Thus, expanding, centralizing states
were often the major suppliers of slaves to the Europeans as well as to
societies in which slavery was an important institution.

Slaving And African Politics

As one French agent put it, "the trade in slaves is the business of
kings, rich men, and prime merchants." European merchants and royal officials
were able to tap existing routes, markets, and institutions, but the new and
constant demand also intensified enslavement in Africa and perhaps changed the
nature of slavery itself in some African societies.

In the period between 1500 and 1750 as the gunpowder empires and
expanding international commerce of Europe penetrated sub-Saharan Africa,
existing states and societies were often transformed.


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