[European missionaries] attempted to end the slave trade, that is trade in some goods other than slaves. The anti-slavery movement was a largely humanitarian movement that began in the early 19th century. The attempt to end the slave trade also was intended to further Europeanize African societies. Not only did the “legitimization” of trade seek to end the Atlantic slave trade, but also the slave that had existed among Africans for centuries. Therefore, many aspects of the traditional African society were altered. As the slave trade died, new markets opened both to meet European demands and to take advantage of the available African labor.
Most of the products that the Europeans implemented were cash crops. Various cash crops included cotton, maize, tobacco, sugar, coffee, tea, palm oil, and groundnuts. The cash crops were in high demand in the rest of the world and played a major part in the modernization of most regions of the continent. Europeans pursued the production of cash crops for the purpose of raising revenue to pay for the expenses of the colonization process. As a result, traditional subsistence farming lost importance, most nations focused on only a single or a few crops, nationalism of land occurred, and innovations were brought to Africa such as irrigation.