The Atlantic slave trade took place from the mid-fifteenth to the late nineteenth century (roughly 1460 to 1882). It is estimated that at least 12.5 million Africans were forcefully transported from Africa during the trade. Many more besides died either during initial captivation, transportation or labour usually from diseases, malnutrition or being killed. This makes it one of the biggest mass migrations the world has ever witnessed made worse by the fact that it was not voluntary but forced, that too under harsh and inhumane conditions.
The Atlantic slave trade began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Portuguese. What enticed the Portuguese to the west coast of Africa was gold, but as we now know from history, following their arrival this quickly became not the Gold Coast but the Slave Coast of Africa. Initially, slaves were taken in raids, but then the Portuguese took to the idea of bartering. When they established a ‘factory’ on Arguim Island, it is said that they carried away a thousand slaves every year (Rawley, 2005:19). This was the first European trading settlement in West Africa. The Portuguese settlement on Cape Verdes in 1460 was another milestone because these islands “were to be important in the Atlantic slave trade, both as importers of slaves and as entrepots for traffic to the New World (ibid). In 1482 they founded the great trading post El Mina to organise the slave trade in West and Central Africa for the Atlantic markets. By now, the trade was in the hands of the Portuguese crown following the death of Prince Henry.
At that time, Europe was expanding its empires, and slaves provided a readily available workforce. Moreover, unlike indigenous Europeans, it was found that Africans “were excellent workers; they often had experience of agriculture and keeping cattle, they were used to a tropical climate, resistant to tropical diseases, and they
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Although slavery has long been a part of human history, it took on its most disgraceful form under the Europeans and Americans in the Atlantic (or transatlantic) slave trade. “The disgrace which cloaks the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is the inhumanity of treatment the slaves…
The conclusion from this study states that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was characterized by inhuman treatment of African slaves who were captured from parts of West and Central Africa and transported across the Atlantic to the Americas. In the Americas, the slaves worked in plantations and industries the European colonies.
However, they later found this region to be of essence in terms of agriculture especially growing of sugar. This form of cultivation was labor intensive and they had to seek for slaves to do the work (Rawley & Behrendt, 2005, p.18-20). This marked the start of the Atlantic slave trade otherwise known as the triangular slave trade.
Tidal currents have been for centuries limited the trade, but the emergence of new seafaring technologies enhanced traversing of the Atlantic Ocean. According to historian John Thornton, various geographical and technical factors necessitated exploitation of Africans for slaves by Europeans.
A huge percentage of the slaves mostly generated from underdeveloped continents like Africa, Asia and South America. Most slaves were destined for Europe and America. The significant number of immigrants in European countries signifies the depth of the effects of the slave trade.
The trans-Atlantic trade involved the trade between the North America, Europe and Africa through a system called the triangular trade. It started when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. Since then according to Karen Bravo (2007), the two European powers, Spain and Portugal initiated the transport of African slaves in the New World to replace the indigenous inhabitants in America who became victims of the colonists' "depredations, disease and labour demands" (p.
In 1783, vigorous campaigns were launched to pursue abolition of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and in Britain two famous people who led the campaign were Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce (National
a, this was shortly before mid of 15 century they instantaneously started grasping Africans and taking them to Europe (Spain and Portugal) to work as slaves. Significant development took place in 16 century when European capitalists recognized that they could make massive