Atlantic Slave Trade

1772 Words Jun 28th, 2013 8 Pages
The origins of the Atlantic Slave Trade were products of Western Europe’s expansion of power that began at the beginning of the 1500’s through the 1900‘s. The main contributing European countries to the Atlantic Slave Trade were Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and England. Portugal lead the movement during the 1400’s and arrived in Western Africa in hopes to find Christian allies to spread Christianity against the Muslims of Northern Africa. But they soon became more interested in trade (Hine, Hine & Harrold, 2011). Slavery, however, has existed in all cultures for thousands of years. For example, Arab merchants and West African Kings imported white European slaves. At first, the slave trade focused on women and children who …show more content…
Many times, especially during storms, the slavers neglected to feed the slaves or change the tubs and buckets used for toilets, as well removing dead bodies (Hine, Hine & Harrold, 2011). Sanitation was also a major contributor to death and disease. Only about three or four toilet tubs were provided for all of the slaves. Mortality rates were exceptionally high on the ships, averaging around 15%. Overall, about one third of all slaves died during the whole process of moving them from Africa to the Americas. The main causes of mortality on the ships were diseases such as small pox, malaria, dysentery, yellow fever and measles (Hine, Hine & Harrold, 2011).
There was however still rebellions from the captive slaves aboard the ships. Rebellions usually occurred when the ship was getting ready to set sail or when they ships were still within sight of the Africa land mass, when there was still hope for the slaves to return home. Often times slaves would actually starve themselves intentionally or try to jump off the ship to drown. But to combat this, the slavers would sometimes put nets on the side of the ship to stop jumpers and to deal with those who would refuse to eat, the slavers would use hot coals to force individual’s mouths open to eat (Hine, Hine & Harrold, 2011). The women aboard the slave ships were treated very badly as well. They were often raped and sexually abused. Many times, all of the women were kept in separate rooms to make it easier for
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