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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 4 page research paper that discusses whether or not the slave trade was economically beneficial for Africa. The Atlantic slave trade was ongoing for over three hundred and fifty years, profoundly affected the histories of four continents and “constituted history’s largest forced migration,” as over 12 million Africans were transported to various locations in Europe and the Americas (Clark 273). Some historians have argued that while the slave trade was morally wrong, it was economically beneficial to Africa. This examination of literature explores and analyses the validity of this assertion. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
4 pages (~225 words per page)
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migration," as over 12 million Africans were transported to various locations in Europe and the Americas (Clark 273). Some historians have argued that while the slave trade was morally wrong,
it was economically beneficial to Africa. The following examination of literature explores and analyses the validity of this assertion. Warfare and slavery were part of African culture prior to
the coming of the Europeans and the resultant global slave trade (Clark 273). Historians such as John Thornton have shown that "African participation in the trade was voluntary and under
the control of Africans" (Clark 273). Also, Thorntons scholarship has shown that it was "African economic concerns, rather than European pressure or policies" that were mainly responsible for an increase
in warfare in the eighteenth century (Clark 273). African rulers, in general, considered their "ability to command a large amount of subservient or slave labor" to be an important component
of their "wealth and power" (Shillington 20). Usually slaves were prisoners of war and were sometimes ransomed back to their own people; however, if a ruler had a surplus of
slaves, he might sell them "at regional market" or to "long-distance merchants," just as European countries of the period "transported their poor, their vagrants and their convicts to the colonies"
(Shillington 20). Tunde Obadina, director of Africa Business Information Services, asserts that the "vast majority of slaves taken out of Africa were sold by African rulers, traders and a
military aristocracy who all grew wealthy from the business" (Obadina). Primary source records from the centuries in which the slave trade was ongoing substantiate that the majority of slaves taken
out of Africa were sold into slavery by Africans. For example, the records of a Portuguese slaver from early sixteenth century record how slaves were purchased in Benin for "twelve