Summary Of King Affonso's Letters To King Jao Of Portugal

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The document by King Affonso I, titled Letters to King Jao of Portugal was written in 1526. During King Affonso’s reign, he saw many benefits of creating strong trading relationships with Europeans, specifically Portugal. To create a powerful alliance between the Kongo and Portugal the royal family converted to Christianity and allowed the process of importing European products. However, the importation of European goods appeared to diminish the economic society of the Kongo. In the letters to Portugal from King Affonso, he explains how the merchants who came to his kingdom are permitted to sell goods that are prohibited in the Kingdom of the Kongo. King Affonso I also states that the merchants from Portugal are taking natives and people who…show more content…
Although King Affonso I believed that creating a trading alliance with Portugal would economically benefit the Kongo ultimately it only further advanced Portugal’s economic standing. Portugal’s desire in participating in the Atlantic Slave Trade was the pursuit of profit because the slave trade was a major source of wealth. For example, “the Portuguese created in the Indian Ocean is commonly known as a “trading post empire,” for they aimed to control commerce, not large territories or populations, and to do so by force of arms rather than by economic competition” (Strayer, 673). Portugal’s desire to have complete control over commerce in their trading posts is emphasized in their relationship with the Kongo and in King Affonso’s Letters to King Jao of Portugal. The economic advantages the slave trade brought to the New World and Europe was also linked to the religious faith of Africans. Africans who were already enslaved saw conversion to Christianity as a road to freedom, and many others who were not already enslaved believed conversion would protect them from becoming

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