New
New
Year 8

The arrival of European traders in West Africa

I can explain the impact of the Europeans arriving in West Africa on West African kingdoms.

New
New
Year 8

The arrival of European traders in West Africa

I can explain the impact of the Europeans arriving in West Africa on West African kingdoms.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Gold and the wealth of West African kingdoms brought the Europeans to West Africa.
  2. Power in West Africa became concentrated in smaller kingdoms who were able to trade with Europeans.
  3. The growth of Portuguese trade in the Sahel led to collapse of some African kingdoms, but also to the growth of others.
  4. Europeans soon started selling enslaved people in the Americas to make more profit.

Common misconception

No one challenged the Portuguese when they began buying enslaved people to take to the Americas.

Many rulers and local people in West Africa were opposed to the trading of enslaved people from the very beginning.

Keywords

  • Enslaved people - enslaved people are people who have been forced to work without pay, lose their freedom and become the property of another person

  • Indentured labour - indentured labour is a system where someone is made to work without pay for a set period of time

  • Chattel slavery - chattel slavery is when people become legal property and cannot be freed without the permission of their slaveholder

  • Slaveholder - a slaveholder is someone who owned enslaved people

When teaching students about the new trade that emerged, use this section of the lesson to emphasise the differences between the system of indentured labour and chattel slavery to make clear that this was a new form of slavery.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains depictions of discriminatory behaviour.
  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following kingdoms was ruled by Mansa Musa in the 1300s?
Britain
Correct answer: Mali
Mecca
Songhay
Q2.
What were most merchants travelling to West Africa to find from the 1300s?
Correct Answer: Gold, riches, goldmines, gold
Q3.
Which of of the following were kingdoms in West Africa in the 14th and 15th centuries?
Correct answer: Mali
Morocco
Correct answer: Songhay
Correct answer: Kaabu
Aksum
Q4.
Which of the following are the best locations for trade?
Correct answer: coastal areas
Correct answer: near rivers
inland
mountainous regions
Q5.
Which of the following explains why a kingdom might lose its power?
Correct answer: Another country taking over their trade.
Building new trading relationships.
Sending merchants to explore new land and trade routes.
Correct answer: Trading expensive goods for less valuable goods.
Correct answer: Having to fight against several rebellions.
Q6.
Which religion had spread across West Africa by 1400?
Correct Answer: Islam, islam

6 Questions

Q1.
In the early 1500s, the Portuguese took enslaved people from West Africa to be sold into chattel slavery in...
England
Asia
Correct answer: the Americas
east Africa
Q2.
Match the words with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:enslaved people,people forced to work without pay, or freedom

people forced to work without pay, or freedom

Correct Answer:indentured labour,when someone is made to work without pay for a set time

when someone is made to work without pay for a set time

Correct Answer:chattel slavery,when a people is made the legal property of another person

when a people is made the legal property of another person

Correct Answer:slave holder,someone who owned enslaved people

someone who owned enslaved people

Q3.
What is the name of the type of slavery where enslaved people are made the legal property of their slave holder?
Correct Answer: chattel slavery, chattel, Chattel Slavery, Chattel
Q4.
Which of the following are examples of smaller West African kingdoms that would be found along the coast?
Mali
Correct answer: Kaabu
Correct answer: Wolof
Songhay
Benin
Q5.
What was the name of the West African kingdom that continued to thrive in the 1600s?
Correct Answer: Kingdom of Benin, Benin, Benin kingdom, kingdom of Benin, Kingdom of benin
Q6.
Which of the following statements best describes the impact of the arrival of Portuguese merchants on the West African coast?
Correct answer: some kingdoms collapsed, leaving smaller kingdoms along the coast
all kingdoms collapsed, leaving only smaller kingdoms along the coast
Correct answer: some kingdoms continued to thrive when they built strong relationships
all kingdoms continued to thrive when they built strong relationships

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