In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, an average of 2,000 people were taken as slaves annually from Africa to the Americas. In the 17th and 18th centuries, things changed dramatically. In the seventeenth century, that annual average rose to 20,000 Africans taken to be slaves in the Americas. In the eighteenth century, this number even rose more drastically to 55,000 annually. One year in the late 1800’s, the count topped 100,000 slaves taken to the Western Hemisphere via the Transatlantic Slave Trade (Gordon, page 558.) These changes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had many consequences in Africa and the Americas. The Transatlantic Slave Trade led to population changes, exchanges of goods and influence, social and political violence, and changed/started countless traditions.
Over the course of the Transatlantic Slave trade, twelve million Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves and another four million died resisting capture or during the trip to the Americas- now referred to as the Middle Passage. One would assume that this- alongside the Islamic slave trade- would rapidly depopulate Africa, but due to introduction of American crops, the overall population of Africa actually increased in early modern times. However, the regions closest to active slave ports, primarily Seneca and Angola, were severely affected (Gordon, page 562.) Oh those taken, fifty percent of all slaves went to the West Indies. Roughly thirty-three percent went to Brazil. Only five percent went to North America. The remainder went to various places in Central and South America. However, in everywhere but North America, the slaves brought were primarily young men who died before ever reproducing.
Turmoil was not new to Africa. Much like the Natives in the Americas, African tribes had had disagreements and wars long before and non-related to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. However, trade with Europeans