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Why Did Slave Trading Intensify In Nineteenth Century East Africa?

1384 words - 6 pages

During the 19th century the East Africa was marked by the sadness event of slave trading in response to larger demanding markets. For a long time the exportation of slaves was made through the Red Sea and Indian Ocean to supply the Muslin world. However there was a greatly expansion of slave trades to the Atlantic ocean during 19th century.
The slave trading increase during the 19th century due to the fact that the exportation of slaves was a profitable business, more than five times the export of ivory and other goods(1).
During the 18th century ivory dominated the trade of the colonies in northern Mozambique, but the demand for slaves in the begging of the 19th century changed this scenario of hunting for elephants in East Africa. Now, expeditions and exploration efforts were concentrated in the hinterland domain and their population in order to maintain an efficient trade in slaves(1).
Some economic and commercial factors were responsible to enhance the slave trading. In 1800, the large-scale production of cane sugar, and other monocultures such as coffee in Brazil intensified. Slaves were recruited to work in gold mines, to help farmers with the handwork of the land, to help families with usual domestic works and to operate and control the ivory trade.
The presence of Islam in 19th century East African coast was creating forces in the region however it was still very rare in the interior of the continent . This event coined the concept of an ‘’urban islamisation’’ since the population of the city (known as Mombosa) gave more support to the new religion than the people of the interior (known as Wanyika) which demonstrated some resistance to the urban Islamic culture (3, p.276).
Concurrently with the expansion of Islam in the 19th century the Omani empire controlled the economic , political and commercial aspects of the East African region and had their power centred in the region of Zanzibar, along the coast and islands . The local economy was mainly driven by increased exploitation of ivory and slaves . Moreover grain crops and gum copal also stand out as one of the main products of trade in the region. ( " Revealing the Wounds unhealed Zanzibar ." BBC News. July 25, 2009 . ). In 1820, the Omani empire that led to a major trading slaves from Africa to the Middle East and to India, Arabia, the Persian Gulf. In this period started the expansion into the interior, due to the high demand for slaves.
The expansion of trade within the continent between 1840 and 1860 increased due to the presence of Muslims farmers and this was one of the factors that pushed the economy to grow by grain farming. The cultivation of the land required more demand for slaves , especially in clove plantations . The partnership Swahili and Arabs intensified the grain trade with its African neighbours , but should be considered that the land work was done by slaves .
One of the main sources of slaves that were sold in East Africa was Mozambique. The slave trading in...

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