Plantations in the West Indies Colonization Before 1650 Spanish settlers introduced sugar- cane cultivation into the West Indies shortly after 1500 French and English developed colonies based on tobacco cultivation West Indian economies moved from tobacco to sugar production Portuguese introduced sugar-cane cultivation to Brazil Dutch West India Company, took control of 1,000 miles of sugar- producing Brazilian coast Dutch improved efficiency of Brazilian sugar industry and brought slaves to Brazil and the West Indies
Sugar & Slaves 1640-1680’s) colonies transitioned from tobacco to sugar economy demand for labor caused increase in volume of Atlantic slave trade Shift from European indentured servants to enslaved African labor was caused by: –Europeans unwilling to indenture themselves to the West Indies –life expectancy of enslaved longer than the term of indenture –rise in sugar prices allowed planters to invest in slaves
Technology and Environment Sugar plantations grew sugar cane and processed it into sugar crystals, molasses, rum Growing/harvesting cane was simple machinery was complicated/expensive economies of scale caused soil exhaustion/deforestation led to invasive species the Arawak & Carib people became extinct
Slaves Lives West Indian society consisted of a wealthy land-owning plantocracy, their many slaves, and a few people in between Gang labor vs. task labor Rewards and punishments, very little rest and relaxation, no education, and little time or opportunity for family life Disease, harsh working conditions, and dangerous mill machinery all contributed to the short life expectancy High mortality rate = majority of slaves on West Indian plantations were born in Africa Slaves ran away; occasionally staged violent revolts Rebellions were curtailed by suppressing African cultural traditions, religions, and languages
Free Whites & Free Blacks Three groups of free people: – wealthy “great whites” –less-well-off, “little whites” – free blacks Only wealthy could afford land, machinery, slaves needed for sugar plantation Became politically influential, –Controlled colonial assemblies –gained seats in Parliament Manumission produced a significant free black population Self purchase Runaway slaves (maroons)
Cudjoe, Leader of the Jamaican Maroons After decades of successful resistance to the British, a peace treaty was negotiated that recognized the freedom of his runaway followers. The British also granted land and effective self-government to the maroons in exchange for ending raids on plantations and the promise to return future runaways.
Capitalism and Mercantilism Royal monopolies inefficient & expensive Banks, joint-stock companies, stock exchanges, insurance emerged Mercantilism promoted private investment in overseas trade and accumulation of capital in the form of precious metals Chartered companies; Dutch West India Company, French Royal African Company used military force to pursue commercial dominance Atlantic became the major trading area for the British, French, & Portuguese in the eighteenth century
The Atlantic Circuit Maritime exchanges included consumer products, slave labor, precious metals, & other goods clockwise network of trade routes going from Europe to Africa, from Africa to the plantation colonies of the Americas (the Middle Passage), and then from the colonies to Europe Could make profit on each leg Supplemented by other trade routes: Europe to the Indian Ocean; Europe to the West Indies; New England to the West Indies; and the “Triangular Trade” among New England, Africa, and the West Indies.
The Atlantic Economy By 1700 the volume of maritime exchanges among the Atlantic continents began to rival the trade of the Indian Ocean basin Notice the trade in consumer products, slave labor, precious metals, and other goods A silver trade to East Asia laid the basis for a Pacific Ocean economy
The African Slave Trade Before discovery of America, Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Armenian, and then black slaves worked the plantations of southern Italy, Sicily, Portugal, & Mediterranean, Spain models for American slavery became highly specialized run by chartered companies (in the 17thcentury) and then private traders (in the 18 th century) Disease, maltreatment, suicide, and psychological depression Disease killed Europeans on slave ships at about same rate as it killed slaves Atlantic slave trade cheapened life in Africa as well as in the Americas
Model of the English vessel Brookes shows the specially built section of the hold where enslaved Africans were packed together during the Middle Passage.
African Slave Trade Some kings based their power on slave raiding and trade with Europeans The Dahomean royal family, and European observers, await the sacrifice of slaves about to be thrown from the heights in honor of the king. The umbrella is a symbol of monarchy in parts of West Africa.
Queen Njiga (Nzinga) of Ndongo 1624-1629 most important female political figure in the history of early modern Angola Used military to enforce expansionist policies participated fully in the slave trade fiercely resisted Portuguese attempts to control that trade Here she sits enthroned, wearing her crown (the cross a sign of her Christian baptism) and bracelets, giving an order. She has become a symbol of African resistance to colonial rule.
City of Luanda, 1575 center of the huge slave trade to Brazil Droughts forced refugees to flee to kingdoms in better-watered areas kings traded male refugees to slave dealers partnership between European traders and African elites Offices and warehouses line the streets, and slaves are dragged to the ships for transportation to America. kidnapping was the main source of people to sell into slavery.
African and European Partnerships Portuguese present before the Manikongo initially fostered good relationship with the Kingdom of Kongo Civil War within Kongo led to many enslavement by Portuguese and other Europeans
Middle Passage & Slave Ships Europe/Africa trade grew after 1650 Trade in other goods continued; did not lead to any significant European colonization of Africa African merchants exploited the demand for slaves: –raised the price –Forced Europeans to observe African trading customs –Competition prevented unified bargaining position Exchange of slaves for firearms contributed to state formation in the Gold and Slave Coasts
Africa and Islamic Slave Trade Between 1550 -1800, Europeans built a growing trade with Africa but did not acquire territory Only significant colonies were on islands; Portuguese in Angola; Dutch Cape Colony, which was tied to the Indian Ocean trade rather than to the Atlantic trade. Muslim territorial dominance was significant Trans-Saharan slave trade was smaller in volume than the Atlantic slave trade Supplied slaves for the personal slave army of the Moroccan rulers and for sugar plantation labor, servants, and artisans Most slaves were women destined to be concubines or servants and children, including eunuchs, meant for service as harem guards
Spread of Islam in Africa Muslim cultural influences south of the Sahara much stronger than European cultural influences Islam & Arabic spread more rapidly than Christianity & English, which were largely confined to the coastal trading centers European & Islamic slave trade did not have a significant effect on the overall population of Africa acute effect on certain areas
Impact on African States and Trade Songhai, Kanem-Bornu, Benin, Lunda, Buganda, and Ethiopia, remained powerful in this era West African coastal societies increasingly drawn into world trade East African coastal cities remained tied to Indian Ocean trade Volume of trade goods imported into sub-Saharan Africa did not have significant effect on livelihood of traditional African artisans Both African & European merchants benefited, but Europeans saw greater benefit because they directed it
West African States and Trade 1500-1800 Atlantic & trans-Saharan trade brought new goods & promoted rise of powerful states and trading communities Moroccan invasion of Songhai and Portuguese colonization of the Angolan ports of Luanda and Benguela showed the political dangers of such relations