African Enslavement

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African Enslavement

Post by mayexplains on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:32 pm

What would happen if the Africans refused to sell other Africans into slavery during the European slave trade? (I know this is a huge hypothetical but still interesting to theorize about). I believe the Europeans would either go by force or start colonizing africa earlier in history for the resources.
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Re: African Enslavement

Post by Mr Trolldemort on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:48 pm

If it was during the beginning of the European Slave trade, I think Europe would just stick with the Native population in North and South America and since the main reason slaves were taken from Africa was because they didn't succumb to diseases and therefore most cost effective, slavery would be nowhere near as widespread as it was in our timeline, and possibly mean no civil war occurring for the United States (at least when it comes to slavery)

If it was out of nowhere that the African Kingdoms all say no to further demands, I think it is certainly possible some of the European empire would take over the countries and either vassalize them or demand concessions to have enough slaves for their industry.
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Re: African Enslavement

Post by mayexplains on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Mr Trolldemort wrote:If it was during the beginning of the European Slave trade, I think Europe would just stick with the Native population in North and South America and since the main reason slaves were taken from Africa was because they didn't succumb to diseases and therefore most cost effective, slavery would be nowhere near as widespread as it was in our timeline, and possibly mean no civil war occurring for the United States (at least when it comes to slavery)

If it was out of nowhere that the African Kingdoms all say no to further demands, I think it is certainly possible some of the European empire would take over the countries and either vassalize them or demand concessions to have enough slaves for their industry.  

I completely forgot to factoring the Native population, especially when the Spaniards were using them as slaves first.
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Re: African Enslavement

Post by DuceMoosolini on Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:46 pm

They would have just taken what they wanted. Just sticking to the natives wouldn't work, since so many of them had been annihilated in the Carribean. Here's the CIA talking about how this happened in Haiti:

CIA wrote: The native Taino - who inhabited the island of Hispaniola when it was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1492 - were virtually annihilated by Spanish settlers within 25 years. In the early 17th century, the French established a presence on Hispaniola. In 1697, Spain ceded to the French the western third of the island, which later became Haiti. The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation.

The same situation also took hold in Cuba and South America.

But had the Africans just refused to sell each other into slavery, this would have made it much easier for the Europeans to just conquer and enslave them anyway. The slave trade is what made these African states powerful to begin with, and without the money and guns flowing into their coffers in exchange for those slaves, they would have been a pushover. Here's the Metropolitan Museum of Art giving some background on this:

The Met wrote:It would be impossible to argue, however, that transatlantic trade did not have a major effect upon the development and scale of slavery in Africa. As the demand for slaves increased with European colonial expansion in the New World, rising prices made the slave trade increasingly lucrative. African states eager to augment their treasuries in some instances even preyed upon their own peoples by manipulating their judicial systems, condemning individuals and their families to slavery in order to reap the rewards of their sale to European traders. Slave exports were responsible for the emergence of a number of large and powerful kingdoms that relied on a militaristic culture of constant warfare to generate the great numbers of human captives required for trade with the Europeans. The Yoruba kingdom of Oyo on the Guinea coast, founded sometime before 1500, expanded rapidly in the eighteenth century as a result of this commerce. Its formidable army, aided by advanced iron technology, captured immense numbers of slaves that were profitably sold to traders. In the nineteenth century, the aggressive pursuit of slaves through warfare and raiding led to the ascent of the kingdom of Dahomey, in what is now the Republic of Benin, and prompted the emergence of the Chokwe chiefdoms from under the shadow of their Lunda overlords in present-day Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Asante kingdom on the Gold Coast of West Africa also became a major slave exporter in the eighteenth century.

So yeah, the Europeans would have just rolled in and took everything they needed. It might not have happened immediately, but the shortage of natives in the New World means it would've just been a matter of time...

All emphasis is mine
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