Tuesday, 22 February 2011



During the first half of the 1500s, Africa became a focus of European attention as it had not been since the time of the Roman Empire. The European thirst for new markets drove a consolidation of the trading routes established by Portuguese explorers in the late 1490s along the coasts of Africa and into the Indian Ocean. At the same time, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa brought the Turks into military and political conflict with European interests. These elements, along with the importation of captured Africans as slaves, primarily from West Africa, increasingly supplanting the trade of slaves of Slavic origin, resulted in an increased African presence in Europe.

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