Africa: 1450-1750 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Africa: 1450-1750 Deck (19)
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Who established the African Slave Trade? 

The Portugese 

Portugese explorers and merchants initially tried to steal and forcibily take Africans as slaves; but it yileded minimal results. Afterwards, they resorted to trading for slaves, which provided the Portguese a far larger number than were acquired by stealing. By the 1440s, slaves became a common trade item in the Portguese Empire.  


How successful were Europeans, during the 1400s, at controlling african kingdoms?

Not at all successfull

Many Europeans, like the Portuguese, were not powerful enough to impose their will on local kingdoms. Their power extended only as far as the cannon would travel. 


What were factories?

Factories were European trading outposts, usually forified with cannons,  where merchants could secure safe places to land their product or export any goods that were acquired through trades.

Luanda became an important Portguese factory, establishing the foundation for the  Portguese colony of Angola.


What were some goods exchanged between african kingdoms and Portuguese traders?

The Portguese would recieve ivory, pepper, animal skins and gold. In exchange, the Portuguese would offer kingdoms access to guns and slaves acquired from other parts of the African Coast


Why were Portuguese explorers not impressed with the small states of the Senegambian coast? 

The Senegambian coast was an area heavily influenced by Muslims, whom the Portguese despised for religious reasons.


What did the Portguese do to African empires they found impressive?

Kingdoms like Benin and Kongo greatly impressed the Portguese, who attempted to convert all of the rulers to Christanity.


What dramatically increased the rate of expansion of slave trade? 

The slave trade dramatically expanded after the Portuguese and Spanish developed sugar plantations throughout the Americas, especially in tropical islands.

By 1750, every major European power had port cities in Africa to extract slaves to do the hard labor for their colonies in the Americas.


Why did sugar plantations increase the need for slave labor?

Growing and harvesting sugar was an extremely labor-intensive process, meaning it needed many people to produce the finished product.

Although the system used more people than only African slaves (native peoples were often used as well), Africans became the primary laborers. 


Why were such a high volume of slaves neccesary, aside from for labor demands? 

Slave mortality was exceptionally high and fertility was low. The massive loss in population annually meant that Europeans had to return to Africa to force more people into slavery. 


What was a major difference between the Atlantic Slave Trade and the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade?

The Atlantic Slave Trade was made up of predominantly male slaves; the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade was compromised of mostly females being sent to Europe as sex slaves. 


Who invented African slavery?


Although African societies had "slaves," most of these people served as indentured servants who were released after a certain time of service.

Europeans transformed this institution, making slavery a life sentence. They obtained far more slaves in 400 years than Africans had collectively acquired in 2000 years. 


Why did African kingdoms provide Europeans with slaves? 

African kingdoms typically didn't provide their own people as slaves, but rather, they gave up prisoners of war. Once captured, these prisoners of war would be provided to Europeans in exchange for weapons.

African kingdoms would use these weapons to wage war against their neighbors, then acquiring more prisoners for future exchanges. This process created a race between African kingdoms to see who could acquire more weapons--with slaves being the currency to purchase more weapons. 


Who is Osei Tutu?

Osei Tutu was the first "Asantehene", the first civil and religious leader of the Asante Empire.

He united all of the clans by 1650 in the Gold Coast region of Africa by recognizing the autonomy (self rule) of conquered areas. 


What was the Kingdom of Benin most known for?

Before the 1700s, Benin greatly limited the amount of slave trading they did with Europeans.

They mostly traded with the Europeans in ivory, pepper, and textiles rather than slaves. However, by the 1700s, they were pressured into the slave trade by the Europeans, although it never became their dominant source of revenue.


What is the significance of the Kingdom of the Kongo?

The Kingdom of the Kongo became propserous trading with the Portuguese in the late 1400s. Under the leadership of their King (called the Manikongo) Nzinga Mvemba, and as a result of trading with the Portuguese, Kongo converted to Christianity. 

They had a capital city of around 60,000 at Mbanza Kongo by the 1500s.


Who is Nzinga Mvemba? 

A manikongo, who, in the 1500s, under Portuguese influence, attempted to Christanize the entire Kingdom.

Eventually, when the Portguese tried to enslave his subjects, Nzinga Mvemba tried to end the slave trade and limit Portguese influence on his kingdom. 


What was the Royal African Company?

The Royal African Company was created in the 1600s by British merchants and approved by the British government to bring slaves to the British colonies of Virginia, Barbaos, Jamaica, as well as other British colonies. 


What is an "indies piece?"

"Indies piece" was a term used in the Spanish Empire that referred to the value of an adult male slave. Women and children were often priced at a fraction of a indies peice. 


How did Muslim states like Songhay and Kongo react to the idea of Muslim slaves?

Despite the prohibition against slavery in Islam, these kingdoms sold people into slavery regardless of their religious background.