodities which were in great demands such as gold, slave and animal skins.
MAJOR COMMODITIES EXCHANGED DURING THE CONTACTS
|Origin of Visitors||Goods brought to Africa||Goods taken from Africa|
|Beaker, Iron pans, swords, glass ware, daggers, beads, ornaments.||Ivory,
|China||Porcelains, bowl, plates, silk and clothes.|
|Persia||Pots, glass bowls, swords and ornaments.|
|India||Cotton cloth, metal spears, beads, swords and daggers.|
|Syria||Iron pans, bowls beakers and swords.|
|Burma||Stone pots and jars|
SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL EFFECTS OF THE CONTACTS
POSITIVE SOCIAL EFFECTS
The rise of coastal city States, these states included Mogadishu, Zanzibar, Mombasa, Kilwa and Sofala, they were once small un-important coastal villages but they grew into cities due to settlement by foreigners.
Development of Swahili language, Swahili language and culture developed as a result of intermarriage between the people of East Africa Coast towns. Swahili language consists of roughly 65% of Bantu words, 30% of Arabic words and other few Indian words. It provided a common language for the African and Arabs on East Africa coast to use in trade.
Spread of Islam, Arabs and Persians who settled along the Coast of East Africa spread Islam along the coastal state of East Africa. It also extended into the interior. Arabs built Mosque wherever they settled. This was alongside with the introduction of Islamic laws in order to maintain justice and order and these laws were taken from the Muslim Holy book (Quran) and they were administered by the Kadhi (Judge).
New Architectures designs, the Coastal city-states adopted new style of building. For example, the Persian traders who settled along the coast introduced building using stone style similar to that found in Persia. Evidence of buildings seen in Historical sites such as ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Zanzibar.
Introduction of new style of dressing, the people of Africa adopted new style of dressing from the foreigners. Examples those who converted and adopted the Islamic mode of dressing. This included the baibui (a long black rib for women), kanzu (a long while rib for men), vails for women and barghashia (a small cap) for men.
Intermarriage, the foreigner intermarried with African, creating a new race of half-castes.
NEGATIVE SOCIAL EFFECTS
Cultural interference, this was experienced through interacting with foreigners and adopted their customs. Some Africa forgotten their traditional religion, language, mode of dressing and food. This interfered African way of life.
Warfare and insecurity, the contacts brought slave trade between African and Arabs. The demand of slaves caused warfare between African communities hence the wars caused insecurity in the society.
Depopulation. The war caused the loss of peoples’ lives and other African people were taken as slaves hence caused depopulation to many parts in Africa.
Social stratification, through trading with foreigners, some Africans acquired greatly wealth. This led to the emergence of super rids class of people among the Africans. These people exercised a lot of power and influence in the community. As result there was greatly stratification, with a big difference between the have and have not.
POSITIVE ECONOMIC EFFECTS
Introduction of new crops, new crops such as rice, wheat, cloves, sugarcane and orange were introduced to the African continent from the Middle East and Far East. Their crops improved the diet of African. In fact, some grew very well as many people adopted them as their stable foods. For example, rice is a staple food among many people along the Coast of East Africa.
Exposing Africa to the world, African contacts with the Middle and Far East exposed this continent to the rest of the World. Visitors who came to Africa also travelled to other parts of the world. Africa became involved in the world economy, African products such as Ivory, Gold, Leopard skin and copper became popular and were sold all over the World and in turn African got access to products from outside the world.
Introduction of money economy, Foreigners introduced the use of currency in trade. This was more convenient and replaced barter trade as the method of exchange. Coins begun to be minted and used in the East African city states.
Introduction of new technology, People from the Far East and Middle East brought new technology to Africa. For example, they introduced advanced navigation techniques and the art of keeping records by writing. These things helped African along the Indian Ocean shoreline to travel further. Fishermen could also sail into deeper, get larger catches and dhows, and still used in some fishing communities.
Emergence of rich class, Since African people engaged in trade activities and acquired enough profit; a class of rich merchants emerged among them. In East Africa the class of rich people included chief Kivoi of Kamba and Nganyo of Giriama in Kenya, Mirambo and Nyungu ya mawe of Nyamwezi in Tanzania.
NEGATIVE ECONOMIC EFFECTS
Unequal Exchange, Traders from the Far and Middle East traded with African using goods with unequal values. They took goods of high value such as slaves, gold, ivory and animal skin in exchange of low value items such as beads, cowrie shells and colored clothes. These commodities from Africa were then sold at great profits in foreign markets; this means that the foreigners gained a lot of expenses of the African.
Slave Trade, Oman Arabs introduced slave trade to East Africa. Sultan Seyyid Said introduced clove plantations in Zanzibar and then got slaves to work in them. In additional they sold slaves to Europeans who began sugar plantations in Mauritius and America.
Exploitation of African resources, due to high demand of African commodities in outside world African resources were greatly exploited. For example, large number of elephants and rhinoceros were killed for their horns and many strong young people were captured and sold as slaves. Therefore, this contributed to reduction of African resources.
Decline of Local industries, the introduction of foreign goods led to the decline of African local industries. Due to the availability of many varieties of clothes, utensils and other tools from abroad few people bought local products as a results local production also declined.
Loss of manpower. Example; slave trade in Africa decreased the manpower because traders captured the able bodied people who were essential for production; the aged, weak and children were left behind while they could not manage to produce at large quantity.
THE CONTACTS WITH EUROPE
The Portuguese invasion
Trading between Africa and Asia was disturbed by Portuguese invasion along the East Africa coast in the 16th C.
The Portuguese attempted to capture and control Indian Ocean trade, this lead to war between the Portuguese on one hand and the indigenous of East African coast. During this contact the most important countries in western were Spain and Portugal.
These countries were included in trade through trading routes to India which passed off through Italy and the Muslims lands of the Middle East. The occurrence of wars in Muslims empire made the trade difficult and more expensive.
The Portuguese by finding routes of the sea wanted to establish trading empire in the East by controlling all trades in Europe. This was made possible by the invention of ships.
The Portuguese became interested in controlling the Indian Ocean trade in the 15th century due to the commercial capitalism in Europe.
Prince Henry the navigator son of King John of Portuguese supported the voyages. They searched routes as resulted into voyages by Bartholomew Diaz in 1487 and Vasco da Gama in 1498.
Vasco da Gama was the first Portuguese to reach East Africa
Vasco da Gama reached Africa in 1498 (A.D).
Bartholomew Diaz reached Africa in 1487.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MOTIVES/AIMS OF THE CONTACTS BETWEEN AFRICA AND THE PORTUGUESE
ECONOMIC MOTIVES OF THE CONTACTS
The need to defeat the Asian trades and rules in their monopoly of the India trade; as usually European countries admired the commodities founded in Africa, so in order to get them they had to contact with African people. The commodities needed by them were Ivory, tortoise’s shells, cotton, gold and palms.
Controlling and Exploitation of Gold.
Need of creating Portuguese Empire in Africa so as to make Africa to be a producer.
To exploit different resources of Africa. Example gold, diamond.
They wanted to exploit African resources by selling small things to Africans for high price more than they had sold it to them.
To spread Christianity.
To exploit Africa especially East African coastal cities and states e.g. Kilwa, Mombasa, Bagamoyo and Mogadishu.
They desired to establish anti-Muslims alliances.
They search for Pastor John in Ethiopia.
THE PORTUGUESE EXPLOITATION RESULTED INTO DISCOVERIES OF POTENTIAL AREAS.
The Portuguese established trade with societies found in the coastal areas. They also created central point where ships could stop on the way to India.
After establishing trade the Portuguese obtained items such as ivory, gold, copper and silver; they exchange them with cloth, guns, gunpowder etc.
By 15th C Portuguese succeeded to establish their rule in East Africa. After that the Portuguese built the Fort Jesus in Mombasa which could strengthen their military power thus establishing the effective control over the East Africa coastal areas.
1592 was the built of Fort Jesus.
1698 was the broke down of Fort Jesus.
1499 was the year when Vasco da Gama returned back to Portugal.
RESISTANCES AGAINST PORTUGUESE
There were source of resistance;
1) The displaced people joined the resistance, for example Zimba of Zambezi valley and Segeju of Somalia in the Northern Eastern Africa. The constant attack and resistance against Portuguese rule lead to its decline and capture of Fort Jesus of Mombasa in 1698.
2) The reaction from the feudal lords and traders who counted to protect their social and economic interests.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PORTUGUESE
a) Introduction of crops especially cash crops in Africa e.g. Sugarcane, yellow maize, cassava, rice, pineapples, potatoes etc.
b) Decline of trade; the trade between East Africa, Far East and Middle East was interrupted by the Portuguese.
c) Change of major trade routes.
d) Exposed Africa to the external world.
e) They built several forts, example; Fort Jesus.
f) They acted as the introducers of new arts to the indigenous of Africa continent.
The forts built by Portuguese were like;
Fort Jesus in 1592 in Mombasa.
Fort at Kilwa.
Sofala and eliminated caste present day Ghana built in 1482.
SOCIAL IMPACTS OF PORTUGUESE
1) Decline of cities and states.
2) Growth of Kiswahili language. Kiswahili adapted some new Portuguese words i.e. Mvinyo from word Vincho, Meza Etc.
3) Insecurity and loss of manpower.
THE REASONS FOR THE COLLAPSE OF PORTUGUESE
1) They suffered from tropical disease like malaria.
2) The climate conditions of East African coast were in healthy for the Portuguese.
3) Social, culture and religion differences i.e. Muslim against Christians.
4) Loss of trade due to Portuguese taxes and restrictions.
5) Harsh treatments and punishment practiced by Portuguese in their leadership.
6) Role played by Oman to the coastal city people. Hence that capture of fort Jesus marked the end of Portuguese in East Africa around 1700.
THE DUTCH SETTLEMENT AT THE CAPE
SOUTH AFRICA BEFORE THE COMING OF EUROPEANS
The Earliest Inhabitants of South Africa were The San (Bushmen) and the Khoikhoi then followed by Bantu people who inhabited South Africa.
The San people were short and had light brown skin. They had click sound in their language. They lived in highland areas of South Africa. Their main economic Activities were hunting and gathering. They had permanent settlement and they lived in caves.
The Khoikhoi resemble the San but they are taller, Khoikhoi means “men of men” in their language. The San group helped the Khoikhoi to graze their animals. The frequent contact between San and Khoikhoi as they referred to one group of Khoisan.
These made up the largest group, this was the early inhabitants of South Africa. They include the Iswana, Venda, Gueza, Zulu, Ndebele, Swazi, Shona, Xhosa and Ngoni. They lived a settled life and grew crops such as maize, beans and pumpkins. They used iron tools and produced enough food which encouraged population growth. The surplus encouraged trade between the communities.
THE DUTCH SETTLEMENT AT THE CAPE
The Dutch or Boers came from Holland (Nether land) and firstly settled at the cape in Table Bay in April 1652 under the leadership of Jan Van Riebeek. Dutch farmers called themselves – “BOERS”.
Dutch farmers called themselves – “BOERS”. When they settled at the cape they called themselves by the name of Afrikaners that meant the “whites of Africa” who developed language known as Afrikaans.
Dutch had a company known as United Dutch East India Company (UDEIC). The company had trade with India and other Arabs in Asia. At the cape they grew vegetables, fruits and kept animals such as cattle. They had barter trade with Khoikhoi exchanging tobacco and alcohol for the cattle.
Reasons for Dutch settlement at the cape
The cape was a good place where ships could stop to be refueled.
The cape had a good climate to support settlement of the whites. (Temperate and cool climate).
The Dutch wanted to produce vegetable and fruits for the ships which sailed to India.
The cape could provide fresh water for the sailors.
The cape could be a base of projecting their ships on Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
A center for caring sick people.
The effects/impacts of the dutch settlement at the cape
Enslavement of African, Boers established large plantations, so they needed labors to work to their fields so African were forced to provide their labor (They turned the Khoikhoi into slaves to work for them in farms)
Displacement of the African communities, The Dutch displaced the native Africans from the fertile areas and took their livestock by force (They took land from Khoikhoi and Xhosa).
Occurrence of social segregation, The Dutch thought that they are superior so they mistreated and exploited the African and buying foundation for the Apartheidg. Khoikhoi could not get quality education, health services and shelters like the Dutch.
Expansion of European settlements, Dutch established settlement at the cape in 1685 and their families increased to 150 families.
Introduction of new culture, The Boers introduced the Dutch culture to South Africa that involved their way of life which was totally different from that of African.
Unequal exchange led to exploitation of South African resources
Political structure of the Khoikhoi was destroyed.
Dutch raided cattle from the Khoikhoi.
THE BRITISH OCCUPATION AT THE CAPE
The British first occupation of South Africa was in 1795 when they attacked and defeated the Boers at the Cape. There was a peace treaty between the Dutch and the British in 1802 and the Cape was given back to the Dutch in 1803. But in 1806 the British decided to re-occupy the Cape by defeating the Dutch.
The reasons which made the British settle at the Cape were:
- They wanted to protect their ships on the sea route to India.
- It was based on protectionism which the British could protect themselves against ships of enemies.
- Area to get raw materials, market and area for investment.
- They wanted to control the trade route on sea water (India & Asia)
- Cape could easy link the British and Western Europe across the Atlantic Ocean.
Effects of the British administration at the cape.
- They abolished slavery introduced by Boers.
- They imposed English language as the official medium of communication.
- Khoikhoi continued to lose their land as the British took it for their settlements.
- There was important of manufactured goods from Europe.
- They imposed news way of life such as new religion, wearing style etc.
- Introduction of circuit courts in order to settle disputes between Dutch and the Khoikhoi.
- African resistance against the settlement and expansion of the Boers and the British on South Africa.
EAST AFRICA UNDER OMAN’S RULE 1840
The Oman Arabs helped East Africans to defeat Portuguese along the coastal in 1698. Oman now became rulers. Therefore, people of East Africa were not free apart from defeating the Portuguese.
In 1741, Mombasa established her independence chief domain under Mazrui family; this was an order from Arabs family of Oman in origin the Mazrui family was conquered by Sultan Seyyid Said of Oman. From 1840 onwards, Sultan Seyyid Said becomes the master of the East African coast.
MOTIVES/AIMS OF OMAN ARABS IN EAST AFRICA
- To have clear control/monopoly of trade existed at the coast especially Indian ocean trade.
- They wanted to control all the city-states along the coast.
- To stop the spread of Christianity led by Portuguese and maintaining Islamic culture.
WHY SULTAN SEYYID SAID SHIFTED HIS CAPITAL FROM MUSCAT OMAN TO ZANZIBAR
The following were the factors for sultan Seyyid Said to shift his capital from Muscat Oman to Zanzibar in 1840.
- Good climatic condition supported the settlement of Arabs.
- Fertile soil for agricultural purpose especially clove and coconut products.
- Deep natural harbor in Zanzibar for importation and exportation of goods.
- Trade activities examples controlling the Indian Ocean trade.
- Abundant fresh water for irrigation and soiling.
- To avoid conflict in his home after killing his brother Iman said.
IMPACTS OF OMAN ARABS (SULTAN) DOMINATION IN EAST AFRICA
A: ECONOMIC IMPACTS
- Increase of slave trade.
- Land alienation.
- East African people were exposed to international trade.
- The expansion of trade.
- Introduction of new cash crops example; coconut and cloves.
- Establishment of feudalism where African become serfs and tenants
- Exploitation of African resources.
B: SOCIAL IMPACTS
- Death due to resistance against the Arabs
- Development and Spread of Swahili language.
- Development of Swahili language. E.g. Addition of Arabic words like Sali, habari etc.
- Spread of Islamic religion.
- Slavery activities increased.
SLAVE TRADE IN INDIAN OCEAN SEA BOARD
Slave is the person who is illegally owned and controlled by another person and is forced to work for them.
Slavery is an act of owning and using slaves.
Slave trade is the activity of buying and selling human beings like other commodities.
Slave trade in East Africa began after the arrival of Portuguese in 15th Century up to 1873 during the Sayyid Barghash treaty or free treaty.
Africa experienced two types of slave trade.
- The Indian Ocean slave trade which was conducted by Asians.
- The Trans-Atlantic Ocean slave trade conducted by European merchants.
THE INDIAN OCEAN SLAVE TRADE
Main peoples involved: Arab traders, European merchants, African chiefs e.g. Mirambo and NyunguyaMawe, The Nyamwezi, The Kamba, The Yao, Buganda, Banyoro, Khartoumers.
REASONS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE INDIAN OCEAN SLAVE TRADE
Introduction of clove plantations in Zanzibar and Pemba. The Oman Arabs who were ruling the East African coast at the time introduced Cloves plantations, these plantations required large numbers of labors to work in those farms, and hence slaves were taken.
High demand for slave labor for the French sugar cane plantations in Mauritius and Reunion Island. Initially, the French mostly depended on the area around present-day Mozambique for slaves, but by the 1770s the demand exceeded supply. Hence, the French came further north, to East Africa, in search of slaves.
Slaves were needed as porters. They ferried goods such as ivory and gold from interior of Africa to the Coast.
Portuguese slave traders supplied slaves to the Portuguese coffee and sugar plantations in Brazil. In the first half of the 18th century, the Portuguese expanded their plantations. As a result, their sources of slaves in West Africa and Mozambique became inadequate, so they came to East Africa.
Slaves were in great demand as domestic workers and soldiers in the Muslims nation Arabia. The Quran forbids Muslims from enslaving other Muslims. Thus, the slaves had to come from non-Muslim regions such as the interior of East Africa. There were major slave markets in Zanzibar, Bagamoyo, Pemba, Kilwa, Mikindani and Mombasa.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SLAVE TRADE
There were characteristics which prevailed during slave trade.
- There were several human torture and transits.
- Humiliation and dehumanization of the slaves.
- Slave were chained and forced to carry heavy loads like salt, ivory and copper.
- They were brutally whipped by their organizers.
- They were blended like animals. Those who were unfit were killed or left to die on the way.
HOW SLAVES WERE OBTAINED (TECHNIQUES USED TO OBTAIN SLAVES)
Slaves were obtained through various ways:
- Through raiding villagers and capturing people.
- Through selling prisoners of war obtained from local civil wars.
- Through selling criminals.
- Through selling of domestic slaves.
- Through ways of laying and ambush.
- Through use of trickery and false pretense.
- Through inter-tribal wars many Africans become destitute.
IMPACTS OF SLAVE TRADE IN INDIAN OCEAN SEA BOARD
- Depopulation; many people were taken to work as slaves and others died on the way.
- Insecurity and fear among the people.
- Development of inter-states war.
- Human torture and suffering
- Hunger due to lack of good in areas where slave trade operated.
- Growth of Arab towns such as Tabora and Ujiji.
- Eruption of diseases among overcrowded slaves. E.g., The Spaniards introduced Syphilis.
- Displacement of people and many became homeless.
- Introduction of Swahili language, this was introduced in land and is now being widely spoken in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and eastern Congo.
- Introduction of Islamic religion, Islam as a religion was introduced by the Arabs and it spread, especially in Yao land and in Buganda land.
- Killing of economic activities, agriculture, pastoralism and industries were killed due to lack of manpower.
- Technology stagnation, no innovation was made as all able-bodied people were taken as slaves only children and old ones were left behind.
- Underdevelopment of East Africa, slave trade increased dependence on European capitalist countries. Generally, slave trade had negative effects in East Africa and it created many problems
- Introduction of new foods.g. maize, pawpaws, rice, and groundnuts.
- The increase of farming plantations, in some areas especially the clove plantations were slaves worked.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SLAVERY ON ITS VICTIMS
- Damage of slave’s self-worth.
- Inferiority complex before their masters.
- Sufferings due to difficult work.
- Separation of families and homes.
- Stress due to unsure about their future, survival and food.
- Fear and Insecurity.
TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE
Refers to that type of trade that involve three continents America, Africa and Europe.
ORIGIN OF TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
The Portuguese were the first foreigners to capture slaves off the coast of West Africa. They built a fort on Arguin Island (Mauritania) where they bought gold and slaves from Gambia and Senegal.
Most of these slaves were taken to plantations in Portugal and Southern Spain.
By 1471, the Portuguese expanded their gold and slave trading activities to Ghana. In 1482, they built Elmina castle to serve as their base there.
COMMODITIES OF EXCHANGE
The major commodities of exchange in the triangular trade were;
AFRICA – Exported slaves, gold, ivories and animal skins.
AMERICA- exported sugar, cotton, Tobacco, Gold and Silver.
EUROPE – Supplied manufactured goods such as clothes, gunpowder, glassware, sugar and tobacco.
FACTORS FOR THE RISE OF TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE
The rise of capitalism, this mode of production depended on exploitation of one man by another. Capitalism emerged in Europe after the decline of feudalism in Europe especially the first stage of capitalism mercantilism where slaves became part of the commodities to be traded to accumulate wealth.
Discovery of marine technology, the invention of gunpowder, shipbuilding, compass direction, and motor engine acted as a pushing force for the rise of slave trade, it facilitated the transportation of the commodities and slave dealers.
The discovery of the new world, on 24 October 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered a new world that opened a new chapter as far as slave trade was concerned it brought high sky demand of cheap labor to work in the new plantations in the Caribbean islands.
The profitability factor, this acted as an attracting force for many mercantilists to join a trade based on unequal exchange imagine exchanging human being with spices, umbrella, gold, ivory with guns, mirrors and cloth.
Accumulation of wealth, Mercantilists accumulated a lot from this trade which enabled them to sustain super profits obtained and in addition to that, many crops could not be sold for profit, or even grown in Europe.
The expensiveness of White slaves, Before the mid of 17th century the European mercantilists depended on indentured labourers, criminal convicts, contract labourers and refugees from Europe who proved to be expensive and undependable compared to Africans who were not paid anything apart from their basic needs for survival and were slaves for life.
The establishment of plantations, after the discovery of the new world, many Europeans flocked to America; these included the British, French, Portuguese and the Dutch. Many of these immigrants established plantations that caused more demand for slave labor. The increased demand contributed to the development of Trans–Atlantic slave trade.
Accessibility, the accessibility between the new world and the West African coast facilitated the rise of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The distance from West Africa to the new world is very narrow thus it made it possible for the transportation of goods between the two regions.
The inability of the indigenous people, at first the Europeans were using Native Americans, red Indians to provide cheap labor on the plantations and mining centers; but these later died in huge numbers due to plague. This called for the importation of African slaves which contributed to the rise of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Climatic conditions of the New World, meant that Africans could easily live there since they were used to tropical climates and had immunity of tropical diseases more than people from Europe and Asia. They were able to withstand diseases and conditions of the New World.
The existence of seasonal winds, like the northeast trade wind, north equatorial current, the southwest and the Gulf streams encouraged the growth of this trade by enabling the vessels of the merchants to sail to Africa, New World and Europe.
IMPACT OF THE TRIANGULAR SLAVE TRADE
Removal of African labor, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was associated with the uprooting of many Africans who were taken to provide cheap labor on European plantations in America. The ones who were taken were between the ages of 15 and 35 who made up the productive force in Africa.
Stagnation of African technology, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade contributed to the stagnation of African technology. It led to the flooding of European manufactured goods which were exchanged for slaves.
Decline of African agricultural production, there was decline in agricultural production due to the loss of labor. Those who were taken as slaves were the ones who were very active in farms, thus their removal led to shortage of labor consequently causing the decline in agricultural production.
Decline of African traditional industries, due to these goods Africans abandoned production and exchanged their fellow Africans with the Europeans goods. The manufactured goods from Europe also destroyed African traditional industries by killing the market for African local goods.
Land alienation, Africans were robbed of their best arable land and were turned into serfs and tenants who had to sell off their labor to Arab landowners for their survival. Watumbatu and Waamidu provided their labor in coconut and cloves plantations.
Depopulation, it led to depopulation because millions of Africans were uprooted and exported to America as cheap labor. It is believed that during the 400 years of slave trade, around 100,000,000 Africans were taken as slaves.
Famine, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade contributed to famine in Africa. The trade was characterized with insecurity because of slave trading activities, the insecurity made it difficult for people to engage in agricultural production.
Destruction of African culture, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was associated with an influx of foreigners especially Europeans. This led to a destruction of African traditional values because Africans were coping European culture.
Separation of families, some abandoned their homes due to insecurity, some died while trying to escape and some were taken away as slaves.
Decline of states, some states declined because they were weakened when their subjects were captured and sold as slaves. For example, Wanyasa were greatly weakened by frequent slave raids from their Yao neighbors.
The rise of states, some strong states arose due to accumulation of wealth from slave trade. E.g., the Yao state under Machemba, Nyamwezi under Mirambo and Buganda kingdom under KabakaMutesa.