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The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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Transatlantic Slave Trade

From the seventeenth century on slaves became the focus of trade between Europe and Africa. Europe’s conquest and colonization of North and South America and the Caribbean islands from the fifteenth century onward created an insatiable demand for African laborers, who were deemed more fit to work in the tropical conditions of the New World. The amount of slaves took across the Atlantic Ocean slowly grew, from around 5,000 slaves a year in the sixteenth century to more than 100,000 slaves a year by the eighteenth century.
“Changing political circumstances and trade alliances in Africa led to changes in the geographic origins of slaves throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Slaves were generally the unfortunate victims of territorial expansion by imperialist African states or of raids led by predatory local strongmen, and various populations found themselves captured and sold as different regional powers came to prominence.” Weapons , which were very often exchanged for slaves, increased the level of fighting by giving military strength to previously polities. “A nineteenth-century tobacco pipe from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Angola demonstrates the degree to which warfare, the slave trade, and elite arts were intertwined at this time.” Also “The pipe itself was the prerogative of wealthy and powerful individuals who could afford expensive imported tobacco, generally by trading slaves, while the rifle form makes clear how such
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