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NEW150Y1 Lecture Notes - Human Capital, Atlantic Slave Trade

New College
Course Code
Thomas Tieku

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African Studies Nov 1st
11/1/2011 7:19:00 AM
Lecture 9- Africa’s interaction with Americas before emergence of modern
states in Africa
Democracy because
- assembly system in most empires
- checks and balancesall power not given to one particular individual or
- can easily be removed from chiefdom by subjects
two ways of thinking about relationship
nature of interaction
.1 trade was the key feature of the interaction
2. Africa was introduce to Americas through scholarship and in particular
through the work of anthropologists who were the initial ppl
focusing on trade and Atlantic slave trade
- interaction with North America with Africa was done through intermediaries
- Portugeses introduced Africans to us through transportation of Africans to
- brought them to Brazil
- in 1501, the first African slave arrived in the Americas via Spain
- was Portuguese that transported slaves, first people to engage in slave
trade, 1441, Portugese bought African from present day Mauritania
- Portugese never went to Africa to buy human beings, went to Africa for;
heard through rumours about powerful African Christian king that lived in
West Africa and wanted to find him and use him to spread Christianity, but
more importantly, got idea that Africans were very rich and wanted to trade
goods and services
slaves seen as commodities, brought them partly because for production of
sugar cane
- to some extent it was sugar that introduced Africa to us
- by 1505, first African was transported from African continent to Brazil

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- by 1518, large number of Africans being transported
how did these Africans get purchased?
- bought from other Africans, bought slaves from kings themselves because
most Africans (those who commited crime, were convicted and had to use
body to compensate for crime (hard labour) ) and Africans didn’t know that
selling the convicts to be slaves was a different form of slavery where you
cant be unslaved whereas in Africa you could
-- when two kigndoms fought, the one that lost become subjects to other,
and those subjects can be sold as slaves
- knew that war was important in getting slaves, so they introduced guns
and gunpowder to Africans to assist war and allow Africans to capture slaves
in bulk
- introduction of gin to kings also allowed for slave trade
- kidnapping africans was another way
- many ppl (Africans paid by Europeans) had jobs to kidnap Africans and
happened sometimes through raids , transport them along the coast and
then they’d be bought
- kidnapping also took place on their farms
- also direct purchases from Africans (bulk done by Africans themselves
because ffew Europeans could go to the interior to do it)
by 1460 and 1600s , human beings bought instead of gold
methods: capturing, kidnapping, raiding, pawning and prisoners
composition of the trade:
- very gendered, males preffered
- some estimate nearly 60 percent were males (opposite to African slaves
where women dominant slave group)
- almost 80% between ages of 15 and 30
- over 45 were rarely sold
body features countedwell built, tall
- majority of physically challenged individuals were not really sold
- most children left in slave villages that were barricaded so cant run
- by 1800s , lots of Africans were in Europe (due to slavery)
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