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Title: Afro-European trade relations on the western slave coast, 16th to 19th centuries
Author(s): Strickrodt, Silke
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis deals with the Afro-European trade on the Western Slave Coast from about 1600 to the 1880s, mainly the slave trade but also the trade in ivory and agricultural produce. The Western Slave Coast comprises the coastal areas of modem Togo and parts of the coastal areas of Ghana and Benin. For much of the period under discussion, this region was dominated by two kingdoms, the kingdom of the Hula (or Pla), known to European traders as Great or Grand Popo, after its coastal port (in modern Benin), and the kingdom of the Ge (Gen/Guin/Genyi), known to European traders as Little Popo, after its main coastal port (in modern Togo). In the nineteenth century, two more ports of trade appeared in the region, Agoud (in modem Benin) and Porto Seguro (in modern Togo). In terms of the Afro-European trade, this was an intermediate area between regions of greater importance to slave traders, the Gold Coast to the west and the eastern Slave Coast (mainly the kingdom of Dahomey) to the east. This thesis gives a detailed reconstruction of the political and commercial developments in the region, especially for the period from the 1780s and the 1860s. The discussion is based mainly on archival material from British, French and African archives, but also makes use of a wide range of published accounts, mainly in English, French and German, and information from oral traditions. Beyond its immediate local interest, the thesis contributes to our understanding of the operation of the Afro-European trade and its impact on African middleman societies. The intermittent commercial success of 'the Popos' illustrates the dynamics of the trade especially clearly. The Western Slave Coast is placed into the wider transatlantic trade network and its role in the trade re-evaluated. The link between the local and overseas economy is illustrated by the centrality of the lagoon, which is discussed in detail. Other important issues that are addressed include the role of the canoemen in the trade, the transition from the slave trade to the palm oil trade and the Afro-Brazilian settlement at Agoue.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
History and Politics

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