Slavery in Africa and the influence of it on the Old World Web
Slavery is nowadays considered as one of the biggest injustice a person could do to another human being. However, slavery is as old as the human itself. This essay will focus on the development of slavery between 1450 and 1800, specifically in Africa. Slavery in Africa arose, because the possessions of human beings was an indication of wealth. Around 1450 people were in Africa were more scarce then land. So, in contrast to most of the countries, it didn’t matter how much land you possessed; it was about the amount of human beings you owned. (McNeill & McNeill 168)
This essay therefore will focus on slavery the 15th, 16th and 17th century and, even more important, the essay will point out the influence of slavery on the Old World Web from an economic, cultural and political point of view.
In 1450 the Old World Web consisted of a small part of the world. Regarding to Africa, only Mediterranean Africa and the East coast of Africa were part of the Web. From 1450 on, a lot of developments had taken place regarding maritime skills. Because of the increase of navigational and geographical knowledge, some outsiders now dared to explore the hinterlands of Africa. They faced dangerous situations, tropical diseases and unnavigable rivers. Therefore, a lot of them did not survive this journey. (McNeill & McNeill 167) The result was that big parts of East-Africa lagged behind, and still depended on agriculture. However, there were some exceptions. Through the Zamzebi river and the Ethiopian coast, there was little interaction via the Indian Ocean with the Old World Web. This is also the place where we see the first signs of slavery. (McNeill & McNeill 167) Other parts of Africa, like South-Africa, did join the Old World Web. The Dutch VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) moored on their way to the Indian Ocean at Cape Good Hope, for food- and drink supplies. By 1670 they decided to establish a...
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