The Slave Trade in Colonial America The first blacks in the American Colonies were brought in, like many lower-class whites, as indentured servants. Most indentured servants had a contract to work without wages for a master for four to seven years, after
There are different experiences of the slave trade that are reflected in these documents such as those of an enslaved person (Olaudah Equiano), a European slave trader (Thomas Phillips – an English merchant), an African monarch (King Jao) whose kingdom and personal authority suffered from the slave trade, and an African monarch (Osei Bonsu) who opposed the ending of the slave trade. Of all the commercial ties that linked the early modern world into global network of exchange, none had more profound or enduring human consequences than the Atlantic Slave Trade. And in all these documents, we can see how people reacted differently to this system based on how they encountered it and how it affected them.
Slavery originated from Africa "after the Bantu migrations spread agricultural to all parts of the continent." Africans would buy slaves to enlarge their families and have more power. Also, they would buy slaves in order to sell them to make a profit. It then spread out from Africa to Portugal and was said, "it is estimated that during the four and a half centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4.5 million Africans (roughly 40% of the total)." There was one purpose of slaves and that was work, at little or no cost. Nobody wanted to pay others when there really was not that much money in the economy to begin with. The Europeans
The earliest form of slavery in North America can be traced back to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. There, they were called the “Twenty and Odd” and considered servants rather than slaves. Though little is known about this infamous event, this ‘trade’ continued of capturing Africans from Africa and bringing them to the colonies of Britain. The usage of slaves increased and were often used as field laborers on plantations, house workers, blacksmiths
The slave trade in the North American colonies began to grow in the 1600s. The African slave trade sourced their slaves from many different West African villages and countries. The business of slavery was a growing and profitable field, not only for the slavers, but also for the slaveholders. With the decrease of indentured servants, settlers in the English colonies looked for a new source of labor to satisfy their growing labor demands. The next source was Africa. “By the 1690s slaves outnumbered indentured servants four to one” (45). Europeans largely disregarded the ethical dilemma posed by slavery due to the European view of Africans and their culture as uncivilized, foreign, and heathen (44). The largest forced migration in history (44)
In the United States, slavery had an overwhelming impact on their political, social, and economical. Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, the first African slaves were brought into the United States. Reasons were because the tobacco, sugar, rice, and coffee fields were expanding which led to increasing the demand for labor. The Atlantic slave trade was an inhuman systematic importation of slaves between the African traders, American planters, and the European merchants bargaining over human lives which led to the Middle Passage. 1675-1775, the slaves were the backbone of monoculture labor and so it was put into law to keep the Africans as slaves. “So prevalent was this Italian-operated slave trade that the word “slave” was derived from the word “Slav,” name for people from Slavic countries” (Williams 3). In both seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation.
Slavery can be traced back to when the Europeans began settling in the North American continent.
The earliest signs of human bondage can be found in Ancient Rome where slaves were used for a large array of professions. Likewise, the slavery found in colonial North America had slaves included in every facet of the region’s economy. Colonial North America quickly grew dependent on African race-based slavery as the backbone to its economy. The first African Americans arrived to the New World near the coast of Jamestown in 1619 in the Chesapeake region (Clark-Pujara, 9/19). It was the first region to establish a society with slaves. One could say that African race-based slavery in the Chesapeake region developed because of the region’s economic dependence on tobacco production, scarcity of white indentured servants, increasing longevity for African Americans in the New World, and colonists establishing slave laws and codes.
In the Atlantic slave trade, African slaves were treated like animals or even objects. White people took advantage and mistreated them. A few examples of this
Slavery became an established activity in America by 1600’s. The slaves were mostly to provide free and cheap labor. Apart from America, slavery was practiced in other parts of the world throughout history, and in fact it can be traced back to the time of the ancient civilization. With industrial revolution especially with the rise of sugar plantations, the slaves were used to grow sugar in the periods from 1100. This intensified between 1400 and 1500 when Portugal and Spain ventured into sugar growing in the eastern Atlantic regions. The growth of the plantations required labor, hence African slaves were bought from Africa, to provide labor.
Widely admired for its vivid descriptions of the slave trade, Olaudah Equiano 's autobiography reveals many aspects of the eighteenth-century Western world through the experiences of one individual. Throughout the narrative, Equiano -- a man defined by his abilities and usefulness, not by his skin color -- demonstrates the foundations for America’s role in the world and how his experience became a global story. From the west coast of Africa to the east coast of America, Equiano encounters a different culture in which he was able to develop his own sense of identity. In this Narrative, Equiano goes through a cultural change by learning the English language, meeting new people from different places, and experiencing different cultures and beliefs.
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be sold and bought and are forced to do labor. This practice has been around since the very beginning of civilization. This dates back almost 11,000 years ago during the Code of Hammurabi. People are sentenced to slavery due to debt, prisoners of war, punishment for crime, child abandonment, and the birth into slavery. Slavery has been found to be present in various countries throughout history such as Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia. The purpose of slavery was to earn money without having to do all the work. This left people more time to do things they wanted rather than committing their time to work that they do not want to do. The slave trade was invented when
The changes in African life during the slave trade era form an important element in the economic and technological development of Africa. Although the Atlantic slave trade had a negative effect on both the economy and technology, it is important to understand that slavery was not a new concept to Africa. In fact, internal slavery existed in Africa for many years. Slaves included war captives, the kidnapped, adulterers, and other criminals and outcasts. However, the number of persons held in slavery in Africa, was very small, since no economic or social system had developed for exploiting them (Manning 97). The new system-Atlantic slave trade-became quite different from the early African slavery. The
Trans-Atlantic slave trade, as we know it today, has its origins in the mid-renaissance period. It has been estimated that as early as the 15th century, Europeans began constructing trade forts and castles in West Africa. At first it was the Portuguese, during the “Age of Exploration”, that began exploring the coast of West Africa in search of gold and for a sea route to Asia (Essah 32). From the mid sixteenth century, Portugal’s tenure on the Gold Coast faced serious challenges from other European traders. The French and English arrived there in the 1550s, the Dutch in 1595, while the 1640s witnessed the arrival of the Swedes and the Danes, followed by Germans from the state of Brandenburg in 1683 (Essah 34).
In 1510, King Ferdinand of Spain sent 200 Africans to his nation’s colonies in the Americas to clear land and to work rice, sugar, tobacco, and other crops. The African slaves resisted European diseases more than indigenous Americans and European indentured servants; and, readily adapted to agricultural work in tropical climates. As the African’s work proved fruitful, the Spanish and Portuguese soon entered into trans-Atlantic slave trade agreements with various ethnic nations in Africa to ensure a continual supply of labor for their expanding agricultural economies in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the Americas. In response to demands for African labor from other countries, the Spanish Crown developed a system of licenses, 'Asientos ', that allowed merchants from Portugal, Holland and Britain to purchase slaves at wholesale costs that ranged from three dollars to twenty dollars.