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The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Evolution of the Market Economy in West Africa

Joseph E. Inikori is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History Department, University of Rochester. He was formerly Chairman of the History Department at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He is the author of Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A Study in International Trade and Economic Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), which won the 2003 American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award for “the most outstanding work in English on any aspect of the field of 17th- and 18th-century western European history,” and the 2003 African Studies Association’s Herskovits Award
When Mar 31, 2006
from 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM
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JOSEPH E. INIKORI

 

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History Department, University of Rochester

Joseph E. Inikori is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History Department, University of Rochester. He was formerly Chairman of the History Department at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He is the author of Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A Study in International Trade and Economic Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), which won the 2003 American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award for “the most outstanding work in English on any aspect of the field of 17th- and 18th-century western European history,” and the 2003 African Studies Association’s Herskovits Award.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Evolution of the Market Economy in West Africa

Having been born into and lived our entire lives in societies where buying and selling are as common as eating and sleeping, we have been socialized into thinking that the market has always been there, especially in Western capitalist societies. There are very few serious studies of the historical origins of the market. Hence, several Western historians, who find limited commercialization of socioeconomic life in mid-nineteenth-century Western Africa, characterize this phenomenon as a uniquely African economic system. The lecture will offer a brief conceptual and historical overview of the origins of the market, note the contribution of African slavery in the Americas to the development and spread of the market economy in the Atlantic World, and demonstrate the adverse impact of the Atlantic slave trade on the development of the market economy in Western Africa between the mid-seventeenth and mid-nineteenth century.