West African Slave Trade Research Paper

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Major participants that drove the supply side of the transatlantic slave trade were the local rulers and merchants in West Africa. Duke Ephraim, ruler of Duketown and leading slave trader in Old Calabar, possible reasoning for working with European slave traders like Feraud was the result of socioeconomic factors that made it advantageous for his local community. The Duke’s involvement in the slave trade was beneficial for his community because it allowed for the import of desirable commodities, brought in money that helped to sustain their economy, and helped to remove some of the community’s outcasts or enemy tribes. Although trade routes were already long established in the region, supplying Europeans would allow people like Ephraim to “demand in exchange specific types of goods” that were usually more difficult to acquire (Lecture 9-21; Blaufarb, 7). Guns, gold from the Americas, and European furniture are some examples of goods that African traders demanded in exchange for slaves (Stearns, 288; Blaufarb, 7). Ephraim perhaps coveted for some of these harder to…show more content…
After Europeans began purchasing slaves, numerous African communities began seeing slavery as “an economic system rather than a political or social institution” (Blaufarb, 33). This most likely occurred because the European slave traders brought money into certain African communities. Consequently, parts of West Africa’s financial system to soon depend on the slave trade (Stearns, 288). Another of Ephraim’s possible motivations for working with European slave traders was because his community depended on the income for economic stability. This crucial source of income for the region could have pushed Ephraim to continue even after the Royal Navy’s interdiction efforts. Subsequently, because of the dependency of the money slaves brought, the slave traders in the region would then have to determine where to get the

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