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AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE. Triangular Trade. Definition :. The Transatlantic Slave Trade consisted of three journeys:. The outward passage from Europe to Africa carrying manufactured goods.

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triangular trade
Triangular Trade

Definition:

the transatlantic slave trade consisted of three journeys
The Transatlantic Slave Trade consisted of three journeys:
  • The outward passage from Europe to Africa carrying manufactured goods.
  • The middle passage from Africa to the Americas or the Caribbean carrying African captives and other 'commodities’.
  • The homeward passage carrying sugar, tobacco, rum, rice, cotton and other goods back to Europe.
first slave traders
First Slave Traders
  • Charles I granted a license to a group of London merchants in 1632 for the transportation of enslaved people from West Africa.
the slave trade
The Slave Trade
  • It is estimated that 11-12 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic into slavery.
  • Many more had died during capture and transportation.
capture in africa
Capture in Africa
  • In Africa people were captured in village raids
  • Capturers selected those who would sell at market – the young and the fit.
  • Families torn apart
  • On plantations, family members could be sold and separated
the middle passage
The Middle Passage
  • The middle passage across the Atlantic was brutal.
  • Enslaved Africans were packed into tight spaces and given barely enough food and water to stay alive.
the middle passage1
The Middle Passage
  • It is estimated that on average 10% died en route rising to 30% on a bad voyage.
  • European sailors who crewed the ships also stood a high chance of not returning due to sickness during the voyage.
people as property
People as Property
  • People were regarded as 'property’ and were often marked with branding irons or made to wear signs or symbols to identify who they 'belonged’ to.

Leg Irons

Ownership bracelet

working as a slave
Working as a Slave
  • The majority of enslaved people sold were destined to work on Caribbean or American plantations.
  • Hundreds of people might be housed in huts in slave villages, living in very poor and unsanitary conditions.
  • The plantation owners lived in vastly different and much more comfortable surroundings – often mansions on the plantation or as absentee landlords in Britain.
punishment
Punishment
  • Cruel and severe punishments were used to keep order and ensure a steady pace of work.
  • For many slaves floggings and beatings were part of daily life.
domestic and skilled work
Domestic and Skilled Work
  • The vast majority of Africans were treated like cattle and worked in the fields
  • A minority were ordered to become domestic slaves, sailors or soldiers, or carpenters and metalworkers.
resistance to oppression
Resistance to Oppression
  • Resistance to oppression can take many forms.
  • There is considerable evidence of African resistance to the Transatlantic Slave Trade and enslavement on or off the coast of Africa, during the middle passage, and in the UK, Caribbean and Americas
escape at sea
Escape at Sea
  • Ship’s logs and accounts of sailors show the determination of many Africans to rise up and fight their captors, to attempt suicide rather than bear enslavement, or their refusal to eat, follow orders or co-operate.
  • There are recorded cases of free Africans attacking slavers and liberating the captured
  • Other evidence shows that some uprisings at sea were successful.
maintaining an identity
Maintaining an Identity
  • Maintaining artistic, aesthetic, spiritual, oral and musical traditions was an essential part of resistance during slavery.
  • Subsequently, it also shaped many aspects of contemporary Caribbean and American culture such as capoeira, carnival, blues and jazz
breaking free from plantations
Breaking Free from Plantations
  • Enslaved people on plantations in America developed complex escape routes to help escapees make their way to freedom in the north.
  • Example: Harriet Tubman & Underground Railroad - This route enabled slaves from plantations in the southern states of the USA to escape to freedom in the north.
tools or weapons
Tools or Weapons
  • The plantation owners had to give their slaves machetes to clear land, control weeds and cut crops, but a sharp blade could be used as a deadly weapon to threaten or kill overseers.
  • Slaves also acquired guns to support major rebellions
suppressing rebellion
Suppressing Rebellion
  • Discouraging resistance and escape was a key element of the slave owner’s and overseer’s work. Posters offering rewards for escaped slaves show:
    • the value of the escapee
    • the need to return him or her in order to discourage others
    • and a desire to stop more organized revolts developing.
  • There were many major uprisings, including those Antigua in 1736, Tobago in 1801 and Trinidad in 1805. After each incident dozens of slaves were executed, usually by hanging or burning alive.
telling the truth
Telling the Truth
  • In order to expose the truth publicly about the triangular trade it was necessary to show conditions on the ships and plantations.
abolitionists
Abolitionists
  • To counter the historical European notion that African people were 'little more than savages’, African and British abolitionists worked tirelessly to demonstrate the truth.
    • They showed objects illustrating the great cruelty and suffering caused by the trade.
    • They revealed images showing the degrading treatment of enslaved people.
    • They also displayed sophisticated African artifacts.
economic impact
Economic Impact
  • Some historians have argued that the economics of the trade helped stifle African economic development while supporting and stimulating the European and North American process of industrialization and urbanization.
  • Also, colonialism and unequal trade relations are in part responsible for the inequality in international trade today.
impact on africa
Impact on Africa
  • 11-12 million Africans were sold into slavery
  • This number does not take into account the those who died before reaching the slave ships.
  • The affect of slavery on African societies was long-lasting.
  • Communities were disrupted as men and women were taken from their homes and separated from their families.
cultural impact
Cultural Impact
  • Generations of slaves arrived in North America and the Caribbean with their rich customs and diverse forms of cultural expression
  • Major influences of African-American customs on art, music, film, literature, food, religion, and much more help shape American culture and identity
great african american thinkers
Great African American Thinkers
  • Frederick Douglass
  • George Washington Carver
  • W.E.B. Dubois
  • bell hooks
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Maya Angelou
  • And Many More…