The Consequences of the First African Encounter with Europeans

Good Essays
The coming in of Europeans in Africa resulted in many changes. At first their arrival led to the improvement of trade, though a lot of minerals were taken away by them. But things turned worse when that trade turned into the selling and buying of human beings. From that time many things happened to the African people. Some of the things that happened were the arrival of missionaries who had also an impact on the African community. Later on it was the conquest and the partition of Africa. Many of these experiences that happened when the Europeans arrived affected Africans negatively. This paper will reflect on the changes and the consequences that happened when Europeans encountered Africans.
Firstly, when the Europeans arrived in Africa mainly the Portuguese, they had a good motive of trade. At that time Africans were the main producers of gold and when the Portuguese arrived they had to establish trading relationships. That trade was of a great significance to the African community because they were able to profit from it by exchanging their gold, ivory and other minerals with the European goods, such as copper, brass, cowrie shells and cloths (Shillington, 1995, p. 169). But still Africa lost its vast minerals and raw materials at that time.
However, this encounter with the Europeans turned into a huge consequence when the slave trade was introduced. This slavery resulted in many unbearable challenges to the Africans. The main consequence of that slave trade was the depopulation of African people. Shillington (1995) stated that millions of Africans were taken captives for slavery (p. 171). Moreover it has been noted that those that were taken into slavery were the young most productive peo...

... middle of paper ...

...he Africans. This encounter started with trade, and this somehow profited Africans by gaining European goods. However, Africans lost their raw materials in the form of minerals at lower cost. The other devastating thing that Africans experienced was the slave trade. This slave trade resulted in the depopulation of the most productive and powerful Africans, who could have helped in developing Africa. Later on Christianity came and that was a good initiative. But the Europeans actions were contrary to their Christian values. Also the Africa traditional and spiritual beliefs vanished as many of the Africans converted to Christianity. Apart from that, Africa was conquered and colonized. African societies had to be divided. The colonizers also forced African to do much of the constructions and the building. Above all Africans had to fight a war that they did not start.