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Systems of Slavery Review for AP World History (page 2)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

Slavery in Eastern and Southern Africa

Not all slave routes originating in Africa crossed the Atlantic or led to Europe. The cities of eastern Africa traded with the interior of the continent for gold, ivory, and slaves. Many of these slaves were transported to the Middle East, where they became household servants or members of harems. Other slaves in the Indian Ocean system were used on European plantations on islands in the Indian Ocean. Africans from the Swahili coast, Arabs, and Indians also set up plantation colonies along the eastern coast of Africa and on the islands of the Indian Ocean.

In southern Africa, the Cape Colony established by the Dutch in 1652 depended on slave labor. The first slaves arrived from Indonesia and Asia, but later the Dutch enslaved Africans.

Effects of the Slave Trade on Africa

The African slave trade profoundly altered the demographics of Africa. Family life was disrupted as more males than females were transported across the Atlantic for the heavy work required on plantations. In some areas of Africa, populations were reduced by one half. The slave trade increased African dependency on the importation of European technology, lessening the technological development of African kingdoms.

Rapid Review

Europeans did not initiate the African slave trade but tapped into slave trade systems already in place. Europeans involved in the slave trade encountered wealthy and powerful African kingdoms. Although the main focus of the African slave trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries occurred across the Atlantic, there also was an active slave trade in the Indian Ocean. The slave trade significantly reduced the populations of some areas of Africa and created a dependence on European goods.

Review questions for this study guide can be found at:

Systems of Slavery Review Questions for AP World History

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