- Jun 18, 2004
- retired computer geek
a white person who knows no black people opining on African history ???? really ??? hubris ????Interesting and informative article in the OP and I found a little more on this. It seems the introduction of modern weapons escalated historical conflicts and selling slaves aquired during these wars to finance purchasing more weapons became common. I did learn something here.
On the subject of this historical fact being used to assuage white guilt though I would say that isn't really the case. History is history and facts are facts and the fact is blacks sold captives to Europeans for profit to buy guns to win wars. Doesn't make Europeans any less culpable for buying them and reselling them as slaves to plantation owners though and in the end this is a human nature issue not a black white issue.
"Typically wars in West Africa were relatively short affairs that left a small number of causalities. The introduction of European weapons made these wars more drawn out and destructive affairs. Moreover, the only way Africans could acquire these firearms was through the trade of slaves. A king of Dahomey once requested that Europeans establish a firearms factory in his nation, but this request went ignored. Firearms became necessary for African nations to defend themselves both from African rivals as well as from European intrusion, but the only way to acquire these weapons was through the slave trade. This situation only benefited the competing European powers that were able to play Africans against each other.
Finally, the slave trade left a negative legacy on both sides of the Atlantic. The Africans that were brought to the Americas were forced to labor as slaves, while enduring some of the most inhumane treatment imaginable. Those who remained, however, were left to mourn the lost of their friends and relatives that were taken away. A handful of African traders and rulers may have gained some wealth from the slave trade, but overall it was a very negative event for Africa. There were African kingdoms, such as the Kongo Kingdom, that eventually fell due to the onslaught brought about by the slave trade. We often think of the negative impact that the slave trade had on those who were captured, but the slave trade was also devastating for those who escaped being captured as well."