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Leaving the Canary Islands to the Spanish, the Portuguese established a fort at Elmina near the deltas of the Volta and Niger rivers in 1482 and became involved in the inter-African slave trade.

Italian and Portuguese investors, excited by the strong European market for sugar, obtained charters from the Portuguese crown to develop sugar plantations on the islands of Sao Tome, Principe, and Fernando Po, which lay off the coast of tropical Africa.

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In a hallmark of an emerging capitalist economy, the new chartered companies built up and reinvested their capital rather than redistributing all the invested capital and profits back to their owners after each voyage.Dominant in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and from 1880 to 1900—the eras of mercantilism and of the ”scramble for Africa,” respectively—royally chartered companies proved to be indispensable tools for the opening of Africa to European commercial and imperial ambition.As a way to defray government costs, European exploits in Africa from 1340 until 1900 were usually funded by high-risk venture capital in the form of royally chartered companies, the forerunners of the modern corporation.This IP Address 1.211 has exceeded the maximum number of captcha solutions.Please consider signing up for a Pro Search or Pro API plan to continue using our website, or if you would like to purchase data directly please contact us via our contact page.Throughout their history chartered companies demonstrated that the relationship between entrepreneurship and violence was ever-present in the European engagement with Africa.

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