North Atlantic Slave Trade

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HIST1105
Essay Question:
Edward Long justified slavery in 1774 by arguing that black Africans’ “narrow intellect” and “bestial smell” implied that they might almost be of a different species.

What part did racism play in establishing and maintaining the north Atlantic slave trade?

Response:
With the discovery and colonisation of the New World, white Europeans had to establish a workforce to perform the transformation of vast areas of land. Massive vegetation clearance, road construction, building development, establishing and maintaining food supplies and service to those who were entrusted with the management of the new found colonies, the demand for manual labour to establish the new colonies as independent identities from the mainland was a massive undertaking. The majority of white Europeans in the colonies during this time believed that manual, ordinary labour was far beneath their status; therefore, there was a requirement for sourcing ongoing cheap, ‘appropriate’ labour.
The Atlantic slave trade, or Maafa as some African and African-American scholars call, was established and originated due to the need for cheap labourers. As the land was inexpensive and available, many free European immigrants were able to become landowners quite quickly, which in turn increased their need for workers in the New World. Millions of Africans were traded and kidnapped to labour on cotton, sugar, cocoa and coffee plantation, in houses to work as servants, in gold mines and in rice fields. Historical scholars who perceive quite different perspectives continue to argue about whether slavery was the cause of racism or racism was the cause of slavery between the white and blacks. One aspect that is very evident in either argument is that money was the root, however along with other evidence, the argument of slavery coming before racism has more support. Originally the first merchants who entered the slave trade did it to make money and to earn profits so they were



Bibliography: Cooper, Thomas. Tracts, ethical, theological, and political. Warrington and London: np, 1789. Cowley, Malcolm & Daniel P Mannix. Black Cargoes: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1518-1865. New York: Viking Press, 1962. Curtin, Phillip D. The Image of Africa: British Ideas and Action, 1780-1850. London: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1964. Feldstein, Stanley. Once a slave: the Slaves’ view of Slavery. New York: William Morrow, 1971. Long, Edward. The History of Jamaica. New York: Arno Press, 1972. Macleod, Duncan J. Slavery, race and the American Revolution, London; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1974. Ransford, Oliver. The Slave Trade: Story of Transatlantic Slavery. London: John Murray, 1971. Segal, Bernard E. Racial and ethnic relations: selected readings. New York: Crowell, 1972. Sillen, S. & A. Thomas. Racism and Psychiatry. Secaucus: the Citadel Press, 1979. Simon-Aaron, Charles and Tamari Kitossa, the Atlantic slave trade: empire, Enlightenment, and the cult of the unthinking Negro. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008. Turner, Patricia A. Ceramic Uncles & Celluloid Mammies: Black Images of Their Influence on Culture . California: Anchor Books, 1994. [ 3 ]. Daniel P Mannix & Malcolm Cowley, Black Cargoes: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1518-1865 (New York: Viking Press, 1962). [ 4 ]. Charles Simon-Aaron and Tamari Kitossa, The Atlantic slave trade: empire, Enlightenment, and the cult of the unthinking Negro (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008) ch 10-11. [ 5 ]. Duncan J. Macleod, Slavery, race and the American Revolution (London; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1974), 167-169 [ 6 ] [ 7 ]. A. Thomas & S. Sillen, Racism and Psychiatry (Secaucus: the Citadel Press, 1979)p 17 [ 8 ] [ 9 ]. Thomas Cooper, Tracts, ethical, theological, and political (Warrington and London, np, 1789) p viii [ 10 ] [ 11 ]. Oliver Ransford, The Slave Trade: Story of Transatlantic Slavery (London: John Murray, 1971) 112,113 [ 12 ] [ 13 ]. Bryan Edwards, The History, civil and commercial, of the British colonies in the West Indies (New York, AMS Press, 1966) 268.

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