From the 17th century until the 19th century, almost twelve million Africans were brought to the New World against their will to perform back-breaking labour under terrible conditions. The rationalizations and defences given for slavery and the slave trade were absurd and self-serving. Slavery was a truly barbaric, and those who think that they can control what another group of people eat, where they sleep, whether they are to live or die, or even whether they are to be bought or sold, are acting on a totally inhumane level.
Before Europeans joined the African slave trade, slavery was widespread throughout Africa, and slaves served to pay off debts, sold by their kin in exchange for goods during famine, or as war captives. The slaves were central to the trans-Saharan trade, and on occasion the slaves would be freed from servitude. Once the Europeans began to exploit the slave trade, they created a forced migration of African slaves into the
Being fully aware of the benefits of the slaves, the British elevated their importation and by the turn of the eighteenth century African slaves numbered in the tens of thousands in the British colonies (1). As the demands in tobacco increased, labor increased. Like the simple law of supply and demand. Ending of Royal African Company’s monopoly in 1698 encouraged more traders to enter the slave business -- thus making African slaves more accessible (4). As a result of their increased expense, their masters were stringent and determined to get as much out of them as possible thereby working them mercilessly (Faragher 2009, p. 83). Initially, the cost of slaves may have been more expensive but in the end the masters were able to keep them enslaved.
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)
Everyone has their own understanding of what slavery is, but there are misconceptions about the history of “slavery”. Not many people understand how the slave trade initially began. Originally Africa had “slaves” but they were servants or serfs, sometimes these people could be part of the master’s family. They could own land, rise to positions of power, and even purchase their freedom. This changed when white captains came to Africa and offered weapons, rum, and manufactured goods for people. African kings and merchants gave away the criminals, debtors, and prisoner from rival tribes. The demand for cheap labor was increasing, this resulted in the forced migration of over ten million slaves. The Atlantic Slave Trade occurred from 1500 to 1880 CE. This large-scale event changed the economy and histories of many places. The Atlantic Slave Trade held a great amount of significance in the development of America. Africans shaped America by building a solid foundation for the country.
During the Colonial period, as settlers trickled in from the Old World, it was only after many years of economic unrest that this became possible. The New World was a prosperous land for change. There, settlers had the freedom to pursue aspirations that were far less tangible in England. One of the most pressing issues that led to the colonization of the New World was the need for more and cheaper products beyond the Mediterranean; this was ultimately the first step in the many ways that the New World created economic prospects for those yearning for a more prosperous future. Economic concerns of the settlers in North America were notably greater than religious concerns during the colonial era, due to the decline in the British economy and
In the 1680’s most Africans were working on plantations. As Mintz explains how black slavery become the dominant labor, “ 1680’s that Black slavery became the dominant labor system on plantations ” (2, Mintz). The colonists wanted the africans because they would work the best on plantations. This quote demonstrates the colonists gained power because more slaves were sold and The colonists gained more profit. In the Colonial America the slaves were being carried to the New World. As Olaudah Equiano illustrates how the slaves were brought to the new world, “ These filled me with astonishment which was soon converted into terror ” (1, Equiano). He was scared and like he never experienced slavery in his life. This quote demonstrates that the colonists gained power because the slaves were afraid of them and if they were afraid of them they wouldn’t
“The Slave Ship: A Human History” written by Marcus Rediker describes the horrifying experiences of Africans, and captains, and ship crewmen on their journey through the Middle Passage, the water way in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas. The use of slaves to cultivate crops in the Caribbean and America offered a great economy for the European countries by providing “free” labor and provided immense wealth for the Europeans. Rediker describes the slave migration by saying, “There exists no account of the mechanism for history’s greatest forced migration, which was in many ways the key to an entire phase of globalization” (10). African enslavement to the Americas is the most prominent reason for a complete shift in the
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
In this section I try to show how the African Slave System, after gaining a foothold went on to become the most important part of the economy of the new Nation:
Through their friendly trade relations, Europeans quickly introduced the idea of slaves as a commodity, along with an international market for labor to newly developed plantation economies, eventually
Through out this chapter we discover that the Europeans tend to take things that do not belong to them and also like to take credit for numerous things as well. We also learn that they like to kidnap others to do their hard labor while that stand back and making a living off of others hard labor. During this process I do believe it was the start of slavery for the African Americans. For the Europeans it meant the freedom to treat people any kind of way rather than treating someone like another human being.
Europeans figured that buying slaves in families would be beneficial because it would prevent slaves from running away, utilized the use of more labor, and made the seller look better. The desire to make money amplified the “need” and/or the continuation of
a. The Triangular trade is a phrase that links the trade route of three continents, Europe, Africa, and the American continent. b. The first stage of the Triangular Trade involved merchant ships taking manufactured goods from Europe to West Africa. Reports show that Europe approximately exported $10 million dollars worth of goods to Africa annually. Manufactured goods included cloth, gin, tobacco, beads, iron goods, gunpowder and weapons.
In the 1600’s, Slavery played a significant role in European history. The negative aspects that made up the dark times in history are, mainly centered on the brutalizing effects of the enslaved people, which can be best explained by the destroyed family bonds, history of the enslaved people erased, and unjust treatment of the slaves.