During the transatlantic slave trade, the political, social and economic environments of West and West Central Africa were all based on a goal for the survival of family, community, and, most of all, culture. There was profound diversity in the political structures found in this area, which impressed a paramount impact on the economic and social activity of each society. As these societies were so different, whites were able to justify enslaving West and West Central Africa’s populations through the idea that they were unworldly because they were based in rural agrarian isolation and needed to be taught differently and saved from that way of life.
The political structures of this area included both strict and relaxed groupings of people. The forms of political structures included groups loosely affiliated through ancestry, groups more strictly united by a culture and lineage, kingdoms strictly bound under a central male dictator, or those juxtaposing bounded into small isolated villages with governing male councils. Though men were always the face of a governing body in West and Central Africa, women had vital roles in all of these structures, a contrast to the strict male domination of the European whites. The villages and stateless familial societies commonly linked together from matrilineal lineage and the dictators of the Sudanic kingdoms had female counterparts that attended political meetings and gave advice. Though women had overall higher ranking, polygamy was widely practiced in this general area. Whites took offence to the marital multiplicity and were enraged to observe varying polytheistic religions or Islamic influence in the areas.
The class structures for the kingdoms, villages, and larger stateless s...
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...s compromise, the social superiority of whites over African slaves is apparent. The majority of the United States felt that slaves were inferior to whites and deserved no voice, rights, or consideration. In fact, many of the Founding Fathers had slaves themselves and believed in white supremacy and slave inferiority themselves (Pavao). This ideology was certainly most fervent in the South and the Founding Fathers clearly had too much intelligence to even consider freeing slaves in the United States at this time.
The Founding Fathers failure to abolish slavery was not their fault, but simply a product of the political, economic, and social environment they lived in. Abolition was not an issue that could have been addressed when the nation was just forming because it would have prevented the coalition of colonies or ripped them apart immediately after consolidation.
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