GEA3600 T/R 6:25-7:40
Exercise 5: Final Draft
The Impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on Ghana:
A Violent Legacy
This class was filled with riveting topics that all had positive and negative impacts on Africa. As in most of the world, slavery, or involuntary human servitude, was practiced across Africa from prehistoric times to the modern era (Wright, 2000). The transatlantic slave trade was beneficial for the Elite Africans that sold the slaves to the Western Europeans because their economy predominantly depended on it. However, this trade left a mark on Africans that no one will ever be able to erase. For many Africans, just remembering that their ancestors were once slaves to another human, is something humiliating and shameful.
In this paper I ask, how did slavery begin in Ghana? What impact did it have on Ghana? How badly is Ghana underdeveloped due to this enslavement that took place? Lovejoy, Northrup, and Rodney argue that the transatlantic slave trade did in fact contribute to the underdevelopment of Africa. I support their arguments and believe the trade didn’t exactly “destroy” Ghana, but it did affect it by not letting the country improve faster, although eventually Ghana was able to depart from that “underdeveloped” category.
The transatlantic slave trade occurred throughout the entire continent of Africa and was divided into two eras, the first and the second Atlantic systems. The first Atlantic system was the slave trade of Africans to Portuguese and Spanish territories. The second Atlantic system which made up most of the transatlantic slave trade is the one I will focus on. This second Atlantic system, was characterized by the shipment of Africans from countries such as Senegal, Gambia, Ghana, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West, which consisted of the English, Portuguese, French and Dutch traders. (Oluseyi, 2012) One particular country that endured years of aching slavery was Ghana. The transatlantic slave trade left a mark on Ghana and the rest of the continent by treating the slaves like dirt. Even before the Westerners came and took over, slavery took place in Ghana. Ghana is a unique case study for understanding the Transatlantic slave trade because it was one of the countries with the most slaves being sold. It also endured many painful years of slavery. Perhaps Ghana would have been able to start progressing years ago if this slave trade hadn’t slowed them down.
This unfair slave trade left the country in a horrible situation because it messed up their economy, caused underpopulation, violence, racism and left it underdeveloped compared to other countries in the world that are more advanced and developed today. Slavery laid at the core of Ghana’s pre-colonial states, whose economy was almost fully dependent on slave labor. Indigenous slavery occurred before the transatlantic slave trade, and coexisted with it from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. During...