The world shrinks 1450 - 1750 summary study guide




The world shrinks 1450 - 1750 summary study guide


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The world shrinks 1450 - 1750 summary study guide

                         Pages 476 – 501



The Atlantic Slave Trade


Early Portuguese contacts set the patterns for contact with the African coast. The slave trade expanded to meet the demand for labor in the new American colonies, and millions were exported in an organized commerce that involved African rulers and states and European slave traders.

African Societies, Slavery, and the Slave Trade

The slave trade influenced African forms of servitude as well as the social and political development of African states. Newly powerful states such as Ashante and Dahomey emerged in West Africa. In the Sudan and East Africa, slavery and the slave trade across the Sahara and in the Indian Ocean to Muslim lands also produced long-term effects.

White Settlers and Africans in Southern Africa


In Southern Africa, a Dutch colony eventually brought Europeans into conflict with the Africans, especially the southern Bantu-speaking peoples. One of these groups, the Zulu, created under Shaka a powerful chiefdom during the early 19th century in a process of expansion that affected the whole region.

The African Diaspora


The slave trade and the horrifying Middle Passage carried millions of Africans from their original homelands. In the Americas, especially in plantation colonies, they became a large segment of the population, and African cultures were adapted to new environments and conditions. Africans also resisted enslavement.

  • Conclusion: The Impact of Slavery on Africa


Africa was drawn into the world economy long before the arrival of the Europeans. In the era of the slave trade, at first slowly, but with increasing intensity after 1750, the connections intensified. Its incorporation produced differing effects on African societies, reinforcing authority in some places, creating new states in others, and sometimes provoking social, religious, and political reactions. Although many aspects of African life followed traditional patterns, contact with the world economy forced many African societies to adjust in ways that often placed them at a disadvantage and facilitated Europe’s colonization of Africa in the 19th century. Well into the 20th century, as forced labor continued in Africa under European direction, the legacy of the slave trade era proved slow to die.

  • How did the arrival of Portugal (and other Europeans) affect West Africa?


  • Why did the slave trades arise and how did they affect Africa?
  • How many Africans were enslaved and where did they go?


  • What demographic patterns do historians see in the slave trade?
  • How was the slave trade organized and who controlled the trade?


  • How did African slavery differ from American slavery?
  • How did the slave trade influence African politics and the rise of states?


  • What developments occurred in East Africa?
  • What popular movements collided in South Africa and with what results?


  • How did African cultures, religions, and institutions change outside Africa?


  • Factories


  • Lançados
  • Royal African Companies


  • Indies piece
  • Triangular trade


  • Asante-hene
  • Benin


  • Voortrekkers
  • Great Trek


  • Mfecane
  • Chattel slavery


  • Salt-water slaves
  • Creole slaves


  • Diaspora
  • MAP EXERCISES – Map 21.1: Portuguese Expansion, African Kingdoms (Page 479)
  • What African states existed when Portuguese explorers arrived in Africa?


  • To control Africa’s coasts of Africa, what few territories would Portugal have had to acquire?


  • Table 21.1: Slave Exports from Africa, 1500 – 1900 (Page 481)
  • What different slave trades existed? (Think geographically about the origins of slaves and their destinations)


  • Which region exported the largest number of slaves?
  • When were the most slaves exported?


  • Between 1800 – 1900, why would the number of slaves crossing the Atlantic decline?
  • Table 21.2: Destinations of African Slaves (Page 482)
  • What regions received the most slaves? The least?


  • Why would the Caribbean and Brazil need such large numbers?
  • In British North America, what colonies would have received slaves?


  • Today, where would African influences and cultures be the greatest? Why?


  • DOCUMENT ANALYSIS: The Middle Passage (Page 497)
  • Document Analysis

Who wrote the document? (Attribution includes biographical references)


What is the author’s point of view?


How reliable is the document? Why?

  • What was the intent or purpose behind the document?


Who was the intended audience?


  • What is the document’s tone?
  • Conclusions
  • How would an abolitionist use this document?


  • How did the Africans and Europeans perceive each other?
  • How would this have affected views of the slave trade and slavery?
  • PHOTO ESSAYS: Symbols of Power (Pages 480, 483, 486, 489, and 492)

In order to rationalize the slave trade, Europeans and Muslims denigrated Africans and African civilization by calling the people savages and the cultures primitive.

            Do the photos support or refute this statement? Why?


  • The first European nation to visit and to exploit Africa was
  • Spain.
  • Portugal.
  • France.
  • England.
  • Holland.


  • In the beginning of the Early Modern Age, the relationship between Europeans in Africa and Africans was
  • often one of relative equality in which no one power was dominant.
  • one of mutual respect.
  • an inferior status with Europeans predominating.
  • dominated by superior European technology.
  • contentious and led to constant warfare.
  • Portuguese missionaries were most successful in their activities in
  • Morocco.
  • Senegambia.
  • Benin.
  • Ghana.
  • the Zaire Region (Kongo).


  • The European slave trade out of Africa arose and expanded when
  • European began to supply Muslim slave markets in the Middle East.
  • Europe conquered the coasts of West Africa.
  • gold was discovered in Iberia necessitating greater numbers of laborers.
  • sugar plantations were established on the Atlantic islands and in the Americas.
  • Spain and Portugal launched their crusades against Muslim states in Africa.
  • The large numbers and high volume of Africans in the slave trade was necessary because
  • most Africans escaped from slavery before arriving in the Americas.
  • Muslim fleets patrolled the Atlantic coast of Africa and freed the slaves.
  • the mortality of slaves was high and their fertility rate was low.
  • African slaves were also needed on estates in Europe after the Black Death.
  • European slavers also supplied Muslim and Asian markets.


  • Most slaves transported out of Africa went to
  • the Muslim states of the Red Sea.
  • across the Sahara to North Africa.
  • to African, Muslim, and Indian states along the Indian Ocean.
  • across the Atlantic to the Americas.
  • to Europe.
  • The largest number of African slaves sent to the Americas went to
  • British and French islands of the Caribbean.
  • Brazil.
  • the slave states of the United States.
  • Central America.
  • the Spanish colonies along the Pacific coast.


  • Slavery in the United States differed from slavery and the slave trade to the rest of the Americas in all of the following ways EXCEPT:
  • the slave trade to the United States was abolished after 1807.
  • the United States supported its need for slaves with domestic breeding and internal trade.
  • American plantations grew cotton and tobacco instead of sugar.
  • the total slave population in the United States grew.
  • the death rate of slaves due to brutality was higher in the United States.
  • The Trans-Atlantic slave trade differed from the Trans-Saharan slave trade to        the Muslim world in that
  • the Trans-Atlantic was less brutal than the Trans-Saharan slave trade.
  • the Trans-Saharan slave trade included women for domestic work.
  • the Atlantic route transported whole families to the Americas whereas the Trans-Saharan trade broke families up.
  • the trade to the Muslim world ended before the Trans-Atlantic trade began.
  • More people were transported across the Sahara than across the Atlantic.


  • The slave trade out of Africa was controlled by
  • African trading guilds.
  • key African forest kingdoms such as Benin, Oyo, Ashante, and Kongo.
  • European slave traders and African rulers working jointly.
  • Muslim traders.
  • the Europeans, especially the Dutch and Portuguese.
  • The Trans-Atlantic slave trade had all of these effects EXCEPT:
  • the European conquest of Africa.
  • contributing to the growth of capitalism.
  • the increased violence in Africa as slavers raided and warred for slaves.
  • the settlement and development of vast areas of the Americas by Africans.
  • the spread of African culture and institutions to the Americas.


  • The major difference between American and African forms of slavery was
  • American slaves can own property.
  • African slaves often acquired their freedom after years of work.
  • slavery in Africa was largely unknown before Europeans arrived.
  • the extreme brutality towards and high mortality rates of slaves in the Americas was higher.
  • Americans used slaves as soldiers, administrators, and bureaucrats.
  • Which of these statements about slavery in Africa is a FACT?
  • African societies did not practice chattel slavery.
  • The Europeans introduced slavery as an important institution.
  • Islam allowed slavery but not the enslavement of Muslims.
  • Most African slaves could attain their freedom.
  • The European slave trade tapped into a preexisting African institution.


  • With regard to the slave trade and slavery in Africa, contacts with the Europeans
  • decreased warfare between African states as Africans united against European slavers.
  • increased violence and the disruption of African societies as the search for slaves increased.
  • led to the rise of a few, key African states that dominated the slave trade.
  • led to open warfare between Christians and Muslims for the control of the slave trade.
  • benefited most African states, which received high quality goods in exchange for slaves.


  • Ashante, Benin, and Dahomey are comparable to the empires of the Mughals, Safavids, and Ottomans in that they all:
  • established absolutist, centralized governments and institutions that resisted European penetration.
  • relied on firearms to establish and to maintain their states.
  • defeated the Portuguese.
  • were Muslim states.
  • expelled European merchants.
  • All of these popular movements affected Africa in the 19th century EXCEPT:
  • Europeans immigrated and settled the coasts of South Africa.
  • Boer farmers migrated from the Atlantic coast to the interior of South Africa.
  • San and Khoikhoi migrated to Southwest Africa from Central Africa.
  • the Nguni peoples united under the Zulus and expanded their empire.
  • the Sultanate of Sokoto launched a series of jihads to spread Islam.



  • All American slave societies recognized social hierarchical distinctions based on
  • religious affiliations.
  • ownership of property.
  • usefulness of skills performed.
  • color of skin – the lighter the skin, the higher the status.
  • countries from which the slaves originated.


  • Compare and contrast African slavery, Latin American forced labor, Russian serfdom, and American slavery.


  • Compare and contrast Dahomey, Benin, and Ashante with one of these states: Portugal, Ming China, Mughal India, Safavid Iran, or the Ottoman Empire.
  • Compare and contrast the effects of the slave trade on Africa with the Black Death’s effects in Europe.


  • Compare and contrast the effects of the slave trade on the development of African states with the effects of the Commercial Revolution on European states such as Holland, France, and England.
  • How did Islam change in Africa from its introduction in 600 C.E. to 1900 C.E.?


  • Compare and contrast the spread of Islam in Africa with the spread of Christianity in Europe.



In 2001, a special United Nations conference on racism met in South Africa. Among its topics was one item of discussion, namely that Europe, Latin America, and the United States owe reparations to the African states and Africans transported during the slave trade.

  • Do these nations owe Africans and African states reparations? Why or why not?
  • What responsibilities do African states and rulers bear for the slave trade?
  • What responsibilities do Muslim states bear for their slave trades?


The slave trade in Africa predated the arrival of Europeans, and prior to the early 19th century, the world trade in and possession of slaves was legal and had been for millenia. Even after European and American nations began to end the slave trade and abolish slavery, many nations in Africa, Asia, and the Muslim world still permitted and today still practice slavery. Additionally, many cultures enserfed their peasants, casted whole populations into religious slavery, paid their workers slave wages, or assigned different ethnicities, such as the Irish, to plantations.

  • How do these facts change the above discussion?



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The world shrinks 1450 - 1750 summary study guide