Presentation on theme: "Slavery and Empire, 1441-1770 Chapter 4. The Beginnings of African Slavery It was common in the 15 th c. to capture and sell slaves (in the Mediterranean)"— Presentation transcript:
Slavery and Empire, Chapter 4
The Beginnings of African Slavery It was common in the 15 th c. to capture and sell slaves (in the Mediterranean) ◦People began to object to Christians being taken as slaves and the Pope banned it ◦It was still acceptable to enslave Muslims and Africans though While some Europeans would capture the slaves themselves most found it more efficient to purchase slaves from Africans
The Beginnings of African Slavery Sugar became a driving force behind slave trade ◦Slaves were first used in the Mediterranean to farm sugar ◦The Portuguese were given a license to bring slaves to the Americas when the indigenous people were no longer available for slave labor ◦Brazil was a model of the efficient and brutal use of slave labor
The Beginnings of African Slavery The Dutch gained control of Brazil and then expanded the sugar industry from a luxury to an everyday necessity ◦Britain saw how successful the Dutch were in making Barbados into a profitable island so they did the same with Jamaica France took control of present day Haiti and created a sugar colony Caribbean sugar and slaves were the centerpiece of European colonization
The Beginnings of African Slavery The slaves most often came from the western coast of Africa ◦There were 100+ different cultures living there ◦Communities were established by kinship ◦Men frequently took on multiple wives (polygyny) who bore fewer children therefore they could work as tradeswomen ◦The developed farming cultures similar to the native of N.A. (burn fields and then plant)
The Beginnings of African Slavery Over time some kingdoms developed such as Timbuktu and Songhai (Mali) ◦The Portuguese bargained with Songhai for Africans who could be sold as slaves Slavery in Africa differed from slavery in N.A. ◦In Africa slaves were captured as part of war or for criminal behavior ◦They were allowed to marry and have children, and the children were born free ◦It was a culture shock when these slaves were sold to be shipped to N.A.
The enslaved men, women, and children transported to the Americas came from West Africa, the majority from the lower Niger River (called the Slave Coast) and the region of the Congo and Angola.
African Slave Trade The African slave trade is the largest forced migration in history ◦Africans outnumbered Europeans 6:1 before the 19 th c. ◦The slave trade would not in in the U.S. until 1807 (1870s in other parts of the Americas) About 11 million slaves were transported to N.A. over 4 centuries ◦~600K were delivered to English colonies in N.A. ◦Men outnumbered women 2:1 and most were between 15 and 30 years old
African Slave Trade All colonizing European nations participated in the slave trade ◦Holland was the most prominent during the sugar boom of the 17 th c. ◦England quickly became the dominate nation with its commercialization of the trade Europeans didn’t venture into the interior parts of Africa, they established outposts and ports By the 1700s colonists were making slave runs trading rum or salt fish for humans ◦MA was the dominate colony until 1750 when RI took over ◦Many New England fortunes were built off of slave trade
By the eighteenth century, the system of slavery had created societies with large African populations throughout the Caribbean and along the southern coast of North America.
African Slave Trade To reinforce their community ties to Africa, many Europeans would live in coastal forts and marry African women The Europeans left slave raiding to the Africans ◦Ottobah Cugoano said “I must own to the shame of my own countrymen that I was first kidnapped and betrayed by [those of] my own complexion.” ◦Sometimes they came from war, other times they were simply kidnapped
A slave coffle in an eighteenth-century print. As the demand for slaves increased, raids extended deeper and deeper into the African interior. Tied together with forked logs or bark rope, men, women, and children were marched hundreds of miles toward the coast, where their African captors traded them to Europeans.
African Slave Trade As demand increased raids went deeper into Africa To avoid collective resistance traders would split up families and ethnic groups Captains would then brand the slaves on the back or buttocks with the mark of their buyer Many slaves were convinced they were being shipped to N.A. to be eaten
Olaudah Equiano “those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and long hair, looked and acted…in so savage a manner,…I had never seen among any people such instances of brutal cruelty.” Equiano was one of few who wrote an narrative of his encounter He eventually secured his freedom and published his narrative
African Slave Trade Slaves were tossed on ships that followed the Middle Passage path ◦England to Africa, Africa to America, America to England ◦The slaves were packed so tight their elbows would be rubbed to the bone from scraping on the planks ◦A trip would take from 3 weeks to 3 months Daily routine included being brought up on deck for food, exercise, food, and then storage ◦The nights were filled with the shrieks and stench of death
African Slave Trade The worst part of the ride over was lack of bathroom facilities ◦While captains order the crew to clean the holding areas, it usually didn’t happen ◦Slaves were forced to sleep in their own waste ◦This led to spread of disease such as dysentery, smallpox, measles, and yellow fever ◦Historians estimate that 1:6 died in route to the Americas ◦Many revolts occurred when the coast of Africa was still visible, but once it disappeared, the revolts turned to suicide attempts
Slaves below deck on a Spanish slaver, a sketch made when the vessel was captured by a British warship in the early nineteenth century. Slaves were "stowed so close, that they were not allowed above a foot and a half for each in breadth," wrote one observer. The close quarters and unsanitary conditions created a stench so bad that Atlantic sailors said you could "smell a slaver five miles down wind."
African Slave Trade Once arriving, the crew would attempt to make the slave presentable for sale Sales were done either by one wealthy plantation owner, a merchant who planned to sell for commission, auctioning, or the scramble ◦The scramble is where prices are set and you go a pick out your favorite ◦This separated the slaves so that most never saw their families again
Africans herded from a slave ship to a corral where they were to be sold by the cruel method known as "the scramble," buyers rushing in and grabbing their pick. This image was featured in an antislavery narrative published in 1796.
African Slave Trade The slave trade: ◦resulted in the loss of millions of people over hundreds of years King Dom Affonso said: “so great, Sir, is their corruption and licentiousness that our country is being depopulated.” ◦weakened African states who became dependent on European trade ◦caused long-term stagnation of the West African economy ◦prepared the way for European conquest of Africa in the nineteenth century One poet talks about how they were too busy making a profit to protect their sovereignty
The Development of North American Slave Societies Slaves came into NA at a steady rate by the mid-1700s ◦It became more efficient to purchase a slave rather than indentured servants Life as a slave got worse and resulted in the VA Slave Codes ◦Status of mother passed to child ◦Baptism did not change status ◦Death during punishment would not result in murder charges
The Development of North American Slave Societies Tobacco plantations developed along the Tidewater Region (DE to NC) ◦It was the most important export (accounted for ¼ of all exports in NA) ◦It didn’t need large farms to grow, but was labor intensive Farms varied in size from small farms where the farmer worked beside 1-2 slaves to larger farms with several dozen slaves
The Development of North American Slave Societies In the Caribbean and Brazil, slaves were worked to death ◦In NA it was too expensive to work them to death, so they were better fed and worked less ◦They also reproduced meaning that by 1770s a majority of slaves were “country-born” In S.C. the most profitable export was Indian slaves ◦They would cause wars between tribes and then sale the losing tribe to other colonies
The Development of North American Slave Societies Elizabeth Pinckney introduced indigo to S.C. ◦Like rice and cattle, indigo required use of West Indian slaves ◦1:5 of today’s African American ancestors passed through Charleston on their way to rice/indigo fields Slavery was initially outlawed in GA ◦As more S.C. planters moved into the area slavery became acceptable
Residence and Slave Quarters of Mulberry Plantation, by Thomas Coram, ca The slave quarters are on the left in this painting of a rice plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. The steep roofs of the slave cabins, an African architectural feature introduced in America by slave builders, kept living quarters cool by allowing the heat to rise and dissipate in the rafters.
The Development of North American Slave Societies Despite the Pope condemning the practice of slavery the Catholic Church in Spanish America owned and profited off of slaves Escaped slaves and natives were welcomed in Spanish FL as long as they were willing to defend the colony from the English ◦Ft. Mose (near St. Augustine) was manned by black troops, commanded by their own officers ◦Slaves in the colony were treated much better than in other Spanish colonies
The Development of North American Slave Societies In the French colony of LA slaves were used for exporting crops of rice, indigo, and tobacco North of the Chesapeake slavery was less important ◦Slaves and free blacks made up 9% of the pop. ◦Quakers were the first to voice antislavery In NY, NJ, and RI slaves were used at ports and on dairy farms
Becoming African American “Country-born” slaves were called “creoles” Africans built the South through the labor ◦Using their native experience, slaves worked as field hands ◦Labor became specialized in the 18 th c. ◦They were provided clothing (not great for winter), often very colorful—shoes were not ◦Food was sufficient enough for rapid reproduction ◦Some worked beside their owners, others worked in large groups
Becoming African American Despite slave codes, slaves often lived on plantation in nuclear families ◦If on small farm, they would marry someone down the road and visit in evenings and on Sundays with permission ◦Marriage usually occurred after the woman got pregnant ◦Naming often combined Anglo and African cultures and tied usually to kin ◦Children were taught to call all adults “auntie” or “uncle” and all age mates “brother” or “sister”
Becoming African American Most African Americans were not introduced to Christianity until the Great Awakening (1760) Death and burial was one of their most important traditions ◦They would place shells of pottery on the gravesite ◦While burying the person, they would perform the ring shout
Becoming African American Slaves easily mastered music as a form of bonding ◦They recreated African instruments such as the banjo and European instruments such as the violin and guitar ◦Drums were outlawed so they “pat juba” (slap thighs) The most important cultural development was language ◦They spoke Gullah or Geeche (some spoke this until the 20 th c.)
Becoming African American Africans became Americanized, but Southerners became Africanized ◦They often used the same conjures as slaves to cure illness ◦Food such as BBQ, black-eyed peas (ewww), fried chicken, greens, hot spices, and LA Cajun was adopted by the Southerners ◦Architecture, decoration, and weaving practices were commonly shared ◦Slaves were used as wetnurses and therefore the children often picked up on African words like goober, yam, banjo, okay, and tote
Becoming African American Violence was omnipresent amongst the slave colonies ◦Usually punishment came in form of extra work solitary confinement, or humiliation ◦Lashes, stabbing, burning, maiming, mutilating, raping, or castrating came as other forms of punishment ◦Slaves would often “resist” work by taking too long, hurting equipment or animals, or “accidently” breaking stuff
Becoming African American Running away was also a common option ◦More common for males in their 20s ◦They would runaway to FL which would become known as a maroon colony (runaways were called maroons) ◦The runaways and the Creek Indians of FL came together to form the Seminoles ◦Runaways in the Northern colonies were much less common Revolt was the most direct form of resistance