What Lay Behind the Horrors of the Slave Trade?

Topics: Atlantic slave trade, Caribbean, Slavery Pages: 2 (762 words) Published: November 5, 2012
What Lay Behind The Horrors Of The Slave Trade?

In this essay I would be examining what lay behind the horrors of the slave trade. This essay will include the countries that were involved in the slave trade, how they benefited from it and the power they had over the enslaved Africans. The slave trade worked in a triangle, between four continents: Europe, Africa, South America and North America. Slave ships leave ports like London, Bristol and Liverpool for West Africa carrying manufactured goods like guns, alcohol, iron bars, which are traded for African men, women and children who had been captured by slave traders or bought from African chiefs on the West African coast. From Africa a ship full of slaves leaves to America and the West Indies, where they are sold to the highest bidder and that’s where families are separated. Once they have been bought, after that they belonged to the plantation owner. Some refused to be enslaved and took their live, others run away and pregnant woman preferred to have an abortion than to raise their children into slavery. With the money made from the sale of enslaved Africans, goods such as sugar, coffee and tobacco were bought and taken back to Britain for sale. The ships were loaded with produce from the plantations for the voyage back home.

For over 300 years, European countries forced Africans onto slave ships and transported them over the Atlantic Ocean but how did the people back in Britain get involved in the slave trade? As the slave trade grew, numerous of people began to get involved or simply benefited from it. Banks and finance houses in Britain began to grow from the fees and the interest they earned from merchants who borrowed money for their voyages. Bristol and Liverpool became major ports for slave ships, handling cargoes they brought back and between 1700 and 1800, Liverpool’s population dramatically rose from 5,000 to 78,000. Others worked in factories that had been set up with the money from the slave...
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