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The Slave Trade's Origins

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S: The Slave Trade

FC: The Slave Trade Kaitlyn Zezza KZ101647

1: How the Slave trade affected Africa. Despite the fear held over the people during the slave trade, Africa had slaves as well, before the trade began. The difference was that the slaves held in Africa were usually held for severe crimes like kidnapping and adultery. Prisoners of war were also used as slaves. The Portuguese were the first people to land in Africa. They initially were there for gold and spices, not slaves. When they discovered that the area was the best for growing sugar, they decided to settle there. It was difficult for them to get Portuguese settlers though, due to the heat, lack of infrastructure and hard work. This lead to the slaves working in their own country for them.

2: In June of 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas. It gave Alfonso V of Portugal permission to reduce any “Muslims and pagans and any other unbelievers” to perpetual slavery. This started the Portuguese slave trade from West Africa. Pope Nicholas also wrote the bull Romanus Pontifex in January 1455 to the same Alfonso. As a follow-up to the Dum diversas, it extended to the Catholic nations of Europe dominion over discovered lands during the Age of Discovery. Along with sanctifying the seizure of non-Christian lands, it encouraged the enslavement of native, non-Christian people in Africa and the New World.

3: The papal bulls gave the Europeans the ability to do as they wished, for they were doing God's work. As a result of this, the slave trade increased and Africa suffered. Certain tribes however, prospered. They did so by being able to export and make money off of their enemies that they had captured. Economically, those Africans who conquered neighbors and took them as prisoners were able to sell them to European slavers. By reducing the population, there would be fewer people competing for the limited resources.

4: The slave trade decreased the population and scared most of the country and many stayed in their homes to prevent being taken. Families were spit apart and people were lost and separated from their loved ones. Their culture suffered too. With the loss of so many people, some villages were easily taken over and destroyed, The people of the destroyed villages were sold into slavery by their conquerers. Africa's population stopped growing from the 1400s to the 1800s. There just weren't enough people left to farm for food and have babies. The cruelty and ruthlessness inflicted on slaves and their eventual freedom is a very well known story. A sad part of the world's history.

6: Pope Nicholas V

7: Works Cited

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  • By: Kaitlyn Z.
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  • Title: The Slave Trade's Origins
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