In the contraband camps, former slaves endured overcrowding, food and clothing shortages, poor sanitary conditions, and constant danger. They also gained the protection of the Union Army and access to the power of the US government as new, though unsteady, allies in the pursuit of their key interests, including education, employment, and the reconstitution of family, kin, and social life. The camps brought together actors who had previously had little to no contact with each other, exposed everyone involved to massive structural forces that were much larger than the human ability to control them, and led to unexpected outcomes.
They produced a refugee crisis on US soil, affected the course and outcome of the Civil War, influenced the progress of wartime emancipation, and altered the relationship between the individual and the national government. Contraband camps were simultaneously humanitarian crises and incubators for a new relationship between African Americans and the US government.
Haiti known as Saint-Domingue until it gained its independence from France in had a noted economic and political impact on the United States during the era of the American Revolution, when it forced U. But the impact of the Haitian Revolution was most tangible in areas like commerce, territorial expansion, and diplomacy. Saint-Domingue served as a staging ground for the French military and navy during the American Revolution and provided troops to the siege of Savannah in Fears or hopes that the slave revolt would spread to the United States were prevalent in public opinion.
As Saint-Domingue achieved quasi-autonomous status under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture, it occupied a central place in the diplomacy of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The Louisiana Purchase was made possible in part by the failure of a French expedition to Saint-Domingue in — Bilateral trade declined after Saint-Domingue acquired its independence from France in after which Saint-Domingue became known as Haiti , but Haiti continued to loom large in the African-American imagination, and there were several attempts to use Haiti as a haven for U.
The U. It provided the foundation for the colonization of Native land, the enslavement of American Indians and Africans, and a common identity among socially unequal and ethnically diverse Europeans. Longstanding ideas and prejudices merged with aims to control land and labor, a dynamic reinforced by ongoing observation and theorization of non-European peoples.
Rather, it was a heterogeneous compound of physical, intellectual, and moral characteristics passed on from one generation to another. Drawing upon the frameworks of scripture, natural and moral philosophy, and natural history, scholars endlessly debated whether different races shared a common ancestry, whether traits were fixed or susceptible to environmentally produced change, and whether languages or the body provided the best means to trace descent.
Racial theorization boomed in the U. In January , Benny Goodman took command of Carnegie Hall on a blustery New York City evening and for two hours his band tore through the history of jazz in a performance that came to define the entire Swing Era. Goodman played Carnegie Hall at the top of his jazz game leading his crack band—including Gene Krupa on drums and Harry James on trumpet—through new, original arrangements by Fletcher Henderson.
And yet, only forty years separated this major popular triumph and the very origins of jazz music. Between and , American musical culture changed dramatically; new sounds via new technologies came to define the national experience. At the same time, there were massive demographic shifts as black southerners moved to the Midwest and North, and urban culture eclipsed rural life as the norm.
America in was mainly a rural and disconnected nation, defined by regional identities where cultural forms were transmitted through live performances. By the end of World War II, however, a definable national musical culture had emerged, as radio came to link Americans across time and space. Regional cultures blurred as a national culture emerged via radio transmissions, motion picture releases, and phonograph records. The turbulent decade of the s sat at the center of this musical and cultural transformation as American life underwent dramatic changes in the first decades of the 20th century.
In the post period, jazz moved rapidly from one major avant-garde revolution the birth of bebop to another the emergence of free jazz while developing a profusion of subgenres hard bop, progressive, modal, Third Stream, soul jazz and a new idiomatic persona cool or hip that originated as a form of African American resistance but soon became a signature of transgression and authenticity across the modern arts and culture. Posts jazz has been characterized by tension between tradition and innovation, earnest preservation and intrepid exploration, Americanism and internationalism.
Race in the United States has typically been constructed as a binary of black and white. The two groups were often segregated from each other, making them mutually invisible. This invisibility did not make for good relations. A number of civil rights protests generated coalitions that brought the two communities together in concerted campaigns. The history of Muslims in America dates back to the transatlantic mercantile interactions between Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Upon its arrival, Islam became entrenched in American discourses on race and civilization because literate and noble African Muslims, brought to America as slaves, had problematized popular stereotypes of Muslims and black Africans. Furthermore, these enslaved Muslims had to re-evaluate and reconfigure their beliefs and practices to form new communal relations and to make sense of their lives in America. At the turn of the 20th century, as Muslim immigrants began arriving in the United States from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South Asia, they had to establish themselves in an America in which the white race, Protestantism, and progress were conflated to define a triumphalist American national identity, one that allowed varying levels of inclusion for Muslims based on their ethnic, racial, and national backgrounds.
The enormous bloodshed and destruction experienced during World War I ushered in a crisis of confidence in the ideals of the European Enlightenment, as well as in white, Protestant nationalism. It opened up avenues for alternative expressions of progress, which allowed Muslims, along with other nonwhite, non-Christian communities, to engage in political and social organization.
Among these organizations were a number of black religious movements that used Islamic beliefs, rites, and symbols to define a black Muslim national identity. Although this inclusive rhetoric was received differently along racial and ethnic lines, there was an overall appeal for greater visibility for Muslims in America. After World War II, increased commercial and diplomatic relations between the United States and Muslim-majority countries put American Muslims in a position, not only to relate Islam and America in their own lives but also to mediate between the varying interests of Muslim-majority countries and the United States.
Following the civil rights legislation of the s and s and the passage of the Immigration Act of , Muslim activists, many of whom had been politicized by anticolonial movements abroad, established new Islamic institutions. Eventually, a window was opened between the US government and American Muslim activists, who found a common enemy in communism following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the s. Since the late s, the number of Muslims in the United States has grown significantly. Today, Muslims are estimated to constitute a little more than 1 percent of the US population. However, with the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of the United States as the sole superpower in the world, the United States has come into military conflict with Muslim-majority countries and has been the target of attacks by militant Muslim organizations.
It has also interpolated them into a reality external to their history and lived experiences as Muslims and Americans. The relationship between organized labor and the civil rights movement proceeded along two tracks. At work, the two groups were adversaries, as civil rights groups criticized employment discrimination by the unions. But in politics, they allied. Unions and civil rights organizations partnered to support liberal legislation and to oppose conservative southern Democrats, who were as militant in opposing unions as they were fervent in supporting white supremacy.
At work, unions dithered in their efforts to root out employment discrimination. Their initial enthusiasm for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed employment discrimination, waned the more the new law violated foundational union practices by infringing on the principle of seniority, emphasizing the rights of the individual over the group, and inserting the courts into the workplace. The two souls of postwar liberalism— labor solidarity represented by unions and racial justice represented by the civil rights movement—were in conflict at work.
Although the unions and civil rights activists were adversaries over employment discrimination, they united in trying to register southern blacks to vote. But the two souls of liberalism that were at odds over the meaning of fairness at work would also diverge at the ballot box. As white workers began to defect from the Democratic Party, the political coalition of black and white workers that union leaders had hoped to build was undermined from below. The divergence between the two souls of liberalism in the s—economic justice represented by unions and racial justice represented by civil rights—helps explain the resurgence of conservatism that followed.
The legal and social status of African peoples was more flexible at first in the English colonies than it later became. Some Africans managed to escape permanent enslavement and a few Africans, such as Anthony Johnson, even owned servants of their own. There was no legal basis for enslavement in the British Americas for the first several decades of settlement and slave and servant codes emerged only gradually. Labor systems operated by custom rather than through any legal mechanisms of coercion.
Most workers in the Americas experienced degrees of coercion. In the earliest years of plantation production, peoples from Africa, Europe, and the Americas often toiled alongside each other in the fields. Large numbers of Native Americans were captured and forced to work on plantations in the English Americas and many whites worked in agricultural fields as indentured and convict laborers.
There were a wide variety of different kinds of coerced labor beyond enslavement in the 17th century and ideas about racial difference had yet to become as determinative as they would later be. As the staple crop plantation system matured and became entrenched on the North American mainland in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and planters required a large and regular supply of slaves, African laborers became synonymous with large-scale plantation production.
The permeable boundaries between slavery and freedom disappeared, dehumanizing racism became more entrenched and U. Religion and race provide rich categories of analysis for American history. Neither category is stable. They change, shift, and develop in light of historical and cultural contexts. Religion has played a vital role in the construction, deconstruction, and transgression of racial identities and boundaries. Race is a social concept and a means of classifying people.
In American history, the construction of racial identities and racial differences begins with the initial encounters between Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans. Access to and use of religious and political power has shaped how race has been conceived in American history. Racial categories and religious affiliations influenced how groups regarded each other throughout American history, with developments in the colonial period offering prime examples.
Enslavement of Africans and their descendants, as well as conquered Native Americans, displayed the power of white Protestants. The Spaniards were the first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola , due to a shortage of labor caused by the spread of diseases, and so the Spanish colonists gradually became involved in the Atlantic slave trade.
The first African slaves arrived in Hispaniola in ;  by , the natives had been "virtually annihilated" mostly to diseases. It was Charles V who gave a definite answer to this complicated and delicate matter. This bill was based on the arguments given by the best Spanish theologists and jurists who were unanimous in the condemnation of such slavery as unjust; they declared it illegitimate and outlawed it from America—not just the slavery of Spaniards over Natives—but also the type of slavery practiced among the Natives themselves  Thus, Spain became the first country to officially abolish slavery.
However, in the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico, where sugarcane production was highly profitable based on slave labor, African slavery persisted until in Puerto Rico "with provisions for periods of apprenticeship",  and in Cuba. Although slavery was illegal inside the Netherlands it flourished throughout the Dutch Empire in the Americas, Africa, Ceylon and Indonesia. Initially the Dutch shipped slaves to northern Brazil, and during the second half of the 17th century they had a controlling interest in the trade to the Spanish colonies.
Today's Suriname and Guyana became prominent markets in the 18th century. Between and , the Dutch operated from some 10 fortresses along the Gold Coast now Ghana , from which slaves were shipped across the Atlantic. Dutch involvement on the Slave Coast increased with the establishment of a trading post in Offra in From onward, Dutch presence in Allada and especially Offra became more permanent. The Offra trading post soon became the most important Dutch office on the Slave Coast.
According to a report, annually 2, to 3, slaves were transported from Offra to the Americas. These numbers were only feasible in times of peace, however, and dwindled in time of conflict. From onward, the struggle between the Aja king of Allada and the peoples on the coastal regions, impeded the supply of slaves. The Dutch West India Company chose the side of the Aja king, causing the Offra office to be destroyed by opposing forces in Later, trade shifted to Ouidah.
On the instigation of Governor-General of the Dutch Gold Coast Willem de la Palma, Jacob van den Broucke was sent in as "opperkommies" head merchant to the Dutch trading post at Ouidah , which according to sources was established around In an attempt to extend his trading area, Hertog negotiated with local tribes and mingled in local political struggles. He sided with the wrong party, however, leading to a conflict with Director-General Jan Pranger and to his exile to the island of Appa in The Dutch trading post on this island was extended as the new centre of the slave trade.
In , Hertog returned to Jaquim, this time extending the trading post into Fort Zeelandia. The revival of the slave trade at Jaquim was only temporary, however, as his superiors at the Dutch West India Company noticed that Hertog's slaves were more expensive than at the Gold Coast. From , Elmina became the preferred spot to trade slaves.
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The Dutch part in the Atlantic slave trade is estimated at 5—7 percent, as they shipped about ,—, African slaves across the Atlantic, about 75, of whom died on board before reaching their destinations. From to , the Dutch traders sold , slaves in the Dutch Guianas, , in the Dutch Caribbean islands, and 28, in Dutch Brazil. Although the decision was made in , it took many years for the law to be implemented.
Furthermore, slaves in Suriname would be fully free only in , since the law stipulated that there was to be a mandatory year transition. Barbary Corsairs continued to trade in European slaves into the Modern time-period. Many were held for ransom, and European communities raised funds such as Malta's Monte della Redenzione degli Schiavi to buy back their citizens. The raids gradually ended with the naval decline of the Ottoman Empire in the late 16th and 17th centuries , as well as the European conquest of North Africa throughout the 19th century.
From to , England lost merchant ships to Barbary pirates. The corsairs were no strangers to the South West of England where raids were known in a number of coastal communities. Ireland, despite its northern position, was not immune from attacks by the corsairs. In June Janszoon , with pirates from Algiers and armed troops of the Ottoman Empire , stormed ashore at the little harbor village of Baltimore, County Cork. They captured almost all the villagers and took them away to a life of slavery in North Africa. Only two of them ever saw Ireland again.
The Congress of Vienna —15 , which ended the Napoleonic Wars , led to increased European consensus on the need to end Barbary raiding. Britain had by this time banned the slave trade and was seeking to induce other countries to do likewise. States that were more vulnerable to the corsairs complained that Britain cared more for ending the trade in African slaves than stopping the enslavement of Europeans and Americans by the Barbary States.
In order to neutralise this objection and further the anti-slavery campaign, in Britain sent Lord Exmouth to secure new concessions from Tripoli , Tunis , and Algiers , including a pledge to treat Christian captives in any future conflict as prisoners of war rather than slaves. He imposed peace between Algiers and the kingdoms of Sardinia and Sicily. On his first visit, Lord Exmouth negotiated satisfactory treaties and sailed for home. While he was negotiating, a number of Sardinian fishermen who had settled at Bona on the Tunisian coast were brutally treated without his knowledge.
The Barbary states had difficulty securing uniform compliance with a total prohibition of slave-raiding, as this had been traditionally of central importance to the North African economy. Slavers continued to take captives by preying on less well-protected peoples. Algiers subsequently renewed its slave-raiding, though on a smaller scale. Corsair activity based in Algiers did not entirely cease until France conquered the state in For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East, exporting about 2 million slaves from Russia and Poland-Lithuania over the period — Author and historian Brian Glyn Williams writes:.
Fisher estimates that in the sixteenth century the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth lost around 20, individuals a year and that from to , as many as a million Commonwealth citizens were carried off into Crimean slavery. Early modern sources are full of descriptions of sufferings of Christian slaves captured by the Crimean Tatars in the course of their raids:.
Some slaves indeed could spend the rest of their days doing exhausting labor: as the Crimean vizir minister Sefer Gazi Aga mentions in one of his letters, the slaves were often "a plough and a scythe" of their owners. Most terrible, perhaps, was the fate of those who became galley -slaves, whose sufferings were poeticized in many Ukrainian dumas songs. Both female and male slaves were often used for sexual purposes. Britain played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade , especially after , when sugar cane was introduced to the region.
At first, most were white Britons, or Irish, enslaved as indentured labour — for a fixed period — in the West Indies. These people may have been criminals, political rebels, the poor with no prospects or others who were simply tricked or kidnapped. Slavery was a legal institution in all of the 13 American colonies and Canada acquired by Britain in Somersett's case in was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not exist under English law in England. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free.
They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud. And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, And let it circulate through every vein. Thereafter Britain took a prominent role in combating the trade, and slavery itself was abolished in the British Empire except for India with the Slavery Abolition Act Between and , the West Africa Squadron seized approximately 1, slave ships and freed , Africans who were aboard. Akitoye , the 11th Oba of Lagos , is famous for having used British involvement to regain his rule in return for suppressing slavery among the Yoruba people of Lagos in Anti-slavery treaties were signed with over 50 African rulers.
After , the freed African slaves declined employment in the cane fields. This led to the importation of indentured labour again — mainly from India, and also China. He was not, however, as some [ who? This is not classed as slavery per se, as defined in the first paragraph, i. Slavery typically requires a shortage of labor and a surplus of land to be viable.
As agreed by the Allies at the Yalta conference Germans were used as forced labor as part of the reparations to be extracted. By it is estimated that , Germans both civilians and POWs were being used as forced labor by the U. German prisoners were for example forced to clear minefields in France and the Low Countries. By December it was estimated by French authorities that 2, German prisoners were being killed or injured each month in accidents. In the first half of the 19th century, small-scale slave raids took place across Polynesia to supply labor and sex workers for the whaling and sealing trades, with examples from both the westerly and easterly extremes of the Polynesian triangle.
By the s this had grown to a larger scale operation with Peruvian slave raids in the South Sea Islands to collect labor for the guano industry. Ancient Hawaii was a caste society. People were born into specific social classes. Kauwa were those of the outcast or slave class. They are believed to have been war captives, or the descendants of war captives.
Marriage between higher castes and the kauwa was strictly forbidden. The kauwa worked for the chiefs and were often used as human sacrifices at the luakini heiau. They were not the only sacrifices; law-breakers of all castes or defeated political opponents were also acceptable as victims. Before the arrival of European settlers, each Maori tribe iwi considered itself a separate entity equivalent to a nation.
In traditional Maori society of Aotearoa , prisoners of war became taurekareka , slaves, unless released, ransomed or eaten. The intertribal Musket Wars lasted to when large numbers of slaves were captured by northern tribes who had acquired muskets. About 20, Maori died in the wars which were concentrated in the North Island.
An unknown number of slaves were captured. Northern tribes used slaves called mokai to grow large areas of potatoes for trade with visiting ships. Chiefs started an extensive sex trade in the Bay of Islands in the s using mainly slave girls. By about 70—80 ships per year called into the port. One French captain described the impossibility of getting rid of the girls who swarmed over his ship outnumbering his crew of 70 by 3 to 1.
All payments to the girls were stolen by the chief. The remaining population was enslaved for the purpose of growing food, especially potatoes. The Moriori were treated in an inhumane and degrading manner for many years. Their culture was banned and they were forbidden to marry. Some Maori took Moriori partners. The state of enslavement of Moriori lasted until the s although it had been banned by British law since and discouraged by CMS missionaries in North New Zealand from the late s.
In Ngati Mutunga, one of the invading tribes, argued before the Native Land Court in New Zealand that their gross mistreatment of the Moriori was standard Maori practice or tikanga. One group of Polynesians who migrated to the Chatham Islands became the Moriori who developed a largely pacifist culture. It was originally speculated that they settled the Chathams direct from Polynesia, but it is now widely believed they were disaffected Maori who emigrated from the South Island of New Zealand.
Some Moriori men, women and children were massacred and the remaining 1, to 1, survivors were enslaved. The raid was by American sealers and was one of a series that changed the attitude of the islanders to outside visitors, with reports in the s and s that all visitors received a hostile reception. In December , Peruvian slave raiders took between 1, and 2, islanders back to Peru to work in the guano industry; this was about a third of the island's population and included much of the island's leadership, the last ariki-mau and possibly the last who could read Rongorongo.
After intervention by the French ambassador in Lima , the last 15 survivors were returned to the island, but brought with them smallpox , which further devastated the island. Slavery has existed, in one form or another, throughout the whole of human history. So, too, have movements to free large or distinct groups of slaves. However, abolitionism should be distinguished from efforts to help a particular group of slaves, or to restrict one practice, such as the slave trade. Drescher provides a model for the history of the abolition of slavery, emphasizing its origins in Western Europe.
Around the year , slavery had virtually died out in Western Europe, but was a normal phenomenon practically everywhere else. The imperial powers — the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Belgian empires, and a few others — built worldwide empires based primarily on plantation agriculture using slaves imported from Africa.
However, the powers took care to minimize the presence of slavery in their homelands. In Britain and soon after, the United States also, both criminalized the international slave trade. The Royal Navy was increasingly effective in intercepting slave ships , freeing the captives and taking the crew for trial in courts.
Although there were numerous slave revolts in the Caribbean, the only successful uprising came in the French colony of Haiti in the s, where the slaves rose up, killed the mulattoes and whites, and established the independent Republic of Haiti. Europe recoiled in horror. The continuing profitability of slave-based plantations and the threats of race war slowed the development of abolition movements during the first half of the 19th century. These movements were strongest in Britain, and after in the United States, in both instances, they were based on evangelical religious enthusiasm that said that owning a slave was a sin, and stressed the horrible impact on the slaves themselves.
The Northern states of the United States abolished slavery, partly in response to the Declaration of Independence, between and Britain ended slavery in its empire in the s. However, the plantation economies of the southern United States, based on cotton, and those in Brazil and Cuba, based on sugar, expanded and grew even more profitable. The system ended in Cuba and Brazil in the s because it was no longer profitable for the owners. Slavery continued to exist in Africa, where Arab slave traders raided black areas for new captives to be sold in the system.
European colonial rule and diplomatic pressure slowly put an end to the trade, and eventually to the practice of slavery itself. Cyrus the Great , the founder of Persian Empire temporarily prohibited the systematic enslavement of conquered non-combatant population. Cyrus also freed slaves and allowed all deported peoples who were enslaved by preceding Assyrian and Babylonian kings, to return home.
It is said that he freed up to 40, Jews and allowed them to return home. In , the Somersett Case R. Knowles, ex parte Somersett  of the English Court of King's Bench ruled that it was unlawful for a slave to be forcibly taken abroad. The case has since been misrepresented as finding that slavery was unlawful in England although not elsewhere in the British Empire. A similar case, that of Joseph Knight , took place in Scotland five years later and ruled slavery to be contrary to the law of Scotland.
Following the work of campaigners in the United Kingdom, such as William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson , the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was passed by Parliament on 25 March , coming into effect the following year. The intention was to outlaw entirely the Atlantic slave trade within the whole British Empire. The significance of the abolition of the British slave trade lay in the number of people hitherto sold and carried by British slave vessels. This made the British empire the biggest slave-trade contributor in the world due to the magnitude of the empire, which made the abolition act all the more damaging to the global trade of slaves.
The Slavery Abolition Act , passed on 1 August , outlawed slavery itself throughout the British Empire, with the exception of India. On 1 August slaves became indentured to their former owners in an apprenticeship system for six years. Full emancipation was granted ahead of schedule on 1 August Domestic slavery practised by the educated African coastal elites as well as interior traditional rulers in Sierra Leone was abolished in A study found practices of domestic slavery still widespread in rural areas in the s. There were slaves in mainland France especially in trade ports such as Nantes or Bordeaux.
The legal case of Jean Boucaux in clarified the unclear legal position of possible slaves in France, and was followed by laws that established registers for slaves in mainland France, who were limited to a three-year stay, for visits or learning a trade. Unregistered "slaves" in France were regarded as free. However, slavery was of vital importance in France's Caribbean possessions, especially Saint-Domingue.
In , influenced by the French Declaration of the Rights of Man of August and alarmed as the massive slave revolt of August that had become the Haitian Revolution threatened to ally itself with the British, the French Revolutionary commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel declared general emancipation to reconcile them with France. Napoleon came to power in and soon had grandiose plans for the French sugar colonies; to achieve them he reintroduced slavery.
Napoleon's major adventure into the Caribbean—sending 30, troops in to retake Saint Domingue Haiti from ex-slaves under Toussaint L'Ouverture who had revolted. Napoleon wanted to preserve France's financial benefits from the colony's sugar and coffee crops; he then planned to establish a major base at New Orleans. He therefore re-established slavery in Haiti and Guadeloupe, where it had been abolished after rebellions. Slaves and black freedmen fought the French for their freedom and independence.
The goal of re-establishing slavery explicitly contradicted the ideals of the French Revolution. The French soldiers were unable to cope with the tropical diseases, and most died of yellow fever. Slavery was reimposed in Guadeloupe but not in Haiti, which became an independent black republic.
Realizing the fiasco Napoleon liquidated the Haiti project, brought home the survivors and sold off the huge Louisiana territory to the US in In slavery was abolished in the French Empire. After seizing Lower Egypt in , Napoleon Bonaparte issued a proclamation in Arabic, declaring all men to be free and equal. However, the French bought males as soldiers and females as concubines. Napoleon personally opposed the abolition and restored colonial slavery in , a year after the capitulation of his troops in Egypt. In a little-known episode, Napoleon decreed the abolition of the slave trade upon his returning from Elba in an attempt to appease Great Britain.
However, trafficking continued despite sanctions. Slavery in the French colonies was finally abolished only in , three months after the beginning of the revolution against the July Monarchy. On 3 March , he had been appointed under-secretary of the navy, and caused a decree to be issued by the provisional government which acknowledged the principle of the enfranchisement of the slaves through the French possessions.
He also wrote the decree of 27 April in which the French government announced that slavery was abolished in all of its colonies. In , four German Quakers in Germantown presented a protest against the institution of slavery to their local Quaker Meeting. It was ignored for years but in it was rediscovered and was popularized by the abolitionist movement. The Petition was the first American public document of its kind to protest slavery, and in addition was one of the first public documents to define universal human rights.
The American Colonization Society , the primary vehicle for returning black Americans to greater freedom in Africa, established the colony of Liberia in —23, on the premise that former American slaves would have greater freedom and equality there. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off". Abraham Lincoln , an enthusiastic supporter of Clay, adopted his position on returning the blacks to their own land. Slaves in the United States who escaped ownership would often make their way to Canada via the " Underground Railroad ".
Many more people who opposed slavery and worked for abolition were northern whites, such as William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown. While abolitionists agreed on the evils of slavery, there were differing opinions on what should happen after African Americans were freed. By the time of Emancipation, African-Americans were now native to the United States and did not want to leave.
Most believed that their labor had made the land theirs as well as that of the whites. The Slavery Convention , an initiative of the League of Nations , was a turning point in banning global slavery. The United Nations Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery was convened to outlaw and ban slavery worldwide, including child slavery. Article 4 of this international treaty bans slavery. The treaty came into force in March after it had been ratified by 35 nations. As of November , nations had ratified the treaty. Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them, and there can be no subjugation but to God the Most-High.
The history of slavery originally was the history of the government's laws and policies toward slavery, and the political debates about it. Black history was promoted very largely at black colleges. The situation changed dramatically with the coming of the Civil Rights Movement of the s. Attention shifted to the enslaved humans, the free blacks, and the struggles of the black community against adversity. Peter Kolchin described the state of historiography in the early 20th century as follows:.
During the first half of the twentieth century, a major component of this approach was often simply racism, manifest in the belief that blacks were, at best, imitative of whites. Thus Ulrich B. Phillips , the era's most celebrated and influential expert on slavery, combined a sophisticated portrait of the white planters' life and behavior with crude passing generalizations about the life and behavior of their black slaves.
Horton described Phillips' mindset, methodology and influence:. His portrayal of blacks as passive, inferior people, whose African origins made them uncivilized, seemed to provide historical evidence for the theories of racial inferiority that supported racial segregation. Drawing evidence exclusively from plantation records, letters, southern newspapers, and other sources reflecting the slaveholder's point of view, Phillips depicted slave masters who provided for the welfare of their slaves and contended that true affection existed between master and slave.
The racist attitude concerning slaves carried over into the historiography of the Dunning School of Reconstruction era history, which dominated in the early 20th century. Writing in , the historian Eric Foner states:. Their account of the era rested, as one member of the Dunning school put it, on the assumption of "negro incapacity. Beginning in the s, historiography moved away from the tone of the Phillips era. Historians still emphasized the slave as an object. Whereas Phillips presented the slave as the object of benign attention by the owners, historians such as Kenneth Stampp emphasized the mistreatment and abuse of the slave.
In the portrayal of the slave as a victim, the historian Stanley M. Elkins in his work Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life compared the effects of United States slavery to that resulting from the brutality of the Nazi concentration camps. He stated the institution destroyed the will of the slave, creating an "emasculated, docile Sambo " who identified totally with the owner.
Elkins' thesis was challenged by historians. Gradually historians recognized that in addition to the effects of the owner-slave relationship, slaves did not live in a "totally closed environment but rather in one that permitted the emergence of enormous variety and allowed slaves to pursue important relationships with persons other than their master, including those to be found in their families, churches and communities. Economic historians Robert W. Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman in the s, through their work Time on the Cross , portrayed slaves as having internalized the Protestant work ethic of their owners.
This was also an argument of Southerners during the 19th century. In the s and s, historians made use of sources such as black music and statistical census data to create a more detailed and nuanced picture of slave life. Relying also on 19th-century autobiographies of ex-slaves known as slave narratives and the WPA Slave Narrative Collection , a set of interviews conducted with former slaves in the s by the Federal Writers' Project , historians described slavery as the slaves remembered it.
Far from slaves' being strictly victims or content, historians showed slaves as both resilient and autonomous in many of their activities. Despite their exercise of autonomy and their efforts to make a life within slavery, current historians recognize the precariousness of the slave's situation. Slave children quickly learned that they were subject to the direction of both their parents and their owners. They saw their parents disciplined just as they came to realize that they also could be physically or verbally abused by their owners.
Important work on slavery has continued; for instance, in Steven Hahn published the Pulitzer Prize -winning account, A Nation under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration , which examined how slaves built community and political understanding while enslaved, so they quickly began to form new associations and institutions when emancipated, including black churches separate from white control.
In , Robert E. Wright published a model that explains why slavery was more prevalent in some areas than others e. There were sharp cleavages along lines of region and party. Nationwide 55 percent said students should be taught slavery was the reason for the Civil War. In , a conference at the University of Virginia studied the history of slavery and recent views on it.
One of the most controversial aspects of the British Empire is its role in first promoting and then ending slavery. In the 18th-century British merchant ships were the largest element in the "Middle Passage" which transported millions of slaves to the Western Hemisphere. Most of those who survived the journey wound up in the Caribbean, where the Empire had highly profitable sugar colonies, and the living conditions were bad the plantation owners lived in Britain.
Parliament ended the international transportation of slaves in and used the Royal Navy to enforce that ban. In it bought out the plantation owners and banned slavery. Historians before the s argued that moralistic reformers such as William Wilberforce were primarily responsible. Historical revisionism arrived when West Indian historian Eric Williams , a Marxist, in Capitalism and Slavery , rejected this moral explanation and argued that abolition was now more profitable, for a century of sugarcane raising had exhausted the soil of the islands, and the plantations had become unprofitable.
It was more profitable to sell the slaves to the government than to keep up operations. The prohibition of the international trade, Williams argued, prevented French expansion on other islands. Meanwhile, British investors turned to Asia, where labor was so plentiful that slavery was unnecessary. Williams went on to argue that slavery played a major role in making Britain prosperous. The high profits from the slave trade, he said, helped finance the Industrial Revolution.
Britain enjoyed prosperity because of the capital gained from the unpaid work of slaves. Since the s numerous historians have challenged Williams from various angles and Gad Heuman has concluded, "More recent research has rejected this conclusion; it is now clear that the colonies of the British Caribbean profited considerably during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Richardson further challenges claims by African scholars that the slave trade caused widespread depopulation and economic distress in Africa—indeed that it caused the "underdevelopment" of Africa. Admitting the horrible suffering of slaves, he notes that many Africans benefited directly because the first stage of the trade was always firmly in the hands of Africans.
African Ethics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
European slave ships waited at ports to purchase cargoes of people who were captured in the hinterland by African dealers and tribal leaders. Richardson finds that the "terms of trade" how much the ship owners paid for the slave cargo moved heavily in favor of the Africans after about That is, indigenous elites inside West and Central Africa made large and growing profits from slavery, thus increasing their wealth and power. Economic historian Stanley Engerman finds that even without subtracting the associated costs of the slave trade e.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on Slavery Contemporary. By country or region. Opposition and resistance. Abolitionism U. Main article: Slavery in antiquity. Main articles: African slave trade , Arab slave trade , History of slavery in the Muslim world , and Atlantic slave trade. Main article: African slave trade. See also: Atlantic slave trade and Sara Forbes Bonetta. This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia.
See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. See also: Atlantic slave trade. Main article: Barbary slave trade. Main articles: History of slavery in Brazil and Bandeirantes. Main article: Slavery in the British and French Caribbean. Further information: Slavery in antiquity , Slavery in the Ottoman Empire , and History of slavery in the Muslim world.
Main article: History of slavery in Asia. See also: Slavery in India. See also: History of slavery in China. See also: Slavery in ancient Greece.
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See also: Slavery in ancient Rome. Main article: Slavery in medieval Europe. Main articles: Thrall and Volga trade route. Main article: Atlantic slave trade. See also: Blackbirding. Main article: Abolitionism. Main article: Abolitionism in the United Kingdom. Slave Trade suppression. African Slave Trade Patrol U. Africa Squadron U. Brazil Squadron U. Main articles: Abolitionism in France and Role of Nantes in the slave trade. Main article: Abolitionism in the United States. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean 2nd ed. New York [etc. Current Anthropology. Xlibris Corporation.
Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations as slavery depends on a system of social stratification. Retrieved 17 March In Sumer, as in most ancient societies, the institution of slavery existed as an integral part of the social and economic structure. Sumer was not, however, a slavery-based economy. Archived from the original on 14 May Prologue, "the shepherd of the oppressed and of the slaves" Code of Laws No. The Globalist. Forsythe Encyclopedia of Human Rights, Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
Retrieved 4 December Global Slavery Index Retrieved 17 October US Department of State. Retrieved 20 March BBC News. Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 October Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 23 February Human Life-A Philosophical Audit. Partridge Publishing. Naeem Mohaiemen. The Daily Star. July 27, Civilization and Capitalism, 15thth Century: The perspective of the world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Archived from the original on 9 February The Encyclopedia of World History". Archived from the original on 2 February Archived from the original PDF on 15 May The Journal of African History. Archived from the original PDF on 21 May Archived from the original on 25 October Retrieved 14 October Middle Eastern Studies.
Retrieved 3 May Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 25 April Africa Business Information Services. Retrieved 19 September Debt: The First 5, Years. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House. Archived from the original on 1 December Encounter Books: London. University of Wisconsin. Publisher Isaac Knapp. Chapter 2. Cambridge, Mass. Since most of the plants grew in the forest, the Niger—Congo speakers invented polished stone axes for clearing forest.
Most of Southern Africa was occupied by pygmy peoples and Khoisan who engaged in hunting and gathering. Some of the oldest rock art was produced by them. For several hundred thousand years the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41, year cycle caused by changes " precession " in the Earth's axis as it rotates around the sun which change the location of the North African Monsoon.
For a relatively weak North African monsoon, the opposite is true, with decreased annual precipitation and less vegetation resulting in a phase of the Sahara climate cycle known as the "desert Sahara". The Sahara has been a desert for several thousand years, and is expected to become green again in about 15, years time 17, AD. Just prior to Saharan desertification, the communities that developed south of Egypt, in what is now Sudan , were full participants in the Neolithic revolution and lived a settled to semi-nomadic lifestyle, with domesticated plants and animals.
The population trekked out of the Sahara region in all directions, including towards the Nile Valley below the Second Cataract , where they made permanent or semipermanent settlements. A major climatic recession occurred, lessening the heavy and persistent rains in Central and Eastern Africa. Archaeological findings in Central Africa have been discovered dating back to over , years.
Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the early civilizations of Sao , Kanem , Bornu , Shilluk , Baguirmi , and Wadai. Halfway through the first millennium BC, the Bantu had also settled as far south as what is now Angola. The first metals to be smelted in Africa were lead , copper , and bronze in the fourth millennium BC. Copper was smelted in Egypt during the predynastic period , and bronze came into use after 3, BC at the latest  in Egypt and Nubia.
Nubia was a major source of copper as well as gold. The process used was unique to the region, indicating that it was not brought from outside the region; it became more mature by about 1, BC. The theory of iron spreading to Sub-Saharan Africa via the Nubian city of Meroe is no longer widely accepted. This is particularly true of Ancient Egypt and Nubia. In the Horn of Africa the Kingdom of Aksum ruled modern-day Eritrea , northern Ethiopia and the coastal area of the western part of the Arabian Peninsula. Punt was a trade partner of Ancient Egypt and it is believed that it was located in modern-day Somalia , Djibouti or Eritrea.
Sub-Saharan Africa developed more or less independently in those times. After the desertification of the Sahara , settlement became concentrated in the Nile Valley , where numerous sacral chiefdoms appeared. The regions with the largest population pressure were in the Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt , in Upper Egypt , and also along the second and third cataracts of the Dongola Reach of the Nile in Nubia.
This population pressure and growth was brought about by the cultivation of southwest Asian crops, including wheat and barley, and the raising of sheep, goats, and cattle. Population growth led to competition for farm land and the need to regulate farming. Regulation was established by the formation of bureaucracies among sacral chiefdoms. The first and most powerful of the chiefdoms was Ta-Seti , founded around 3, BC. The idea of sacral chiefdom spread throughout Upper and Lower Egypt.
Later consolidation of the chiefdoms into broader political entities began to occur in Upper and Lower Egypt, culminating into the unification of Egypt into one political entity by Narmer Menes in 3, BC. Instead of being viewed as a sacral chief, he became a divine king. The henotheism , or worship of a single god within a polytheistic system, practiced in the sacral chiefdoms along Upper and Lower Egypt, became the polytheistic Ancient Egyptian religion.
Bureaucracies became more centralized under the pharaohs , run by viziers , governors, tax collectors, generals, artists, and technicians. They engaged in tax collecting, organizing of labor for major public works, and building irrigation systems, pyramids , temples, and canals. During the Fourth Dynasty 2,—2, BC , long distance trade was developed, with the Levant for timber, with Nubia for gold and skins, with Punt for frankincense , and also with the western Libyan territories.
For most of the Old Kingdom , Egypt developed her fundamental systems, institutions and culture, always through the central bureaucracy and by the divinity of the Pharaoh. After the fourth millennium BC, Egypt started to extend direct military and political control over her southern and western neighbors. By 2, BC, the Old Kingdom's stability was undermined by rivalry among the governors of the nomes who challenged the power of pharaohs and by invasions of Asiatics into the Nile Delta.
The First Intermediate Period had begun, a time of political division and uncertainty. Connections with the southern regions of Kush , Wawat and Irthet at the second cataract were made stronger. Then came the Second Intermediate Period , with the invasion of the Hyksos on horse-drawn chariots and utilizing bronze weapons, a technology heretofore unseen in Egypt. Horse-drawn chariots soon spread to the west in the inhabitable Sahara and North Africa. The Hyksos failed to hold on to their Egyptian territories and were absorbed by Egyptian society.
Egypt became a superpower controlling Nubia and Judea while exerting political influence on the Libyans to the West and on the Mediterranean. As before, the New Kingdom ended with invasion from the west by Libyan princes, leading to the Third Intermediate Period. Beginning with Shoshenq I , the Twenty-second Dynasty was established. It ruled for two centuries.
To the south, Nubian independence and strength was being reasserted. This was the birth of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt. The Nubians tried to re-establish Egyptian traditions and customs. They ruled Egypt for a hundred years. This was ended by an Assyrian invasion, with Taharqa experiencing the full might of Assyrian iron weapons. The Nubian pharaoh Tantamani was the last of the Twenty-fifth dynasty.
It lasted until BC, when Egypt was invaded by the Persians. Unlike the Assyrians, the Persians stayed. In , Egypt was conquered by Alexander the Great. This was the beginning of the Ptolemaic dynasty , which ended with Roman conquest in 30 BC. Pharaonic Egypt had come to an end.
Ta-Seti was a powerful sacral kingdom in the Nile Valley at the 1st and 2nd cataracts that exerted an influence over nearby chiefdoms based on pictorial representation ruling over Upper Egypt. Ta-Seti traded as far as Syro-Palestine , as well as with Egypt. Ta-Seti exported gold, copper, ostrich feathers, ebony and ivory to the Old Kingdom. By the 32nd century BC, Ta-Seti was in decline. Ta-Seti is affiliated with the A-Group Culture known to archaeology. Small sacral kingdoms continued to dot the Nubian portion of the Nile for centuries after 3, BC.
Around the latter part of the third millennium, there was further consolidation of the sacral kingdoms. Two kingdoms in particular emerged: the Sai kingdom, immediately south of Egypt, and the Kingdom of Kerma at the third cataract. Kerma occupied a territory from the first cataract to the confluence of the Blue Nile , White Nile , and Atbarah River. Egypt eventually re-energized under the Eighteenth Dynasty and conquered the Kingdom of Kerma or Kush , ruling it for almost years. The Kushites were Egyptianized during this period. By BC, the Egyptians had withdrawn from Kush.
The region regained independence and reasserted its culture. Kush built a new religion around Amun and made Napata its spiritual center. Initially, Meroites were highly Egyptianized, but they subsequently began to take on distinctive features. Nubia became a center of iron-making and cotton cloth manufacturing. Egyptian writing was replaced by the Meroitic alphabet. The lion god Apedemak was added to the Egyptian pantheon of gods. Its architecture and art diversified, with pictures of lions, ostriches, giraffes, and elephants.
Eventually, with the rise of Aksum , Nubia's trade links were broken and it suffered environmental degradation from the tree cutting required for iron production. The Egyptians referred to the people west of the Nile, ancestral to the Berbers , as Libyans. The Libyans were agriculturalists like the Mauri of Morocco and the Numidians of central and eastern Algeria and Tunis. They were also nomadic, having the horse, and occupied the arid pastures and desert, like the Gaetuli.
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Berber desert nomads were typically in conflict with Berber coastal agriculturalists. The Phoenicians were Mediterranean seamen in constant search for valuable metals such as copper, gold, tin, and lead. They began to populate the North African coast with settlements—trading and mixing with the native Berber population. By BC, Carthage had become a major trading entity and power in the Mediterranean, largely through trade with tropical Africa.
Carthage's prosperity fostered the growth of the Berber kingdoms, Numidia and Mauretania. Berber middlemen, who had maintained contacts with Sub-Saharan Africa since the desert had desiccated, utilized pack animals to transfer products from oasis to oasis. Danger lurked from the Garamantes of Fez , who raided caravans. Salt and metal goods were traded for gold, slaves, beads, and ivory.
The Carthaginians were rivals to the Greeks and Romans. Carthage lost the first two wars, and in the third it was destroyed, becoming the Roman province of Africa , with the Berber Kingdom of Numidia assisting Rome. The Roman province of Africa became a major agricultural supplier of wheat, olives , and olive oil to imperial Rome via exorbitant taxation. Two centuries later, Rome brought the Berber kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania under its authority. The Berber kingdoms subsequently regained their independence.
Egyptians adopted Monophysite Christianity and formed the independent Coptic Church. Berbers adopted Donatist Christianity. Both groups refused to accept the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. As Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, and political organization supported several states.
Trade links between Carthage and the Berbers in the interior grew, but territorial expansion also resulted in the enslavement or military recruitment of some Berbers and in the extraction of tribute from others. By the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed one of the largest element, with Gauls, of the Carthaginian army. Berbers succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthage's North African territory, and they minted coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars ; in BC the city of Carthage was destroyed.
As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged. Two of them were established in Numidia , behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage. The high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until the coming of the Almohads and Almoravid dynasty more than a millennium later, was reached during the reign of Masinissa in the 2nd century BC.
After Masinissa's death in BC, the Berber kingdoms were divided and reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until 24 AD, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire. The ancestors of the Somali people were an important link in the Horn of Africa connecting the region's commerce with the rest of the ancient world. Somali sailors and merchants were the main suppliers of frankincense , myrrh and spices, all of which were valuable luxuries to the Ancient Egyptians , Phoenicians , Mycenaeans and Babylonians.
Increases in urbanization and in the area under cultivation during Roman rule caused wholesale dislocations of the Berber society, forcing nomad tribes to settle or to move from their traditional rangelands. Sedentary tribes lost their autonomy and connection with the land. Berber opposition to the Roman presence was nearly constant.
The Roman military presence of North Africa remained relatively small, consisting of about 28, troops and auxiliaries in Numidia and the two Mauretanian provinces. Starting in the 2nd century AD, these garrisons were manned mostly by local inhabitants. Aside from Carthage , urbanization in North Africa came in part with the establishment of settlements of veterans under the Roman emperors Claudius reigned 41—54 , Nerva 96—98 , and Trajan 98— The prosperity of most towns depended on agriculture.
Called the "granary of the empire", North Africa became one of the largest exporters of grain in the empire, shipping to the provinces which did not produce cereals, like Italy and Greece. Other crops included fruit, figs, grapes, and beans. By the 2nd century AD, olive oil rivaled cereals as an export item. The beginnings of the Roman imperial decline seemed less serious in North Africa than elsewhere.
However, uprisings did take place. In AD, landowners rebelled unsuccessfully against imperial fiscal policies. Sporadic tribal revolts in the Mauretanian mountains followed from to , during the Crisis of the Third Century. The towns also suffered economic difficulties, and building activity almost ceased.
The towns of Roman North Africa had a substantial Jewish population. Some Jews had been deported from Judea or Palestine in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD for rebelling against Roman rule; others had come earlier with Punic settlers. In addition, a number of Berber tribes had converted to Judaism. Christianity arrived in the 2nd century and soon gained converts in the towns and among slaves.
More than eighty bishops, some from distant frontier regions of Numidia, attended the Council of Carthage in By the end of the 4th century, the settled areas had become Christianized , and some Berber tribes had converted en masse. A division in the church that came to be known as the Donatist heresy began in among Christians in North Africa.
The Donatists stressed the holiness of the church and refused to accept the authority to administer the sacraments of those who had surrendered the scriptures when they were forbidden under the Emperor Diocletian reigned — The Donatists also opposed the involvement of Constantine the Great reigned — in church affairs in contrast to the majority of Christians who welcomed official imperial recognition.
The occasionally violent Donatist controversy has been characterized [ by whom? The most articulate North African critic of the Donatist position, which came to be called a heresy, was Augustine , bishop of Hippo Regius. Augustine maintained that the unworthiness of a minister did not affect the validity of the sacraments because their true minister was Jesus Christ.
In his sermons and books Augustine, who is considered a leading exponent of Christian dogma, evolved a theory of the right of orthodox Christian rulers to use force against schismatics and heretics. Although the dispute was resolved by a decision of an imperial commission in Carthage in , Donatist communities continued to exist as late as the 6th century.
A decline in trade weakened Roman control. Independent kingdoms emerged in mountainous and desert areas, towns were overrun, and Berbers, who had previously been pushed to the edges of the Roman Empire , returned. During the Vandalic War , Belisarius , general of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I based in Constantinople , landed in North Africa in with 16, men and within a year destroyed the Vandal Kingdom. Local opposition delayed full Byzantine control of the region for twelve years, however, and when imperial control came, it was but a shadow of the control exercised by Rome.
Although an impressive series of fortifications were built, Byzantine rule was compromised by official corruption, incompetence, military weakness, and lack of concern in Constantinople for African affairs, which made it an easy target for the Arabs during the Early Muslim conquests. As a result, many rural areas reverted to Berber rule. D'mt traded through the Red Sea with Egypt and the Mediterranean, providing frankincense. By the 5th and 3rd centuries, D'mt had declined, and several successor states took its place. Later there was greater trade with South Arabia , mainly with the port of Saba.
Adulis became an important commercial center in the Ethiopian Highlands. The interaction of the peoples in the two regions, the southern Arabia Sabaeans and the northern Ethiopians, resulted in the Ge'ez culture and language and eventual development of the Ge'ez script. Aksum was known throughout those lands. By the 5th century BC, the region was very prosperous, exporting ivory, hippopotamus hides, gold dust, spices, and live elephants. It imported silver, gold, olive oil, and wine.
Aksum manufactured glass crystal, brass, and copper for export. Its kings built stone palatial buildings and were buried under megalithic monuments. By AD, Aksum was minting its own coins in silver and gold. Some scholars believed the process was more complex and gradual than a simple conversion. Around , the time Ezana sacked Meroe, the Syrian monastic tradition took root within the Ethiopian church. In the 6th century Aksum was powerful enough to add Saba on the Arabian peninsula to her empire.
At the end of the 6th century, the Sasanian Empire pushed Aksum out of the peninsula. The Red Sea trade diminished as it was diverted to the Persian Gulf and dominated by Arabs , causing Aksum to decline. By AD, the capital was moved south into the interior highlands, and Aksum was much diminished. In the western Sahel the rise of settled communities occurred largely as a result of the domestication of millet and of sorghum. Archaeology points to sizable urban populations in West Africa beginning in the 2nd millennium BC.
Symbiotic trade relations developed before the trans-Saharan trade , in response to the opportunities afforded by north-south diversity in ecosystems across deserts, grasslands, and forests. The agriculturists received salt from the desert nomads. The desert nomads acquired meat and other foods from pastoralists and farmers of the grasslands and from fishermen on the Niger River.
The forest-dwellers provided furs and meat. Dhar Tichitt and Oualata in present-day Mauritania figure prominently among the early urban centers, dated to 2, BC. About stone settlements litter the region in the former savannah of the Sahara. Its inhabitants fished and grew millet. It has been found [ by whom? Around BC the region became more desiccated and the settlements began to decline, most likely relocating to Koumbi Saleh. Architectural evidence and the comparison of pottery styles suggest that Dhar Tichitt was related to the subsequent Ghana Empire.
Living structures were made of sun-dried mud. It was a highly centralized community. The Nok people produced lifelike representations in terracotta , including human heads, elephants, and other animals. By BC they were smelting iron. By AD the Nok culture had vanished. Based on stylistic similarities with the Nok terracottas, the bronze figurines of the Yoruba kingdom of Ife and those of the Bini kingdom of Benin are now [ when? The Bantu expansion involved a significant movement of people in African history and in the settling of the continent. One early movement headed south to the upper Zambezi valley in the 2nd century BC.
Then Bantu-speakers pushed westward to the savannahs of present-day Angola and eastward into Malawi , Zambia , and Zimbabwe in the 1st century AD. The second thrust from the Great Lakes was eastward, 2, years ago, expanding to the Indian Ocean coast, Kenya and Tanzania. The eastern group eventually met the southern migrants from the Great Lakes in Malawi , Zambia , and Zimbabwe. Both groups continued southward, with eastern groups continuing to Mozambique and reaching Maputo in the 2nd century AD, and expanding as far as Durban. Sorghum , a major Bantu crop, could not thrive under the winter rainfall of Namibia and the western Cape.
Khoisan people inhabited the remaining parts of southern Africa. They are the earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in the territory of modern Cameroon. Today, several ethnic groups of northern Cameroon and southern Chad - but particularly the Sara people - claim descent from the civilization of the Sao. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze , copper , and iron.
The Kanem Empire was centered in the Chad Basin. It was known as the Kanem Empire from the 9th century AD onward and lasted as the independent kingdom of Bornu until At its height it encompassed an area covering not only much of Chad , but also parts of modern southern Libya , eastern Niger , northeastern Nigeria , northern Cameroon , parts of South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The history of the Empire is mainly known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in by the German traveller Heinrich Barth. The Kanem empire went into decline, shrank, and in the 14th century was defeated by Bilala invaders from the Lake Fitri region. Around the 9th century AD, the central Sudanic Empire of Kanem , with its capital at Njimi , was founded by the Kanuri -speaking nomads. Kanem arose by engaging in the trans-Saharan trade. It exchanged slaves captured by raiding the south for horses from North Africa, which in turn aided in the acquisition of slaves.
The Sayfawa Dynasty ruled for years, making it one of the longest-lasting dynasties in human history. Kanem reached its peak under Mai king Dunama Dibalemi ibn Salma — The empire reportedly was able to field 40, cavalry, and it extended from Fezzan in the north to the Sao state in the south. Islam became firmly entrenched in the empire. Pilgrimages to Mecca were common; Cairo had hostels set aside specifically for pilgrims from Kanem.
The Kanuri people led by the Sayfuwa migrated to the west and south of the lake, where they established the Bornu Empire. By the late 16th century the Bornu empire had expanded and recaptured the parts of Kanem that had been conquered by the Bulala. Around , the Sayfawa Dynasty moved its capital to Bornu , a tributary state southwest of Lake Chad with a new capital Birni Ngarzagamu. Overgrazing had caused the pastures of Kanem to become too dry.
In addition, political rivalry from the Bilala clan was becoming intense. Moving to Bornu better situated the empire to exploit the trans-Saharan trade and to widen its network in that trade. Links to the Hausa states were also established, providing horses and salt from Bilma for Akan gold. In the latter half of the 16th century, Mai Idris Alooma modernized its military, in contrast to the Songhai Empire. Turkish mercenaries were used to train the military.
The Sayfawa Dynasty were the first monarchs south of the Sahara to import firearms.
Friendly relationship was established with the Ottoman Empire via Tripoli. The Mai exchanged gifts with the Ottoman sultan. During the 17th and 18th centuries, not much is known about Bornu. During the 18th century, it became a center of Islamic learning. However, Bornu's army became outdated by not importing new arms,  and Kamembu had also begun its decline.
The power of the mai was undermined by droughts and famine that were becoming more intense, internal rebellion in the pastoralist north, growing Hausa power, and the importation of firearms which made warfare more bloody. By , the last mai was deposed, bringing to an end the long-lived Sayfawa Dynasty. The capital and royal residence was in the town of Fashoda. The kingdom was founded during the midth century AD by its first ruler, Nyikang. During the 19th century, the Shilluk Kingdom faced decline following military assaults from the Ottoman Empire and later British and Sudanese colonization in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
The Kingdom of Baguirmi existed as an independent state during the 16th and 17th centuries southeast of Lake Chad in what is now the country of Chad. Baguirmi emerged to the southeast of the Kanem-Bornu Empire. The kingdom's first ruler was Mbang Birni Besse. Later in his reign, the Bornu Empire conquered and made the state a tributary.
The Tunjur people founded the Wadai Kingdom to the east of Bornu in the 16th century. In the 17th century there was a revolt of the Maba people who established a Muslim dynasty. At first Wadai paid tribute to Bornu and Durfur, but by the 18th century Wadai was fully independent and had become an aggressor against its neighbors. He founded the Kongolo Dynasty, which was later ousted by Kalala Ilunga. Kalala expanded the kingdom west of Lake Kisale. A new centralized political system of spiritual kings balopwe with a court council of head governors and sub-heads all the way to village heads.
The balopwe was the direct communicator with the ancestral spirits and chosen by them. Conquered states were integrated into the system and represented in the court, with their titles. The authority of the balopwe resided in his spiritual power rather than his military authority. The army was relatively small. The Luba was able to control regional trade and collect tribute for redistribution. Numerous offshoot states were formed with founders claiming descent from the Luba. The Bemba people and Basimba people of northern Zambia were descended from Luba migrants who arrived in Zambia during the 17th century.
Their son mulopwe Luseeng expanded the kingdom. His son Naweej expanded the empire further and is known as the first Lunda emperor, with the title mwato yamvo mwaant yaav , mwant yav , the Lord of Vipers. The Luba political system was retained, and conquered peoples were integrated into the system.
The mwato yamvo assigned a cilool or kilolo royal adviser and tax collector to each state conquered. Numerous states claimed descent from the Lunda. The Imbangala of inland Angola claimed descent from a founder, Kinguri, brother of Queen Rweej, who could not tolerate the rule of mulopwe Tshibunda. Kinguri became the title of kings of states founded by Queen Rweej's brother. During the 17th century, a Lunda chief and warrior called Mwata Kazembe set up an Eastern Lunda kingdom in the valley of the Luapula River.
The Lunda's western expansion also saw claims of descent by the Yaka and the Pende. The Lunda linked Central Africa with the western coast trade. The kingdom of Lunda came to an end in the 19th century when it was invaded by the Chokwe , who were armed with guns. By the 15th century AD, the farming Bakongo people ba being the plural prefix were unified as the Kingdom of Kongo under a ruler called the manikongo , residing in the fertile Pool Malebo area on the lower Congo River.
The capital was M'banza-Kongo. With superior organization, they were able to conquer their neighbors and extract tribute. They were experts in metalwork, pottery, and weaving raffia cloth. They stimulated interregional trade via a tribute system controlled by the manikongo. Later, maize corn and cassava manioc would be introduced to the region via trade with the Portuguese at their ports at Luanda and Benguela. The maize and cassava would result in population growth in the region and other parts of Africa, replacing millet as a main staple.
By the 16th century, the manikongo held authority from the Atlantic in the west to the Kwango River in the east. Each territory was assigned a mani-mpembe provincial governor by the manikongo. In , Afonso I — , a Christian, took over the throne. Slave trading increased with Afonso's wars of conquest. About to , the Jaga invaded Kongo, laying waste to the kingdom and forcing the manikongo into exile. During the latter part of the s, the Portuguese tried to gain control of Kongo. The empire dissolved into petty polities, fighting among each other for war captives to sell into slavery.
Kongo gained captives from the Kingdom of Ndongo in wars of conquest. Ndongo was ruled by the ngola. The kingdom was not as welcoming as Kongo; it viewed the Portuguese with great suspicion and as an enemy. The Portuguese in the latter part of the 16th century tried to gain control of Ndongo but were defeated by the Mbundu. Ndongo experienced depopulation from slave raiding. The leaders established another state at Matamba , affiliated with Queen Nzinga , who put up a strong resistance to the Portuguese until coming to terms with them.
The Portuguese settled along the coast as trade dealers, not venturing on conquest of the interior. Slavery wreaked havoc in the interior, with states initiating wars of conquest for captives. The Imbangala formed the slave-raiding state of Kasanje , a major source of slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries.
The birth of Islam opposite Somalia's Red Sea coast meant that Somali merchants and sailors living on the Arabian Peninsula gradually came under the influence of the new religion through their converted Arab Muslim trading partners. With the migration of Muslim families from the Islamic world to Somalia in the early centuries of Islam, and the peaceful conversion of the Somali population by Somali Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic Mogadishu , Berbera , Zeila , Barawa and Merka , which were part of the Berber the medieval Arab term for the ancestors of the modern Somalis civilization.
During this period, sultanates such as the Ajuran Empire and the Sultanate of Mogadishu , and republics like Barawa , Merca and Hobyo and their respective ports flourished and had a lucrative foreign commerce with ships sailing to and coming from Arabia , India, Venice ,  Persia , Egypt, Portugal and as far away as China.
Vasco da Gama , who passed by Mogadishu in the 15th century, noted that it was a large city with houses four or five stories high and big palaces in its centre, in addition to many mosques with cylindrical minarets. In the 16th century, Duarte Barbosa noted that many ships from the Kingdom of Cambaya in modern-day India sailed to Mogadishu with cloth and spices , for which they in return received gold, wax, and ivory.
Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit in the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants. Trading relations were established with Malacca in the 15th century,  with cloth, ambergris , and porcelain being the main commodities of the trade. Hindu merchants from Surat and southeast African merchants from Pate , seeking to bypass both the Portuguese blockade and Omani meddling, used the Somali ports of Merca and Barawa which were out of the two powers' jurisdiction to conduct their trade in safety and without any problems.
The Zagwe dynasty ruled many parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea from approximately to The name of the dynasty comes from the Cushitic speaking Agaw of northern Ethiopia. In the early 15th century Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times. The first continuous relations with a European country began in with the Kingdom of Portugal under Emperor Lebna Dengel , who had just inherited the throne from his father.
When Emperor Susenyos converted to Roman Catholicism in , years of revolt and civil unrest followed resulting in thousands of deaths. By the 10th century, the majority of the population of North Africa was Muslim. By the 9th century AD, the unity brought about by the Islamic conquest of North Africa and the expansion of Islamic culture came to an end.
Conflict arose as to who should be the successor of the prophet. The Umayyads had initially taken control of the Caliphate , with their capital at Damascus. Later, the Abbasids had taken control, moving the capital to Baghdad. The Berber people , being independent in spirit and hostile to outside interference in their affairs and to Arab exclusivity in orthodox Islam, adopted Shi'ite and Kharijite Islam, both considered unorthodox and hostile to the authority of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Numerous Kharijite kingdoms came and fell during the 8th and 9th centuries, asserting their independence from Baghdad. In the early 10th century, Shi'ite groups from Syria, claiming descent from Muhammad's daughter Fatimah , founded the Fatimid Dynasty in the Maghreb. By , they had conquered all of the Maghreb and by all of Egypt. They had immediately broken away from Baghdad. In an attempt to bring about a purer form of Islam among the Sanhaja Berbers, Abdallah ibn Yasin founded the Almoravid movement in present-day Mauritania and Western Sahara.
The Sanhaja Berbers, like the Soninke , practiced an indigenous religion alongside Islam. Abdallah ibn Yasin found ready converts in the Lamtuna Sanhaja, who were dominated by the Soninke in the south and the Zenata Berbers in the north. By the s, all of the Lamtuna was converted to the Almoravid movement.
With the help of Yahya ibn Umar and his brother Abu Bakr ibn Umar , the sons of the Lamtuna chief, the Almoravids created an empire extending from the Sahel to the Mediterranean. After the death of Abdallah ibn Yassin and Yahya ibn Umar, Abu Bakr split the empire in half, between himself and Yusuf ibn Tashfin , because it was too big to be ruled by one individual.
Abu Bakr took the south to continue fighting the Soninke, and Yusuf ibn Tashfin took the north, expanding it to southern Spain. The death of Abu Bakr in saw a breakdown of unity and increase military dissension in the south. This caused a re-expansion of the Soninke. The Almoravids were once held responsible for bringing down the Ghana Empire in , but this view is no longer credited.
During the 10th through 13th centuries, there was a large-scale movement of bedouins out of the Arabian Peninsula. About , a quarter of a million Arab nomads from Egypt moved into the Maghreb. Those following the northern coast were referred to as Banu Hilal. Those going south of the Atlas Mountains were the Banu Sulaym.
This movement spread the use of the Arabic language and hastened the decline of the Berber language and the Arabisation of North Africa. In the s, Abd al-Mu'min declared jihad on the Almoravids , charging them with decadence and corruption. He united the northern Berbers against the Almoravids, overthrowing them and forming the Almohad Empire. During this period, the Maghreb became thoroughly Islamised and saw the spread of literacy , the development of algebra , and the use of the number zero and decimals.
By the 13th century, the Almohad states had split into three rival states. Muslim states were largely extinguished in the Iberian Peninsula by the Christian kingdoms of Castile , Aragon , and Portugal. Around , Portugal engaged in a reconquista of North Africa by capturing Ceuta , and in later centuries Spain and Portugal acquired other ports on the North African coast. In , at the end of the Granada War , Spain defeated Muslims in the Emirate of Granada , effectively ending eight centuries of Muslim domination in southern Iberia.
This put them in direct competition with the Ottoman Empire , which re-took the ports using Turkish corsairs pirates and privateers. The Turkish corsairs would use the ports for raiding Christian ships, a major source of booty for the towns.