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The Atlantic Slave Trade. I. Introduction Slavery: is the ownership, buying & selling of human beings for the purpose of forced & unpaid labor.

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Presentation on theme: "The Atlantic Slave Trade. I. Introduction Slavery: is the ownership, buying & selling of human beings for the purpose of forced & unpaid labor."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Atlantic Slave Trade

2 I. Introduction Slavery: is the ownership, buying & selling of human beings for the purpose of forced & unpaid labor

3 Slavery existed long before… Maya & Aztecs (Meso-America) Sumerians & Babylonians (Mid-East) Egyptians Greeks & Romans Ottomans

4 African societies kept slaves for domestic purposes (power/wealth) Europeans changed that

5 II. Why Africans? 600s: Islam spread into Af. (used slaves) Euro. empires in Amers. needed a labor force Native Amers. unaccustomed to hard agrarian labor; died of Euro. disease; escaped W. Af. tribes had already begun to practice slavery (POWs)

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7 Why Africans? 1) proved resistant to Euro. disease 2) were familiar w/tropical climate & accustomed to agriculture/pastoralism 3) less-likely to escape (not familiar w/surroundings) 4) could not blend in w/others (skin color)

8 1518: Spain & Portugal started shipping slaves across the Atlantic 1650: 300,000 slaves in Spanish Amer. Soon after, British, Dutch, & French 1600s: Brazil dominated Euro. sugar market >40% of Afs. brought to Amers. = Brazil : England dominated slave trade

9 III. The Triangular Trade 1450 – end of 19 th Cent.: slaves were obtained along W. coast of Africa w/cooperation of W. African kings & merchants POWs from tribal wars were sold first, then raiding parties began

10 African kings received Euro. manufactured goods (textiles, brandy, horses, & GUNS) Guns = strengthened African kingdoms Euros. built forts along W. Af. coast to hold captured slaves until slave ships arrived THIS EXPORT OF EURO. GOODS TO AF. WAS THE FIRST LEG OF TRIANGULAR TRADE

11 A. The Middle Passage The transport of slaves from W. Af. to Amers. (2 nd leg of Triangular Trade) Journey = >4,000 miles, 5 – 12 weeks Ships carried 250 – 600 slaves (overcrowded) Conditions were appalling Ships smelled of urine, faeces, & vomit Slaves = $$$$$$$

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13 A ship’s surgeon Causes of Death: dysentery, smallpox, depression (suicide) 20% lost at sea

14 “It was not atypical to see a massive school of sharks darting in & out of the wake of the ships filled w/human cargo plying the Atlantic. For miles they followed the battered & moldy vessels, waiting to attack the disease-ravaged black bodies that were periodically tossed into the ocean. If the Atlantic were to dry up, it would reveal a scattered pathway of human bones, African bones marking the various routes of the Middle Passage” ----Ship’s Surgeon

15 Third leg of Triangular Trade: the return to Europe w/produce from the slave-labor plantations (cotton, sugar, tobacco, rum, etc.) 12 million slaves left Africa while 10 million made it to Amer.

16 IV. Consequences of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1) Loss of the fittest members of Af. Societies Families torn apart 2) Introduction of guns to Af. 3) Economic contributions to other countries 4) Agricultural/pastoral expertise 5) Diffusion of African culture 6) Af.-Amer. pops Mulattos

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