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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The impact of European presence on slavery in the sixteenth to eighteenth-century Gold Coast
Author:Adu-Boahen, Kwabena
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana (ISSN 0855-191X)
Geographic term:Ghana
slave trade
gold mining
Abstract:Contemporary seventeenth and eighteenth-century European accounts, juxtaposed with information from oral traditions, show that the influences of African-European economic, cultural and other relations: (1) altered the patterns of slave trading and slave labour exploitation; (2) modified European attitudes towards some institutions of bondage and their regulatory customs; and (3) integrated aspects of a European-created institution of slavery into the social structure of the Gold Coast. This happened both before and after the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. The origins of slavery in West Africa can be traced back to the seventh century AD. The slave trade to the Maghreb became disruptive from the ninth century. By the fifteenth century, the northern savannah area had been drawn into the trans-Saharan trade network. From the late fifteenth century, the gold mining areas in the Gold Coast hinterland witnessed an increasing inflow of slaves to increase gold production for European markets. No slaves were procured from the Gold Coast to avoid harming the gold economy. Castle or Company slavery evolved to service European forts and garrisons. Gradually debt bondage or pawnship gained importance to the Atlantic slave trade, transforming a previously harmless, socially supportive credit system. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]