Some Long-term American Myths finally Meet Reality, October 20, 2013
An important footnote on Slavery
Chapter Twenty-One, entitled the Imbangala, tells the story of how slavery got into the English colonial picture. It is such an interesting and unexpected story that I am including a rough summary of it here as well.
The transatlantic slave trade began under a license issued at Seville, in 1598 while Portugal was a province of Spain. At the time, Portugal had had much success in enlisting very unreliable local black armies to help it defeat local towns in Angola raided for large caches of slaves taken as spoils of war. That is, until it was routed by a chief of the Ndogolo people. Rather than continuing to rely on the unreliable “black armies,” Portugal hired the much more feared and ruthless, if not entirely barbaric, group of itinerant marauders called the “Imbangala,” best known for settling within a country, sucking it dry and then moving on.