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The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
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  1. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

  2. The History Of Slavery Slavery became popular in Europe during the renaissance Europeans opened trade routes with western Africa and took advantage of existing slave trading networks In Africa, people became slaves through warfare, criminal behaviour and debt However, African slaves were rarely subjected to brutality and back-breaking labour – in most cases, slaves were treated well and accepted as part of the family The Europeans first took slaves to act as domestic servants for wealthy households

  3. The Need for Slaves Slavery becomes economically profitable when explorers began to build colonies in the new world Exporting goods from the new world becomes a major source of profit Plantation economies were devised to harvest Sugar Cane, Tobacco, Cotton and coffee These “cash crops” were in high demand globally

  4. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Europeans turn to African slaves as warfare and disease ravage local populations In 1562, Great Britain begins purchasing slaves in Africa to export to colonies in the new world – salve trading grows exponentially from this point on The Trans-Atlantic slave trade is the biggest forced movement of people in the worlds history Historians estimate that 11 million people were exported from West and Central Africa between 1451 - 1869

  5. The Middle Passage The majority of Slaves are taken from west Africa (present day Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast etc) The demand for slaves was so high that slave traders resorted to kidnapping people The Middle Passage was the journey from Africa to the New World It was infamous because 20% of slaves died in route The trip could last between 1 and 9 months Slaves suffered through malnutrition, disease and physical torture Slaves were kept below deck, shackled and sometimes placed in cages where they were forced to eat, sleep and perform bodily functions

  6. Slaves in the New World Slaves sent to the new world worked as “Domestics” or “Field Slaves” Slaves were considered “Chattel”, and had the legal rights according to Farm animals To set an example and discourage resistance, slaves would often be “Seasoned” Seasoningmeant subjecting slaves to horrific and brutal treatment in order to shock them into submission Female slaves were most prized because of their ability to reproduce The condition of slavery was passed on from mother to child

  7. Slave Resistance Any form of resistance was met with extreme brutality However, there are cases of slave uprisings throughout the new world The most common form of fighting back was “Passive Resistance” Slaves would break tools, sabotage crops and move as slow as possible Some women went so far as to perform abortions or murder new born children to resist their masters Slaves were often forced to whip each other – however slaves often developed techniques so that it appeared they were hurting the person without even making contact

  8. The Abolition Movement It is ironic that the height of slavery took place during the enlightenment However, some religious groups and educated people saw slavery as evil and an abolition movement slowly grew throughout the old and new world Slavery was outlawed in Canada in 1793, and the rest of the British Empire in 1833 Slavery lasted longest in the United States and was a major cause of the US Civil War Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was written in 1863 However, the greatest reason for the decline of slavery was the industrial revolution, plantation economies were no longer very profitable in the 19th century