In, "The African Slave Trade" author Basil Davidson explains how the slave trade between Europe and Africa eventually led to the unity of Africans, and the birth of African nationalism. However, the birth of nationalism and unity/equality among Africans did not occur the day after the first European slave ship left the coast of Africa; instead, it took many years and many set-backs before Africa united through equality.
Davidson also asserts that Europe benefited from the Euro-African relationship. Davidson goes on, in detail, to show how European kings and persons of nobility would often "entertain" African princeses. The incident, Davidson explains, involves the son of King Annamaboe who was sent on a slave ship by his father and then enslaved by the ship captain. However when the news reached England the king's son was placed into the care of the Earl of Halifax who, "clothed and educated [the son and his companion] in a suitable manner". The only reason England would go to such lengths, such as freeing a "slave", then educating him and treating him as an honored guest and most of all "entertaining" him, is to gain favor with King Annamaboe, who supplied the English with their vital supply of slaves.
I agree with Davidson's final conclusion of African unity. Because the slave trade brought wealth to Africa, but only for a select few. Davidson explains, "the trade unquestionably brought gains to kings and ruling groups who were able to gather its profits; yet these were the gains, much more often than not, of a purely personal accumulation of wealth and of privileged access to consumer imports". Other then the select few who could accumulate wealth and power, the rest of Africa (the continent for that matter) was strangled and paralyzed by the trade in human beings, these years "were years of isolation and paralysis wherever the trade with Europe, essentially a trade in slaves, could plant its sterilizing hand". By "sterilizing hand" Davidson is saying that the slave trade surpressed any and all African development. This strangulation adversely affected the political and economical development of Africa by allowing the separation between king/chief and commoners to increase and stiffen. In the beginning, it is this separation that led to the inequality among Africans. In fact, a majority of the years during the transatlantic slave trade with Europe only contributed to the widening of the separation of Africa's social classes. At least in the beginning; however, Africa slowly begins to go through a social upheaval. According to the famous saying, "divide and conquer", and that is exactly what Europe accomplished during the slave trade. Because after the slave trade was abolished, Europe preceded to colonize Africa, which is in accordance with the economical model of the slave trade.
. The reason the slave trade worked so well as a stranglehold was because it was a unidirectional relationship,...