Demography is the study of the human population. Ideally, human population is studied in terms of the size, the composition, and the distribution of persons across the specified area of study. The three major demographic elements that are used to determine the composition and causes of different population changes include birth, death, and the migration of people. First, the population of a place may be described in terms of some of the common demographic features such as sex, age, household status and family composition. However, demography can also be described in terms of the social and economic context. That is; it can be differentiated or classified in terms of religion, language, education, occupation, income, and wealth.
The level of distribution of people is deemed to be defined in multiple ways. It can be described in regional, national, global and local dimension. However, any change in the structure, composition, size and distribution patterns of population are deemed to be caused by some internal or external factors. Ideally, these factors can either be voluntary or involuntary. The issue is that these factors result to the distortion of the original form of population. Some of these factors that have a historical record include the slave trade in Africa and the European colonization. This research paper’s objective is to determine and describe the slave trade and European colonization and explain the impacts they had on the demographic status of the areas that were affected.
Initially, any demographic study is essential in elaborating the level of stationary and stability characteristic of any region about population. Accordingly, slave trade in African is one of the most reliable examples of the factors that affect the state of the region’s demography. Historically, slave trade was carried out between Africa and other developed countries in the world. Among these countries included the United States, Brazil, and the European countries. The largest the slave trade was carried out along the Atlantic Ocean. This slave trade is named after the Atlantic Ocean, the Atlantic slave trade. Africa’s were deported from their original homes towards American and European countries. The transportation of a population was termed as involuntary since it led to many social and economic problems to both the slaves and their relatives.
However, the demographic side of view is discussed in terms of the statistical analyses that were arrived at during and after slave trade. Demographic impacts that are expected to have been experienced include the general reduction of population leaving the area evacuated. In addition, it also determines the level at which the general structure and size of the population was affected. Thirdly, the impact of the change in the level of distribution of people seems to arise as a point of contention. Ideally, slave trade in Africa that mainly occurred in western and central Africa caused a great change in the demographic structure both in Africa and the slave’s destination.
Demographic impacts of slave trade in Africa
The demographic impacts of the slave trade are among of the most contentious issues in the history of African population. A roughly estimated statistical analysis of the number of people who were transported from Africa is more than 12 million people. Ideally, this was a comparatively large proportion of people with reference to the approximate size of the population at that time. Therefore, one of the general effects that the African continent suffered from was the distortion of the demographic characteristic of population size. Ideally, the population of the people who were deported was alarmingly large such that the population size in Africa was left dying. On the other hand, the demographic nature of the foreign countries that the slaves were destined registered substantial improvement in the size of the population.
Impact of altering the population size
With reference to the adverse effect of the reduction of population size, Walter Rodney posted an argument that stipulated that exportation of so many people would have been a feasible source of a demographic disaster. First, the people who were exported out of Africa were carried through a permanent immigration. In addition, this was a disaster that left the state of African demography vehemently disadvantaged when compared to the rest of the world. Lack of a well distribution size was deemed and expected to result to poverty within the continent. Ideally, there were economic disruptions caused by a disruption in the demographic status of the country. In addition, the slaves went to foreign countries to bust the level of the economic by working for those industries. It is not feasible for there to exist a state of balance in the economy between the two regions.
Impact caused by altering age demography
In terms of age, the slave trade distorted the active aged workers. Ideally, the young and energetic Africans were the targets for the importers of the slave trade. Therefore, there was a deficiency of the productive aged people in the entire regions where this trade was carried out. According to the statistically oriented demographic study, the slave trade tempered with the level of population distribution very much. That is; the depopulation process was not carried out in an even distribution manner. More people were deported in some of the areas that in others. This means that the population characteristic of population distribution was altered. Ideally, any population distribution is determined by some external factors. For instance, availability of resources could have led to the dense population in some places. Reduction in the level of population is such areas could have resulted to the declining economic performance of the African regions. As stipulated earlier in the paper, this impact was largely felt in the West African region.
Impact on the level of productivity
In addition to disorienting the African population distribution status, slave trade also caused an impact of reducing the productivity capacity in the areas of affected by depopulation. For instance, the European slave dealers were not interested in the old men and women in the society. On the contrary to that, they preferred to have the young men and women in the region. According to the demographic analysis of fertility and productivity, the larger the number of young people in any designated population, the larger the probability of maintaining a fertile population. However, the fact that these were the target elements of the slave trade affected these African regions to a great extent. The slave trade was deemed to have ultimately departed with the health, as well as, virility of the children that were given birth to in Western Africa. Ideally, young men and women are held responsible for the continual improvement of the society. This shows the extent at which the demographic imbalance that was caused by the depopulation exercise of the slave trade brought to the African fraternity.
Impact of altering with the sexual demography
Another essential scenario is the impact that slave trade impact had on the sex structure within the African regions that suffered depopulation, through slave trade. A recent study on the on the Atlantic slave trade has skewed its attention towards the impact of the slave trade towards African productivity. A seminar that was held in Edinburg aimed at carrying out an assessment of the effects that the slave trade had on the population size, structure, and density. However, in this level of assessment, an arising issue of the impartial role of women was identified. It carried out research of women as slaves and as the remnants in the society.
The factor considering age being the strong consideration of the dealers of slave trade dealers was the prior issue of concern. However, the dealers were more interested in men than they were with women. This is a quantifiable statistical finding of the depopulation process that was carried out by the European. Men are considered to be the pillar of any economy. That is; their ability to operate and work effectively for the good of the society is not affected by myriad constraints of nature. According to the statistical analysis, the slave dealers carried more men than women. That is; for every one woman, three men were deported. This means that the ratio of men to women was inconsiderate. For those who were deported, there were more men than women. On the other hand, the gender balances back in the African regions that had suffered deportation was also alarming. There were more women than men. This meant that the birth rate was very low. In addition, the children that were born after consecutive year of malnutrition were deemed as weak. The death rates also increased since poverty was exceedingly experienced. The same case happened to the deportation population size. Due to the hard tasks and inhuman treatment faced by the slaves, there was an increased mortality rate.
Literary evidence proves that there were more women that were left behind as men were deported to other countries. For instance, In Angola, the number of women outnumbered the number of men. The rate of polygamy was the only source of saving the communities from growing towards being extinct. Ideally, the process of the slave trade led to different results such as alteration of the family structures.
Demographic impacts of European colonialism
Basis of colonialism by the Europeans to Africa
Initially, the Europeans were involved in the slave trade. That was the original point of interaction with the Africans. However, information of the state and nature of Africa attracted the whites. They did not lose the interest they had for Africa. Because of the diminishing rate of resources found in the European countries, the residents and governments tried to identify with Africa. At this time, the Industrial revolution had started to pick the pace. Initially, the European came to Africa disguised as explorers and missionaries. This is because they were barely familiar with the continent. As a result of the interaction, the missionaries converted the Africans to Christians. Information of the riches in nature found in Africa led to a scramble for Africa by European-countries. There were two countries that were not colonized. These countries were Ethiopia and Liberia.
The scramble for Africa led to many conflicts between the settlers and the natives on those lands. Most of the Europeans intended to occupy areas that were heavily characterized by natural resources. These conflicts led to an alteration in the nature of the demography (population) in the subject areas. Among these are some of these impacts on population included:
Impact on the distribution demography
The Europeans grabbed large pieces of land that was communicable owned. Ideally, they used force to snatch the African off their land. In return, they oppressed them by allocating them to settlement reserves that were densely populated. Prior to the colonization, the African used to have a definite and favorable distribution pattern. It was identified as a sparse population status. Adverse impacts of having such population distribution pattern include poor health conditions. For instance, the people who were concentrated into one settlement reserve easily contacted contagious diseases. Some of the diseases were adversely impassive that they caused the death. The mortality rate was considered to rise reading to fall in the population size.
Demographic impact on the size of the population and family structure
Impact on the composition and sex demography
Besides the internal wars, the Europeans were also engaged in international wars. For instance, there were the first and the second world wars in which some of the colonialists were actively involved. An example of these nations included Britain. The European colonialists picked African men from their households and injected them into war. The overall distribution of men in the African settlement reserves had already reduced. In addition, the men who went for war were killed and left an imbalance in the gender composition of African societies.
Both the European colonialism and Slave trade in Africa have related impacts on the demographic review. Ideally, the European plays part in influencing the nature of the population structure, composition and size in Africa for a lengthy period. First, it was involved in the slave trade that had a very influential impact on the change in population size and distribution. The change of the population size and distribution via loss of young men and women has led to an increase in poverty level. This is because productive lot is either killed or deported leaving the local community deficient of their input in the development.
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