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The Atlantic Slave Trade

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... fortunes are made in the triangle trade Hail slavery, the New England dream! ... In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Atlantic Slave Trade


1
The Atlantic Slave Trade
  • 1450-1865

2
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3
Introduction
  • The Atlantic Slave Trade was the most significant
    link Africa had to the larger Atlantic World in
    early modern times.
  • African peoples received European goods for
    slaves.
  • Firearms were the most common.

4
Europeans and Africans Trade
5
Europeans
  • By the 15th and 16thc when the Europeans ventured
    to Africa, the slave trade was well-established.
  • European influence caused it to expand
    dramatically.
  • Affected the development of Atlantic settlements.

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7
The Early Slave Trade
  • Earliest European slave traders were Portuguese.
  • They learned that they could buy slaves instead
    of capturing them.
  • Increased the numbers of slaves they brought home.

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9
Slavery Expands
  • Meanwhile, disease had reduced the native
    populations in Spanish territories.
  • Spanish looked for laborers for the Caribbean and
    the Americas.
  • In 1518, the first shipment of slaves went
    directly from west Africa to the Caribbean where
    the slaves worked on sugar plantations.

10
Slavery Expands Continued
  • By the 1520s, the Spanish had introduced slaves
    to Mexico, Peru, and Central America where they
    worked as cultivators and miners
  • By the early 17th Century, the British had
    introduced slaves to North America

11
Triangular Trade Continued
  • European goods (cloth ,metal wares, and firearms)
    went to Africa and were exchanged for slaves.
  • Slaves were then shipped to the Caribbean and
    Americas where they were sold for cash or
    sometimes bartered for sugar or molasses.
  • Then the ships returned to Europe loaded with
    American products.

12
  • Typical Triangular Trade Route

13
  • Molasses to rum to slaves Who sail the ships
    back to Boston Ladened with gold, see it gleam
    Whose fortunes are made in the triangle trade
    Hail slavery, the New England dream!
  • Song from the play 1776

14
Capture
  • The capture of slaves was violent.
  • As European demand grew, African chieftains
    raided neighboring societies.
  • Others launched wars to capture slaves.

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The Middle Passage
  • Slaves were force-marched to holding pens before
    being loaded on ships
  • The trans-Atlantic journey was called the Middle
    Passage
  • The ships were filthy, hot, and crowded

17
  • The Middle Passage

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The Middle Passage Continued
  • Most ships provided slaves with enough room to
    sit upright, but not enough to stand
  • Others forced slaves to lie in chains with barely
    20 inches space between them

20
The Middle Passage Continued
  • Men were housed on the right women on the
    left children in the middle. The human Cargo was
    jammed onto platforms six feet wide often without
    sufficient headroom for an adult to sit up.

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The Middle Passage Continued
23
The Middle Passage Continued
  • Crews attempted to keep as many slaves alive as
    possible to maximize profits, but treatment was
    extremely cruel
  • Some slaves refused to eat and crew members used
    tools to pry open their mouths and force-feed
    them

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  • Daily "dancing" was enforced on many slave ships
    as a form of exercise. People were made to hop in
    place in their shackles and exercise by swinging
    their arms. The crew walked among them with whips
    or cat-o'-nine-tails to compel the forced
    recreation.

26
The Middle Passage Continued
  • People were thrown overboard due to shortages in
    supplies or an outbreak of disease.
  • Cargo (human beings) was often insured so that
    there was no financial loss.

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Slaves Left to Die
  • Often people that were unhealthy or sick were
    left behind.

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30
Arrival
  • When the slave ship docked, the slaves would be
    placed in a pen.
  • They would be washed and covered with grease or
    tar to make them look healthy.
  • They would also be branded with a hot iron to
    identify them as slaves.

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34
Auctions
  • Slaves were sold at auctions
  • Buyers physically inspected the slaves
  • Auctioneers had slaves perform various acts to
    demonstrate their physical abilities

35
Auctions
36
Auctions
  • We were not many days in the merchants custody,
    before we were sold after their usual manner...
    On a signal given, (as the beat of a drum),
    buyers rush at once into the yard where the
    slaves are confined, and make a choice of that
    parcel they like best. The noise and clamor with
    which this is attended, and the eagerness visible
    in the countenances of the buyers, serve not a
    little to increase the apprehension of terrified
    Africans... In this manner, without scruple, are
    relations and friends separated, most of them
    never to see each other again. I remember in the
    vessel in which I was brought over... there were
    several brothers who, in the sale, were sold in
    different lots and it was very moving on this
    occasion, to see and hear their cries in
    parting.
  • Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of
    Olaudah Equiano

37
Plantations
  • Most African slaves went to the Caribbean or
    South America.
  • Plantations produced crops like sugar, tobacco,
    indigo, and cotton.
  • Crops were exported for profit.

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39
Caribbean and South America
  • Disease, brutal working conditions, and poor
    sanitation and nutrition resulted in high
    mortality rates.
  • Owners imported mainly male slaves and allowed
    few to establish families which resulted in low
    reproduction.

40
  • Between 1501 and the 1860s, at least twelve
    million African men, women, and children were
    transported in the transatlantic slave trade.
    Among them were farmers, fishermen, cattle
    herders, craftspeople, notables, scholars,
    slaves, musicians, as well as political and
    religious leaders.

41
North America
  • Diseases took less of a toll in North America and
    living conditions were usually less brutal
  • Plantation owners imported large numbers of
    female slaves and encouraged their slaves to form
    families and bear children

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43
Forms of Resistance
  • Work slowly
  • Sabotage
  • Runaway
  • Revolt

44
Slavery Continues
  • Abolishing the slave trade did not end slavery
  • British ships patrolled the west coast of Africa
    to halt illegal trade
  • The last documented ship that carried slaves
    across the Atlantic arrived in Cuba in 1867

45
Impact of Slave Trade in Africa
  • Some states like Rwanda largely escaped the slave
    trade through resistance and geography
  • Some like Senegal in west Africa were hit very
    hard
  • Other societies benefited economically from
    selling slaves, trading, or operating ports

46
Impact of Slave Trade in Africa
  • As abolition took root in the 19th Century some
    African merchants even complained about the lose
    of their livelihood
  • On the whole, however, the slave trade devastated
    Africa

47
Impact of Slave Trade in Africa
  • It deprived Africa of a huge fraction of their
    population.
  • It distorted African sex ratios because 2/3 of
    slaves were male.
  • The introduction of firearms increased the level
    of violence
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