Home HISTORY FORM 2 Impact of the Triangular slave trade.

Impact of the Triangular slave trade.


Social effects.

  • Depopulation: Many people died during slave raids or were sent abroad as slaves.
    E.g.400 millions of people were lost in Africa whereby 150 to 200 million were from Eastand
    Central Africa.
  • Separation of families: Some abandoned their homes due to insecurity, some died while
    trying to escape and some were taken away as slaves.
  • Fear and suspicion due to frequent wars, raids and ambushes.
  • Intermarriage between the foreigners and indigenous people.

Political effects.

  • Decline of states, some states declined because they were weakened when their subjects
    were captured and sold as slaves. For example Wanyasa were greatly weakened by frequent
    slave raids from their Yao neighbours.
  • The rise of states: Some strong states arose due to accumulation of wealth from slave
    trade. E.g. the Yao state under Machemba, Nyamwezi under Mirambo and Bugandakingdom
    under Kabaka Mutesa.

Economic effects.

  • Destruction of African subsistence economy: This was because many people engaged in
    the slave trade as slave dealers or they were taken as slaves so the activities like handcrafts,iron
    working, salt mining and pottery destructed.
  • Land alienation: Africans were robbed of their best arable land and were turned into serfs
    and tenants who had to sell off their labour to Arab land owners for their survival. Watumbatu
    and Waamidu provided their labour in coconut and cloves plantations.
  • Decline of production due to loss of manpower: Slave masters picked strong and healthy
    people leaving behind the old, sick and weak who could not work.

The Origins and Impact of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Africa.


1. Mention five commodities that were brought by early traders from the Far East and
theMiddle East.
2. Outline positive and negative effects of the contacts between people of Africa and
thosefrom the Far East and Middle East.
3. What were the reasons for the Dutch to settle at the Cape?
4. Explain the causes and effects of triangular slave trade5. Mention five ways used to
obtain and abolish slave trade in Africa.


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