Evolving Slave Trade Essay

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Slave Trade

The author of this report is asked to answer several questions about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. First, there is the question of how important to African society and to the African economy the slave trade was. Second, there is the question of what roles the slaves served in African societies. Lastly, there will be a comparison of slavery in West Africa and the European slavery model that involved coercive labor. While most examples and depictions of slavery nowadays relate to historical events, the effects and lessons of slavery still ring quite loudly to this very day.

When it comes to the difference between the African model of slavery and the European model for the same, there was a stark difference. Indeed, African slaves were looked upon more as dependents rather than property. Put another way, African slaves could eventually "grow" and move beyond their slave state and become integrated into the families of the slave owners. Stated shortly, there could be a transition from slave to family member given the right conditions. Further, slaves in African society could actually end up holding high positions in society including in their own families or even as soldiers and confidants of high officials. In general, slavery was important to society and the economy in Africa as it was often one of the few ways that a common person could obtain wealth and prestige. Beyond that, the slave trade became a larger and larger part of the economic picture in Africa when the trans-Atlantic slave trade ramped up. This remained the case until Europe colonized the area and imposed their view of property rights and the like. When it comes to Europe, the model is slavery was much more punitive and demeaning. There might have been exceptions here and there, but slaves of Europeans were usually afforded no rights of special status and did not hold any sort of prominent positions in society (Colorado).

Conclusion

It is clear that slavery was a prominent practice in both African and European societies. However, they reasoning and models that were used for slaves were obviously quite different between the two societies. To be sure, the practice was demeaning to some degree regardless of who was doing it. However, one was clearly more aggressive and demeaning than the other.

References

Colorado. 'Slavery In Africa'. Autocww.colorado.edu. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 Aug. 2015.

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