The Slave Trade in Africa Essay

Eric Williams thesis entitled “Capitalism and slavery” is non a survey on the nature of the slave trade. but instead a survey of the function of bondage in the English economic system. In his thesis Williams proposes the thought that capitalist economy is a consequence of the Atlantic slave trade. Williams defines capitalist economy as when person can utilize their resources to do a net income without that individual really being present. The Atlantic Slave Trade was so an illustration of capitalist economy. English investors gave financess to stock companies. such as the Dutch East Indian Company. who wound use those financess to buy ships and trading goods. The stock companies would so engage a crew and direct the ships to Africa where they would merchandise their goods for African Slaves. The ships would so transport the slaves to the Americas where they would sell their human lading and purchase American goods. The ships could so return to England and sell their American goods for capital. so dividing the net income amongst the investors. In his thesis Williams asserts that these stock companies were the first illustrations of capitalist economy and that the capitalists systems which are present in the modern universe are direct consequences of the Atlantic Slave Trade. It appears that Williams is right in his thesis.

While elements of capitalist economy. such as purchasing and merchandising of goods. were present prior to the slave trade. this was the first point in history when private investors combined their capital in the signifier of a company whose exclusive intent was to increase that capital. At no point did the stock companies manufacture any new merchandise alternatively these companies served merely to purchase and sell trade goods in such a manner as to increase the capital of their investors. Ancient Africa was characterized by strong provinces. Unlike Europe African provinces were good organized before the birth of Christ. However as European provinces became stronger African provinces weakened. These strong antediluvian African provinces such as. Egypt. Ethiopia. Kush and Benin. believed that the intent of the province was to function the people. This political orientation made it possible for African provinces to go strong because since the province served the people the people were willing to take part in supporting the province and submit to revenue enhancement in order to supply for the demands of the province which so benefited the person. However African provinces began to weaken when the Arab came into Africa.

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In a pursuit to seek the devastation of Christianity in Europe the Arabs tore through the Maghreb ( five north African states ) . The Arabs non merely took over the province. but besides the civilization. as a new Arab population settled. and pushed the original African population below the Sahara. The Arab presence in Africa shortly led to a weakening of the African State. In 1350 the strong African province of Songhai began to hold boundary line differences with the Arab led province Morroco. Songhai stated that the intent of the African province was to function the people to which Morroco replied that the intent of the province was to function Islam. Since the swayer of Morroco was a descendent of Mohammed that meant that it was Songhai’s duty to back up the Morrocan province instead than the involvements of it’s ain people. Songhai was destroyed by Morroco in 1591. and after Songhai’s devastation any new provinces that emerged in this country put the involvements of foreigners above the public assistance of their ain people.

The country that had one time been the strong imperium of Songhai became the nucleus of the slave trade in Africa. When Europeans came into Africa to merchandise they dealt with these weakened African provinces. They provided the provinces weaponries and the provinces allowed Europeans to enslave their citizens. African provinces allied with European states at the disbursal of their ain people ; demoing that the intent of the African province had changed from functioning its citizens to functioning the involvements of foreigners because the same kind of ferociousness used by Morroco in its devastation of Songhai was used by the Europeans in “gunboat diplomatic negotiations. ” The African province would subject to foreign involvements because it was no longer strong plenty to contend back.

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African provinces could non vie against European engineering so the swayers of these provinces signed understandings that allowed their people to be captured. enslaved and taken across the Atlantic. The weakening of the African province caused a alteration in the intent of the State. The intent of the province became supplying for the demands and wants of aliens ; this is why the slave trade was possible in Africa. Not merely did the African provinces allow its people to be enslaved. but the provinces participated in the captivity of its ain people in order to have the benefits of trade with the Europeans.