New
New
Year 8

The expansion of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

I can explain how the Transatlantic Slave Trade grew and destabilised West African kingdoms.

New
New
Year 8

The expansion of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

I can explain how the Transatlantic Slave Trade grew and destabilised West African kingdoms.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Conflicts between local kingdoms would lead to prisoners of war who would be sold as enslaved people.
  2. The European involvement in the Slave trade led to more conflicts in West Africa leading to more enslaved people.
  3. Some kingdoms, like the kingdom of Benin, refused to trade with Europeans but would struggle as other kingdoms profited.
  4. Some African kingdoms, like the Allada kingdom, became reliant on trade with the Europeans for power and wealth.
  5. The nature of the trade in enslaved people changed, it was no longer just prisoners of war sold into slavery.

Common misconception

All African kingdoms and rulers willingly participated in the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Some kingdoms did cooperate, but many - like the Kingdom of Benin - also tried to resist by refusing to trade enslaved people.

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

  • Oba - Oba is the word used in the Benin Empire to describe the figure who was both ruler and spiritual leader

  • Prisoners of war - prisoners of war are people captured by the opposing side during a war

When explaining how more trade, led to more enslaved people, this is a good point to emphasise that an important change in the expansion of the slave trade was the increase in kidnapping and not necessarily an increase in willing African traders.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

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

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 European nation was the first to arrive on the West African coast in the 1400s and began to trade enslaved people from the 1500s?
Britain
Correct answer: Portugal
Spain
Germany
Q2.
Which two of the following nations had started building large empires in the Americas in the 1500s?
Correct answer: Spain
Correct answer: Portugal
France
Germany
Q3.
When the Portuguese first arrived in West Africa, they intended to trade their goods for ...
Correct Answer: Gold, gold
Q4.
Which two of the following are names given for the three-point trade between Europe, West Africa and the Americas, that involved the trade of enslaved people?
Correct answer: Transatlantic Slave Trade
Transatlantic Enslaved Trade
Triangular Atlantic Trade
Correct answer: Triangular Trade
Q5.
How did the kingdom of Benin continue to thrive, despite their leaders refusing to sell their people to the European merchants to enslave?
they won wars against the Portuguese and Dutch
Correct answer: they established peaceful relationships with the European merchants
the European merchants could not reach the kingdom of Benin
Q6.
When enslaved people were taken from West Africa by European merchants, which continent were they taken to?
Correct Answer: The Americas, America, North America, South America

6 Questions

Q1.
By 1600, how many people had the Portuguese sold into slavery in the Americas?
1500
15 000
Correct answer: 150 000
15 000 000
Q2.
Which one of the following is the best defintion of an 'Oba'?
the word used in the kingdom of Benin to describe enslaved people
the word used in the kingdom of Benin to describe the Portuguese
the word used in the kingdom of Mali to describe their ruler
Correct answer: the word used in the kingdom of Benin to describe their ruler
Q3.
Match each word to the correct definition
Correct Answer:Oba,the word used in the kingdom of Benin to describe the ruler

the word used in the kingdom of Benin to describe the ruler

Correct Answer:enslave,to make someone to become the legal property of someone else

to make someone to become the legal property of someone else

Correct Answer:prisoner of war,people captured by the opposing side during a war

people captured by the opposing side during a war

Q4.
Which one of the following explains why the Transatlantic Slave Trade continued to expand even though the Obas of Benin refused to trade enslaved people?
the Obas only refused for a short period of time, but then willingly agreed
Correct answer: other kingdoms continued to sell people to the Europeans to enslave (eg. Allada)
the Portuguese forced the Obas to change their mind after a short period of time
Q5.
Who took control of Elmina castle in 1637?
Correct Answer: Dutch merchants, The Dutch, Dutch, The Dutch merchants
Q6.
Which two of the following best explains why kingdoms in West Africa suffered as a result of competing European merchants?
Correct answer: they began to build relationships with European merchants
the European merchants would always overthrow their ruler
Correct answer: they could also face harsh peace treaties if their European allies lost a war
all European merchants intentionally started wars between kingdoms

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