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Origins of American History - Essay Example

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The Effects that the Institution of Slavery Had on the Atlantic Civilization (name) (subject) (professor) (date) Introduction The Atlantic civilization, or the Atlantic world, refers to the world that resulted from the “convergence in the Atlantic basin of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans in the wake of Columbus’ 1492 passage to the ‘New World’”…
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Origins of American History

It is only knowledge from these primary sources that can possibly give us reliable evidence on the effects of slavery on the Atlantic civilization. The Flourishing of the Slave Trade The first effect of the slave trade on the Atlantic world was the expansion of the trade itself. Much of the information concerning this was exposed through the publication of the journals of John Barbot, a French Royal African Company agent who made voyages from the West Coast of Africa back to the Atlantic world, two of these documented in 1678 and 1682. Based on the Slave Trade documents by John Barbot, which were published in 1732, it was rather easy to obtain slaves from Africa because “in times of dearth and famine, abundance of those people will sell themselves, for a maintenance, and to prevent starving”. Moreover, according to John Barbot, the main consequence of the great supply of slaves from Africa going to the Atlantic civilization is the lesser demand for them and more importantly, the cruelty and inhumane treatment that is afforded these slaves. According to John Barbot, the masters of these slaves “subsist them poorly and beat them inhumanly”. ...
Also, when the slaves die, the masters “never bury them but case out the bodies into some by place, to be devoured by birds or beasts of prey”. This is rather one of the cruelest acts done by the masters on the slaves, which is not to afford dignity to the slaves even in death. Lastly, these slaves have been subjected to torture as Barbot himself admits ad confesses: “And tho’ I must say I am naturally compassionate, yet have I been necessitated sometimes to cause the teeth of those wretches to be broken, because they would not open their mouths”. From these accounts of John Barbot, one can clearly see the maltreatment of the slaves in the Atlantic civilization, whether in Europe or in America. This dominated the market during those times. Fusion of African and Atlantic Cultures The account of Olaudah Equiano, who was born in Benin in the late 1700s and kidnapped from there by the European slave traders, somehow opposed the idea of Barbot that it was rather easy to obtain slaves because they would sell themselves to prevent starving. On the other hand, it is possible that not all places would be the same all the time. Nevertheless, according to Equiano, when he arrived in England, he thought “the languages of different nations did not totally differ, nor were they so copious as those of the Europeans, particularly the English [and] they were therefore easily learned; and while I was journeying thus through Africa [probably on board the slave ship], I acquired two or three different tongues”. This is therefore a sign that the cultures of Africa have Formation of Anti-Slavery Organizations As early as 1790, there have been calls for anti-slavery in the Atlantic world, like the Society of the Friends of Blacks, who called for the abolition of ... Read More
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