African Slave Trade

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Africa Pages: 6 (1827 words) Published: March 1, 2014
Slavery in Africa has not only existed throughout the continent for many centuries, but continues in the current day. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of the continent, as they were in much of the ancient world. In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world.[1][2][3] When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems changed and began supplying captives for slave markets outside of Africa.[4]

Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms and some of these do not clearly fit the definitions of slavery elsewhere in the world. Debt slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa.[5]

Although there had been some trans-Saharan trade from the interior of Sub-Saharan Africa to other regions, slavery was a small part of the economic life of many societies in Africa until the introduction of transcontinental slave trades (Arab and Atlantic). Slave practices were again transformed with European colonization of Africa and the formal abolition of slavery in the early 19th century. Slavery in Africa

The main slave routes in medieval Africa.
This article discusses systems, history, and effects of slavery within Africa. See Arab slave trade, Atlantic slave trade, Maafa, and Slavery in contemporary Africa for other discussions.

A Zanj slave gang in Zanzibar (1889).
Slavery in Africa has not only existed throughout the continent for many centuries, but continues in the current day. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of the continent, as they were in much of the ancient world. In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world.[1][2][3] When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems changed and began supplying captives for slave markets outside of Africa.[4]

Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms and some of these do not clearly fit the definitions of slavery elsewhere in the world. Debt slavery, enslavement of war captives, military slavery, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa.[5]

Although there had been some trans-Saharan trade from the interior of Sub-Saharan Africa to other regions, slavery was a small part of the economic life of many societies in Africa until the introduction of transcontinental slave trades (Arab and Atlantic). Slave practices were again transformed with European colonization of Africa and the formal abolition of slavery in the early 19th century.

Forms of slaveryEdit
Multiple forms of slavery and servitude have existed throughout Africa during history and were shaped by indigenous practices of slavery as well as the Roman institution of slavery (and the later Christian views on slavery), the Islamic institutions of slavery, and eventually the Atlantic slave trade.[6] Slavery existed in parts of Africa (like the rest of the world) and was a part of the economic structure of some societies for many centuries, although the extent varied.[6] In sub-Saharan Africa, the slave relationships were often complex with rights and freedoms given to individuals held in slavery and restrictions on sale and treatment by their masters.[7] Many communities had hierarchies between different types of slaves: for example, differentiating between those who had been born into slavery and those who had been captured through war.[8]

"The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or...
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