The Atlantic Slave Trade Mr. Kilbourn
Origins of the Slave Trade • High demand for labor! • Plantations- estates where cash crops such as sugar or tobacco were grown on large scale. • Shortage of Labor (Why?) • Planter had first used Native Americans as workers, but European diseases had killed millions of them. • Indentured servants were too expensive!
Triangular Trade • Triangular Trade- trading network lasting from the 1500’s to the 1800’s that carried goods and enslaved people between Europe, the Americas, and Africa. • Americas – Whale Oil, Lumber, Fur, Rice, Silk, Indigo, Tobacco, Sugar, Molasses, Rum, Iron, Gunpowder, Cotton Cloth, Tools, Livestock, Flour • Europe – Guns, Luxury and Manufactured Goods (Furniture, Clothes, Alcohols, Art, Watches, etc.) • Africa – Slaves, Gold, Ivory, Spices, Hardwoods
Slave Raids • These people were ofttimes just taken from their homes by African Slave Traders. • Usually went after healthy looking individuals • Sometimes they were the result of a lost war or were deemed criminals and therefore sold. • They would then be bound and marched to the Western Coast of Africa and sold to White Slave-Traders. • 15-20% died before reaching the coast.
Middle Passage • Middle Passage- the name for voyages that brought enslaved chained Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to North America and the West Indies.
Statistics on Slave Ships • Journey: Lasts 3-6 weeks • 13-20% of Africans died on voyage • At dock, families were broken apart at auctions. • Adolescent Males between the ages of 18 – 25 were the most expensive • Women were prized because they could reproduce and add to their owner’s wealth.
Slavery in the Colonies • Worked: • On Plantations • In Mines • For Towns • * Usually, on Small Farms • less than 4 slaves • Women usually performed domestic duties as cooks or servants.
Fear of Slave REBELLION! • Many slave owners didn’t teach their slaves to read, why? • The church services usually only read from the New Testament about the suffering of Christ, and avoided the Old Testament about Moses and the Exodus. • In Exodus and Leviticus it says that if a man is to have slaves that they should be treated well and released either after they have made you a profit or after 6 years and then the slave was given the option to stay.
Slave Resistance • Slaves coped with by: • Keeping cultural traditions alive • Turned to religion • Destroyed farm equipment • Attacked slaveholders families • Ran Away! • Some lived happy lives.
Effects of the Slave Trade • Atlantic Slave trade continues for 400 years • Banned import of slaves: Virginia 1778, Denmark 1803, G.B. 1807, U.S.A. 1808, France 1819, Brazil 1853 (continued until 1888), became illegal to import slaves in the Americas everywhere after 1870. • The last recorded slave ship to land on U.S. soil was the Clotilde, which in 1859 illegally smuggled Africans into the town of Mobile, Alabama 5 years before the end of the Civil War. • 15 to 20 MillionAfricans were shipped to the Americas
Effects of the Slave Trade • The labor of African slaves helped build the economies of the American colonies. • African Diaspora-the dispersal of people of African descent throughout the Americas and Western Europe due to the slave trade. • Was one of the three main reasons for the American Civil War • Slavery, States Rights, & 10 Southern States didn’t have a single vote for Abraham Lincoln when he became President.
Slavery in Africa • In general, slavery in Africa was not heritable – that is, the children of slaves were free – while in the Americas, children of slave mothers were born into slavery. • The Kings of Dahomey routinely slaughtered slaves in hundreds or thousands in sacrificial rituals, and slaves as human sacrifices was also regular in Cameroon. On the other hand, slaves in other places were often treated as part of the family, "adopted children," with significant rights including the right to marry without their masters' permission.
Slavery in Africa Mungo Park A. Stephens • Scottish explorer Mungo Park wrote • “The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters....” • The 3-1 ratio is why Confederate V.P. Alexander Stephens said it was the “natural and normal condition” for Africans to be slaves in his famous cornerstone speech. • To this day there are more than 6 million African slaves in Africa.