V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > G. Africa, 1795–1917 > 3. Regions > b. Forest West Africa
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1799)
b. Forest West Africa
Although only a marginal carrier, Denmark prohibited the slave trade to its nationals, the first European nation to do so.  1
The Asante defeated the Fante at Abora, near Cape Coast.  2
By passing the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1807, Britain became the first major slave-trading nation to prohibit the trade. The British government authorized its navy to begin suppressing the human trade and to pursue a diplomatic offense to force other European carriers to abolish the trade. Although the slave trade continued into the 1880s, the volume of slaves exported overseas declined. In its place, the industrializing countries of Europe sought tropical commodities, such as vegetable oils and cotton, to feed their mills. Shifting European demand from slaves to agricultural produce induced a peasant revolution in West Africa, as Africans increased agricultural production.  3
Six thousand slaves were captured at sea by the British Anti-Slavery Squadron and released in Sierra Leone.  4
c. 1810
The Yoruba kingdom was subject to civil wars. Oyo was sacked. Illorin became an independent kingdom.  5
An Asante campaign against the Fante failed.  6
In 1814 the Church Missionary Society (CMS) established a school at Freetown in order to train freed slaves as teachers and missionaries. In 1827 the school was moved to Fourah Bay, east of Freetown. It eventually broadened its focus beyond missionary training and offered a general curriculum in higher education.  7
1815 Ff
The British used the court of admiralty in Freetown to “liberate” slaves captured on the high seas. Shortly after the passage of the antislave trade act, the British Anti-Slavery Squadron began patrolling the West African coast to intercept ships illegally carrying slaves. Intercepted ships were brought to Freetown in Sierra Leone. There a court of vice-admiralty prosecuted crews and freed slaves. Despite the British patrols, the slave trade was not eradicated.  8
Building of Bathurst, Gambia, began.  9
A jihad was launched in Ilorin, and a Fulani emirate linked to the Sokoto Caliphate was established. The jihad in Ilorin, formerly a dependency of the Oyo Empire, also coincided with expansion of civil wars in Yorubaland, which led to the destruction of Oyo. Decades of turmoil and fighting fed the slave trade.  10
British possessions in Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, and the Gambia were joined as the British West Africa Settlements.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.