History : Jul-Aug 2019
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 79 converted to Catholicism. After his death, his son and heir, King Nzinga Mbemba, took the name King Afonso I and declared the kingdom a Catholic state, firmly bonding the two nations. In 1512, Afonso I negotiated an agreement with the Portuguese giving them rights to land and direct access to Kongo’s prisoners of war, who would be sold into the transatlantic slave trade. This arrangement provided a model that other European nations and western and central African kingdoms would follow for centuries afterward. The first people sold were mostly prisoners of war. African kingdoms were often in conflict, at times absorbing smaller nations or kinship lived in developed cities and towns surround- ing their capital city, Kabasa. The capital was where royalty lived, along with approximately 50,000 citizens. In 1618, Portuguese forces aligned with Ndongo’s adversaries, neighbor- ing Imbangala mercenaries, to invade the king- dom. They captured thousands of prisoners to sell into slavery. These political relationships were spawned 135 years earlier. In 1483, the Portuguese first forged a relationship with the Kingdom of Kon- go. Portuguese explorers aimed to spread Ca- tholicism in Africa, colonize both people and land, and grow rich. Upon developing a trade deal with the Portuguese, the Kongo King Nkuwu POISONOUS PARTNERSHIP An engraving from 1598 shows Portuguese sailors saluting the King of Kongo. The two nations forged a centuries-long relationship centered on the transatlantic slave trade. RICCARDOSPILA/FOTOTECA9X12XXXXXXXXXXXX The English begin establishing colonies in the Americas. After an attempt in Roanoke, North Carolina, fails, successful colonies are founded at Jamestown, Virginia, and St. George’s, Bermuda. The San Juan Bautista leaves for New Spain with a cargo of about 350 Africans. English pirates attack the ship and seize approximately 50 people, who are taken to the British colonies. 1619 1584-1612 SCALA, FLORENCE GETTY IMAGES IN THE LATE 1600S, PORTUGAL BEGAN MINTING COINS, SUCH AS THE MACUTA (RIGHT), FOR USE IN AFRICA.