Europeans first came to the African coast seeking to trade goods in Africa, including spices and gold. In the mid-fifteenth century, European merchants began shipping African captives to Europe and eventually to the Americas. By the mid-sixteenth century, the trade in African captives eclipsed that of the trade in goods. Over the next several centuries, trade throughout the Atlantic World grew rapidly, as European colonization of the Americas expanded. This, in turn, required the commensurate expansion of the supply of captives—growing trade networks wove complex relationships between European traders and African leaders. After 1500, a vast Triangle Trade (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. existed, linking Europe, Africa, and the Americas. European vessels with trade goods departed their continent for Africa, where a cargo of slaves was assembled by indigenous leaders and European traders. These vessels then sailed to ports in the Americas, where European traders sold slaves to plantations which produced a range of tropical (and “exotic,” for Europe) commodities, like sugar, chocolate, and many other sought-after products. On the final leg of their journeys, vessels loaded these slave-grown products and returned to Europe to sell those commodities in a market which demanded more and more New World luxuries. These voyages essentially resembled a gigantic triangle that spanned the Atlantic World, hence our use of the term Triangle Trade.One intersection of the triangle is at the heart of this discussion. Scholars have been perplexed as to why certain African groups were willing and able to supply so many captives to European merchants as part of the Triangle Trade. To understand this willingness and ability, it is necessary to examine selected West African societies before the trade began and as the trade in captives expanded. What were the prevailing sociopolitical conditions of African societies in this era? How and why was the trade in captives able to expand so rapidly within West Africa after the sixteenth century?
In preparation for our discussion, be sure to read: the attached pdf. Be sure to cite reference in text.

Based on your readings, post a response of at least 250 words to the following questions:

  • Briefly describe some sociopolitical characteristics of West African societies prior to and during the Transatlantic Slave Trade Era.
  • Why were some African leaders willing to supply captives to European merchants?
  • Who benefited most from the trade and who suffered?
  • Posted: 3 months ago
  • Due: 
  • Budget: $10
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