Presentation on theme: "Chapter 18: The Atlantic System and Africa"— Presentation transcript:
1Chapter 18: The Atlantic System and Africa 1550-1800 Notes by: Grace Cramer and Mike Rajecki
2Introduction Slaves branded to show ownership Royal African Company (RAC)- association of English investors1672, received a charter from English monarchyRights to trade Atlantic coast of AfricaSlaves had to stay healthy on the shipsAtlantic system- moved goods, wealth, people, and cultures around the Atlantic
4Colonization Before 1650West Indies revived after 1600 European settlementsMontserratBarbadosFrench settlementsMartiniqueGuadeloupeNew, important cash crop: tobacco
5Colonization Before 1650 Chartered companies Private investors get monopolies over colonies for an annual feeIncrease of indentured servants, but eventually changed to mostly African slaves1600 = Brazil is world’s greatest sugar producerDutch merchants invest in Brazil sugar
6Colonization Before 1650Dutch fighting for independence from Spanish crownDutch West India Company in 1612Carried conflict to Spain’s possessionPrivate trading companyCapture of Spanish fleet in 1628 finances attack on Brazil’s sugar areasTook trading port of Luanda on Angolan Coast, 1614Shipped slaves to Brazil and West Indies
7Colonization Before 1650 Portuguese free of Spanish, 1640 Portuguese drove out Dutch sugar planters from BrazilExpelled planters gave knowledge to smaller Caribbean colonies, English, and French Caribbean islands
8Sugar and Slaves Dutch knowledge brings wealth to European colonies 1700, West Indies surpassed Brazil as the worlds main export of sugarHuge increase in number of slavesCome from AfricaGoing mainly to Brazil, but also to English, French, and Dutch West Indies
9Sugar and SlavesIs now decided that the increase of slavery was because Africans had cheep labor costsSlaves not cheep howeverIndentured servants cost half as muchBut…slaves lived longer, while indentured servants’ contract was about four yearsSugar prices raised to help buy slaves
11Intro. England founds Jamaica French take half of Hispaniola This colony, Saint Domingue (present day Haiti), now the leading producer of sugar
12Technology and Environment Tools for sugarSpade for plantingHoes for weedsMachete to harvestCrushing and processing equipmentCane juice boiled, dried, and packed for shippingTypical size of plantation increases
13Technology and Environment Plantations were very damaging to the environmentSoil exhaustionDeforestationAll animals and plants in the Caribbean were ones that Europeans had broughtCrowded out indigenous speciesSome indigenous people also wiped out, Europeans and Africans take over
14Slaves’ Lives Plantations Slaves 90% Slaves Power = plantocracy Rich men who owned the slaves and landSlavesWorkday: up to 18 hoursAssigned task (except for ill, infants, and very old)Organized by age, sex, and ability
15Slaves’ Lives “Great Gang” “Grass Gang” Women Strongest slaves Heaviest work“Grass Gang”Children with adult supervisionWeeding, and collecting grassWomenField workersNursing mothers took babies to the field
16Slaves’ LivesWorking hard= food, clothing, time off, or escape punishmentDriver- privileged male slave who ensured that work was completedPunishmentIron muzzleFloggingconfinement
17Slaves’ Lives Sunday = live their own life No rest/relaxation Sing to pass the timeNo education/schoolingDeaths outnumbered births for slavesMales’ life expectancy: 23 yearsFemales’ expectancy: 25.5 yearsGreatest killer was diseaseNewly arrived slaves go through seasoning, which is an adjustment to the new environment, 1/3 usually died
18Slaves’ Lives Lots of slave deaths = increase in slave trade Slaves wanted freedomTried to run away1760, large slave rebellion in JamaicaLed by TackyStormed plantations, lighting them on fire and killingEuropeans tried to curb African traditions
19Free Whites and Free Blacks Social ClassGrands Blancs/“Great Whites”Dominated the economy and societyPetits Blancs/“Little Whites”FarmedSold goodsFree BlacksSome even owned their own slaves¾ of the farmland in Jamaica belonged to people who owned at least 1,000 acres
20Free Whites and Free Blacks 1774, Invested $100,000 to receive medium-size plantation (600 acres)1/3 money for land1/4 equipmentMost was to buy slavesRich planters translated wealth into political power, rich planters secured election to British Parliament
21Free Whites and Free Blacks Manumission- legal grant of freedom to an individual slaveFree blacks less common in British colonies, manumission was rareRunaway slaves were known as maroons1739, recognized independence of maroon communities in return for stopping runaways
23Capitalism and Mercantilism Spain and Portugal trying to keep monopoliesPrivate investors to fund growth of Atlantic economyCapitalism- system of large financial institutions (banks, stock exchanges…) that helped investors to reduce risks and increase profitBanks the center of capitalismMercantilism- policies adopted by European states to promote their citizens’ overseas trade and bring in precious metalsChartered companies were the first example
24Capitalism and Mercantilism 1672, royal charter placed English trade with West Africa with the new Royal African CompanyHeadquarters: Cape Coast Castle (picture)Restrictions on Dutch access to French/English colonies provoked wars with Netherlands,1698, England opened trade in Africa, ending monopolies1660s, England passed Navigation Acts, confined trade to English ships and cargoes1698, French mercantilist legislation, ExclusifBritain’s imports = 1/5 from West Indies
25The Atlantic Circuit Atlantic Circuit Clockwise network of sea routes Started in Europe, to Africa, then to Americas, and back to EuropeWind and “desire” drove shipsFirst legEurope to AfricaCarried European manufactures (metal bars, guns…)
26The Atlantic Circuit Middle Passage Slaves to plantations Third leg Plantation goods from colonies to EuropeOther trading voyages alsoTriangular Trade- carried rum to West Africa, and slaves to West Indies, then rum back to New England
27The Atlantic Circuit European interests dominated the Atlantic system 1700, annual consumption of sugar in England rose to four pounds per personStarted to put sugar in beverages1750, annual consumption of sugar in Britain had doubled twice to 18 pounds per personFlow of sugar depended on flow of slaves
28The Atlantic Circuit, boom in sugar production and in slave trade7.5 million slaves traded1/2 West Indies1/3 Brazil5% in Spanish AmericaSlaves carried on specific ships, packed tightSlave trade in the hands of chartered companiesMany deaths on the ship to the Americas
29The Atlantic CircuitSlaves shackled to prevent them from trying to escape from the boat“Fixed Melancholy”- developed by slave, deep depressionSome slaves are said to have willed themselves to deathSome slaves tried to overpower their captorsRarely successfulWhippings/Beatings took place on the shipMany people didn’t want to be involved with slave trade
30The Atlantic CircuitMost slaves, however, died of disease rather than abuseSmallpoxDysenteryCrew members also died from these diseases, but also had malariaDeath of crew could be as bad as deaths of slaves, on board
32The Gold Coast and the Slave Coast Europeans didn’t want to colonize Africa, but to trade with itRoyal African Company made 40% of profit from gold/ivory/forest productsAfrican merchants were picky about what they traded for slavesMostly wanted: textiles, guns, and hardware1680s, 60% Indian/European textiles, 30% hardware/weapons, 3% beads/jewelryCowrie shells (picture) used for money
33The Gold Coast and the Slave Coast Eighteenth century: goods needed to purchase a slave on the Gold Coast doubledEach European nation had a trading “castle” on the Gold CoastReduced Europeans’ bargaining strength1700, Willem Bosman, head of Dutch East India Company, didn’t like the fact that to stay competitive, he had to add to Africans’ military power1772, Whydah, small slave port annexed by larger DahomeyRise in 1720s depended on firepower
34The Gold Coast and the Slave Coast 1730, Dahomey overrun by OyoAsante, west of Dahomey, expanded after 1680Oyo and Asante were stimulated, but not controlled by external tradeSlaves were not parents selling their children, but prisoners of warEnglish rulers sentenced seventeenth-century Scottish/Irish prisoners to forced labor in the West Indies
35The Bight of Biafra and Angola Coast Sizable States = No warsNo prisoners of warKidnappings were main source of slavesSlaves = debtors, kidnapped victims, and criminals“Slave Fairs”Portuguese = middlemen between inland traders and Brazilian shipsDrought of Angola was a huge business for powerful African leaders, who exploited the needs of refugeesMost powerful of these leaders became the heads of states established to stabilize the area after the droughtMost inland slaves were prisoners of war from expansion
36Africa’s European and Islamic Contacts Two main European bases = Angola (Portuguese) and East India Company’s Cape Colony (Dutch)Most slaves imported from Madagascar, South Asia, and the East IndiesDuring 16th century, nearly all of North Africa was added to the Islamic Ottoman EmpireSonghai pushed Sahara region from southDrew wealth from trans-Saharan tradeRuled by indigenous Muslim dynastyMoroccan conquest over Songhai yielded massive tributes of slaves and goodsAfter Moroccan conquest, Hausa cities attracted much more attention
37Africa’s European and Islamic Contacts Most Islamic slaves were soldiers and servantsBornu = Sudanese kingdom powerIslam influential in African trading citiesEuropeans obtained 4x as many slaves as MuslimsOverall African population stayed the same throughout slave tradeLocal businesses in Africa suffered greatlyMore men sold than women = greater ability to recover from population lossEuropean goods importation did not affect African local artisans greatly
38First Hand AccountThe first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship, which was then riding at anchor, and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror, which I am yet at a loss to describe nor the then feelings of my mind. When I was carried on board I was immediately handled, and tossed up, to see if I were sound by some of the crew; and I was now persuaded that I had got into a world of bad spirits, and that they were going to kill me. Their complexions too differing so much from ours, their long hair, and the language they spoke, which was very different from any I had ever heard, united to confirm me in this belief. Indeed, such were the horrors of my views and fears at the moment, that, if ten thousand worlds had been my own, I would have parted with them all to have exchanged my condition with that of the meanest slave in my own country. When I looked around the ship too, and saw a large furnace or copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted of my fate; and, quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted. When I recovered a little, I found some black people about me, who, I believed were some of those who brought me on board, and had been receiving their pay; they talked to me in order to cheer me, but all in vain. I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and long hair? They told me I was not; and one of the crew brought me a small portion of spirituous liquor in a wine glass; but, being afraid of him, I would not take it out of his hand. …
39continued…One of the blacks therefore took it from him, and gave it to me, and I took a little down my palate, which, instead of reviving me, as they thought it would, threw me into the greatest consternation at the strange feeling it produced, having never tasted any such liquor before. Soon after this, the blacks who brought me on board went off, and left me abandoned to despair. I now saw myself deprived of any chance of returning to my native country, or even the least glimpse of hope of gaining the shore, which I now considered as friendly; and I even wished for my former slavery, in preference to my present situation, which was filled with horrors of every kind, still heightened by my ignorance of what I was to undergo. I was not long suffered to indulge my grief; I was soon put down under the decks, and there I received such a salutation in my nostrils as I had never experienced in my life; so that, with the loathsomeness of the stench, and crying together, I became so sick and low that I was not able to eat, nor had I the least desire to taste any thing. I now wished for the last friend, Death, to relieve me; but soon, to my grief, two of the white men offered me eatables; and, on my refusing to eat, one of them held me fast by the hands, and laid me across, I think, the windlass, and tied my feet, while the other flogged me severely....
40Questions to ConsiderWhy did the slave say he would have preferred death to continued existence on the slave ship?How did the slave find himself is such a terrible predicament? Did he seem to hold any grudge against his original captors?Where was the slave going, and what awaited him when he got there?
41First Hand AccountNot a few in our country fondly imagine that parents here sell their children, men their wives, and one brother the other. But those who think so, do deceive themselves; for this never happens on any other account but that of necessity, or some great crime; but most of the slaves that are offered to us, are prisoners of war, which are sold by the victors as their booty. When these slaves come to Fida, they are put in prison all together; and when we treat concerning buying them, they are all brought out together in a large plain; where, by our surgeons, whose province it is, they are thoroughly examined, even to the smallest member, and that naked both men and women, without the least distinction or modesty. The invalids and the maimed being thrown out, as I have told you, the remainder are numbered, and it is entered who delivered them. In the meanwhile, a burning iron, with the arms or name of the companies, lies in the fire, with which ours are marked on the breast. This is done that we may distinguish them from the slaves of the English, French, or others (which are also marked with their mark), and to prevent the Negroes exchanging them for worse, at which they have a good hand. I doubt not but this trade seems very barbarous to you, but since it is followed by mere necessity, it must go on; but we yet take all possible care that they are not burned too hard, especially the women, who are more tender than the men.
42continuedWe are seldom long detained in the buying of these slaves, because their price is established, the women being one fourth or fifth part cheaper than the men. The disputes which we generally have with the owners of these slaves are, that we will not give them such goods as they ask for them, especially the boesies [cowry shells] (as I have told you, the money of this country) of which they are very fond, though we generally make a division on this head, in order to make one part of the goods help off another; because those slaves which are paid for in boesies, cost the company one half more than those bought with other goods.When we have agreed with the owners of the slaves, they are returned to their prison; where, from that time forwards, they are kept at our charge, cost us two pence a day a slave; which serves to subsist them, like our criminals, on bread and water: so that to save charges, we send them on board our ships with the very first opportunity, before which their masters strip them of all they have on their backs; so that they come to us stark-naked, as well women as men: in which condition they are obliged to continue, if the master of the ship is not so charitable (which he commonly is) as to bestow something on them to cover their nakedness.You would really wonder to see how these slaves live on board; for though their number sometimes amounts to six or seven hundred, yet by the careful management of our masters of ships, they are so [well] regulated, that it seems incredible. And in this particular our nation exceeds all other Europeans; for as the French, Portuguese, and English slave-ships are always foul and stinking; on the contrary, ours are for the most part clean and neat.The slaves are fed three times a day with indifferent good victuals, and much better than they eat in their own country. Their lodging place is divided into two parts; one of which is appointed for the men, the other for the women, each sex being kept apart. Here they lie as close together as it is possible for them to be crowded.
43Questions to ConsiderFrom whom did Bosman acquire the slaves he traded for in Guinea? How did the process actually work?What were the conditions of those enslaved?Why did Bosman maintain that the Dutch slave ships were so much cleaner than those of other European states?What is the importance of having both male and female slaves? What role will each play on the plantation?