The Atlantic System and Africa

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Although slave trade has been established since early history, it was the in the seventeenth century and beyond that slaves became the focal point of trade between Europe and Africa. Europe's expansion through North and South America and the Caribbean islands in the fifteenth century formed an unquenchable demand for African laborers, who were thought to be more fit physically in the harsh tropical environment of the New World. The figures of slaves imported across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas increased gradually over time. As much as 10 to 15 million people were displaced, their ties with their families cut and their odds of going back to their homes were nonexistent.

Political circumstances changed the trade alliances in Africa and led to variation in the regional origins of slaves all through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Slaves were usually the ill-fated victims of wars, raids, and territorial expansion. The triangular trade or the Atlantic circuit explains the whole process of slave trade In the Atlantic Ocean. The journey starts in Europe where the European sailors would load their ships with guns, horses and many other products ranging from pots and pans to textiles which were brought from India. Not to mention the transmittable diseases that were brought by European sailors as well, who would then set sail to Africa to exchange theses goods with tribal chiefs, kings or local slave traders for slaves. Sometimes slaves would travel 1200km of inland just to reach the ships location. The slaves and European sailors would then embark on the long and strenuous trip to the Americas. During the trip to the North or South of America, depending on the demand of the slaves, sometimes as much as half of the slaves would die from sickness, starvation, lack of clean water and food. On arrival the slaves would start work. Their life span after parting Africa would be around ten years because of the demanding backbreaking labor.

In Africa slavery...
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