Africa and the Atlantic World

Topics: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery, African slave trade Pages: 4 (1439 words) Published: May 6, 2013
Africa and the Atlantic world explores the trials and tribulations of Africans being forced from their homeland and sold into slavery. Africans endured such hardships and conditions that their souls vanished with the site of mother Africa. Europeans sold and forced slaves to cultivate sugar plantations for their own profits. The Americas, Europe and Africa were involved in a cross continental system of human trafficking. African men, woman and children were shipped across the Atlantic to the Americas. Africans who survived being rapped, malnutrition, dehydration and being tortured on the voyage were sold to European masters and forced to be slaves on plantations. The first major development comes in 1417, when Prince Henry of Portugal seized the Madeira Islands off the northern part of West Africa. In 1450, Portugal created the plantation system by using slave labor to cultivate sugar cane. This is important because the cultivation of sugar was the primary reason slavery continued for 400 years. The second major development is the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The expedition lead to Spain gain power over the Portuguese in “overseas colonization.” Europeans began to then settle in the Americas and cultivated sugar, coffee, tobacco and rice. Mass human labor was needed on their plantations. Europeans referred to African slaves as “black gold.” European Colonizers transported over 12 million Africans. This is important because it changed the course of the African people and history. The third important development is in the 1500’s when African rulers negotiated trade treaties with Europeans. The African king Mani-Kongo agreed to an exchange of gold, iron and slaves for Portuguese guns, knives and goods. The Portuguese orchestrated village chiefs to wage war to increase the slave catch in exchange for guns. This is important because it ignited a civil war in Africa. The fourth major development is Spain and Portugal’s...
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