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Legitimate Commerce in Africa in the nineteenth cetury

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Name : Takeis Mclean
ID number : 06001918
Date Submitted : November 12, 2013
Essay Question : To what extent did " legitimate commerce" contribute to
to the growth of African economies during the
nineteenth century. Discuss with reference to at least two
examples.
Thesis Statement : Legitimate commerce contributed to the growth of
African economies in the initial period of the nineteenth
century but later favoured the economy of
Europe.
Course Title : The State and Development of Africa, 1800-1900

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Within the nineteenth century, Africa experienced a change in its economic structure as
there was a drastic revolution into the way trading relationship was conducted with Africa
and European nations due to the creation of "legitimate commerce" system of trade.
This system of trade was created for the enabling of trade to be done among Africa and
Europe through the production of agricultural products by African workers instead of
the direct trading in slaves to fulfil the needs of the global market. This form of trade was
therefore viewed as the new economic model of Africa that would define its economic
standing in the global hemisphere.
It should therefore be noted that the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in
Britain in 1807 led to the ending of slavery in Britain. This therefore meant that the
trading in slaves to meet economic benefits for Europe was abolished due to
humanitarian reasons that were formulated by abolitionists in the British Parliament.
Furthermore, it was proclaimed that slavery was a brutish system that led to the
exploitation of the slaves as it was believed that their rights to liberty and freedom was
grossly violated due to this system of trade.
It however should be noted that the ending of the trans- Atlantic slave trade in Britain
created a system that sought to facilitate further economic growth for Europe through
the use of African labour to produce agricultural products. This was to facilitate the needs
of a new economy that was driven on heavy production of goods and in commercial
trading to cater to its new market structure.
This therefore enables a greater understanding as to the motives behind the creation of
the system of "legitimate commerce" in regards to a shift from trading directly in slaves
and the use of African labour for the production of agricultural produce.

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