Atlantic Slave Trade

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The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

A slave can be defined as a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another, a bond servant or a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person. Slavery was well recognized in many early civilizations. Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, the Akkad Ian Empire, Assyria, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate, the Hebrews in Palestine, and the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas all had either a form of debt-slavery, punishment for crime, enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment or birth of slave children to slaves. However, as the sixteenth century approached, so did the change in the way slavery would be looked at, for years to come. The Atlantic slave trade became the name of the three part economic cycle that involved four continents for four centuries and millions of people. The Atlantic slave trade or the middle passage, triangular trade and slavery affected the economy of Europe, Africa and the Americas in both negative and positive aspects.
Starting in the 1430’s Portuguese were the first to sail down the coast of Africa to search for gold and jewels. The Portuguese had to extend their power across the co+ast because Sub-Saharan Africa’s trade routes were controlled by the Islamic Empire. By 1445, The Portuguese conquered three African countries and created trading posts. This allowed them access to Europe across the Sahara. Initially, the Portuguese traded copperware, cloth, tools, wine and horses for pepper, ivory and most importantly gold. The first slave purchase is said to have taken place in 1441 when the Portuguese caught two African males while they were along the coast. The Africans in the nearby village paid them in gold for their return. Eventually, they developed the idea that they could get more gold by transporting slaves along Africa’s coast. The Muslims were enticed by the idea of slavery as they used them as porters and for profit.



Bibliography: Curtin, Philip. The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1969. Klein, Hubert. The Atlantic Slave Trade. New York City, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Lovejoy, Paul. “The Volume of the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Synthesis.” Cambridge Journals: The Journal of African History. 23. no. 04 (1982): 473-501. Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870. New York City, New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc, 1997. Walvin, James, and Victor Howard. ” Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Short Illustrated History.” Taylor & Francis Online. 12. no. 6 (1984): 127. http://www.whispersofangels.com/secrets.html. Web. 15 Feb. 2013 I found this site useful to assist with direct quotes and comments from the slaves Barbot, John. “Slave Trade Documents – HistoryWiz Primary Source Africa.” Slave Trade Documents – HistoryWiz Primary Source Africa. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. http://www.mariner.org/captivepassage/. Web. 15 Feb. 2013 This website provides very thorough presentation of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade http://www.nmm.ac.uk/freedom/viewTheme.cfm/theme/triangular. Web. 16 Feb. 2013- This website talks about the triangular trade and how it has had effects on the society of today http://www.understandingslavery.com/ 2011 Understanding Slavery, Web. 5 Feb. 2013 This site goes through an extensive explanation of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade O,Dr. “The Middle Passage Experience.” HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2013. http://dro.hubpages.com/hub/drotengho This article is about the mistreatment that slaves were subjected to and how they were spoken to

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