If you were asked to do a hard work but by someone else without him or her giving to you anything in exchange, would you get it done? Obviously not. Nobody in this world would want to be told how to proceed. Nobody nowadays would want to be required to take action. However, in the late fifteen century, something very simmilar to that, occurred. The Africans were being enslaved by Europeans (in cases like this, we focus more to Portugal). Actually, it started out with trading slaves between Africa and Portugal, but as time engages by, the needs for the slaves gets bigger because of the succesful sugars plantation.
The Portugese first came up to the Kongo in 1482 and achieved the Ruler Nzinga a Nkuwu, who welcomed them. That they had good relations, so they proven a tranquility and friendship plan. Portugal began to send boats, priests, craftsmen and troops to Kongo. Then, The Portugese attempted to "drive" Congolese from their cultures, rituals, faith by mailing some priests there just like what they did when they went to Benin. However, in Benin, they didn't successed to bring Christianity because in Benin the ruler was more formal towards traditions, culture, and faith in Benin. Inside the other hands, in Kongo, the king was less formal, so over time Ruler Nzinga a Nkuwu began to get the fascination of the Christian faith. So, he and his child changed into Christianity and get baptized with the name Joao I and Affonso I. At first, the Congolese didn't oppose this however the priests began to kill Kongo's rituals, so many Kongolese kept Christianity (including Nzinga a Nkuwu). In the year 1505, Nzinga a Nkuwu passed away and his kid, Nzinga Mbemba (Affonso I) replaced him. Affonso I placed maintaining the good relation between Kongo and Portugal. He sent Kongo's valuable resources like ivory, cooper, parrots, and slaves, in substitution for Portuguese's priests, craftsmen, military, and teachers. They keep carrying this out for quite long time because Ruler Affonso felt they need as much source as possible from Portugal to trade with them to be able to build up their country. He also delivered his sons to study in Lisbon (the administrative centre city of Portugal). He commenced to make Kongo into modernized country by building institutions and he followed Portuguese's manners and style of dress. However, many Congolese were oppsoed the plan of King Affonso building Catholic Cathedral. The Congolese believed that Ruler Affonos was doing a significant amount of and started to decay their own culture, tradition, and religious beliefs.
The Portuguese tried to destroy Affonso and Affonso's position became loosen. Then, his boy, Diogo I replaced him (after his sibling Pedro I failed) and tried out to negotiate straight with the Portuguese in SЈo Tome but he didn't managed to get and Portuguese invade Ndongo (part of southern kingdom that is free) and got Luanda Slot. Affonso died and got replaced by his sons, but none of them can make the solve the situation of the against the law trading. Why even after Kongo evolved their coverage of "Europenization" (difference between Affonso I, Pedro I, Diogo I), they still couldn't solve the situation of against the law slave trading? What I mean with illegitimate trading is the action of kidnapping that was done by the Europeans on the African, because actually there is a contract between Africa and Portugal about slave trade. However, the Portuguese were so freedy that they need more slaves so they just had taken them. This occurred because both of the kings who changed Ruler Affonso I, Pedro I and Diogo I, didn't really try to directly package with the Portugese company who run the platation in SЈo Tome. They just tried to deal with the ruler of Portugal in those days. In order to solve the unlawful trading that was occurring, they must have dealed with the Portugal company which handeled the plantation in SЈo Tome, because if it's in a roundabout way to them, we can make sure the thought of stopping this unlawful trading could never been ceased even Kongo change its ruler.
As time goes on, the relationship between Kongo and Portugal began to crack a great deal larger because the Portuguese placed doing the illegitimate slave trading for the sweets plantation work in SЈo Tome. Affonso I tried to stop this illegally trading by mailing letters to Manuel and King Joao III (the ruler who changed Manuel I). After several letters of his warning to stop the trading, he restricted the against the law trading, Ruler Joao III published and forced him to cancel the ban, so Affonso I cancelled it. From the primary source reader, we can easily see that Affonso I published about the condition in Kongo that was depopulated. He also pitied that even the noblemen and their sons got brand name by ret-hot-iron. However, Ruler Joao III doesn't care about the depopulation in Kongo and said that the Portuguese in Kongo made the progress of Kongo faster. Affonso's assertion that Kongo was depopulated wasn't an exaggerate affirmation. It had been true that Kongo was depopulated at that time due to against the law slave trading. The number of inhabitants in Kongo was essentially reduced and in the other palm the quantity or slaved being traded was typically increased. The love-making proportion was also becoming smaller and smaller and smaller each year.
The interesting thing is that even the noblemen and their sons were kidnapped by the Portuguese to do the plantation. Maybe if we think rationally, noblemen might have been more useful if the Portuguese forced them to give their money to purchase the plantation to make the plantation even bigger so the take advantage of the plantation is a great deal larger. However, the Portuguese chose to kidnap the noblemen and even their sons to do the plantation because at that time these were only focusing on the slaves. They were asuming if indeed they had more slaves, the plantation will be more succesful.
We have no idea much from the king in Portugal since there isn't enough source to interpret whether they reply the grievances of Ruler Affonso I in a negative way or in a positive way because the characters were all written in portuguese. However, from the one letter that we got from the principal source reader, it can reveal clearly that King Joao III didn't really value the depopulation that occurred in Kongo in those days. He was only thinking about the sake of Portugal.
There was a main source that I came across quite interesting. A section in a booklet that was written by Rui de Aguiar, who was simply a Portuguese missionary and proved helpful in Kongo as a Vicar-General. He referred to Affonso as a good Christian who God has spoken to him to transformed Kongo into Religious so that God could have His blessings over Kongo. He also assume that Affonso was a great ruler that the Congolese shouldn't have protested. He also accepted that his highness was the King of Kongo (Ruler Affonso I) and Ruler of Portugal (Ruler Joao III). So, it's quite interesting for me to see a Portguese missionary in Kongo who secretly saved some admiration towards Kongo. However, he didn't really point out about the slave trade that occurred between Kongo and Portugal.
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Jadin, Louis and Mireille Decorato, eds. Correspondance de Don Afonso, roi du Congo 1506- 1543. Brussels: Academie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer, 1974.
Reader, John. Africa : A Biography of the Continent. NY : Vintage Books, 1997.
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