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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes aspects of the transatlantic slave trade specific to regions that now comprise Nigeria and provides a review of academic research since the Second World War on the causes, effects, and character of the trade. Because of its volume, duration, and destabilizing effects, the trade had a profound impact on Nigeria’s political and economic evolution. Modern scholarship has centered around five recurring questions: How large was the trade? How efficient and productive was slave labor relative to free labor? Did the trade catalyze the Industrial Revolution in England? Did the trade retard the long-term economic development of Africa? Why did Africa, as opposed to many other potential source regions, become the New World’s primary provider of slave labor? Despite decades of research and scholarly debate, questions about the economic motives for the transatlantic trade and its long-term effects on Africa’s development remain unsettled.

Keywords: transatlantic slave trade, Nigeria, long-term development, forced migration, slave raiding, Fogel–Engerman thesis

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