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Slavery Africa to the New World.

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Presentation on theme: "Slavery Africa to the New World."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slavery Africa to the New World

2 Nature of Slavery within African Societies
Natural part of African society In West Africa, system of slavery resembled European feudalism Slaves were used to increase production and population of region = more power Seen more as resource, rather than trade commodity

3 Treatment of Slaves within African Societies
Generally, slaves were well treated While low in hierarchy, active contributor to kingdom or community Some held high positions in government with significant responsibility Accepted by and lived with non-slaves in family settings Slavery was not hereditary, children born to slaves were born free

4 Islamic Traders Conquest of North Africa by Muslims expanded slavery in Africa Harsh interpretations of Islamic law justified enslavement of non-Muslims Islamic traders exported slaves from 8th through 19th century

5 European Expansion Affects Africa (1450 to 1750)
Portuguese were the first to explore the African coastline. Spanish took an early lead in exporting Africans to the Americas. The Portuguese and other countries participated in the exporting of slaves from Africa. First Africans in Hispaniola in 1505 ~12 million Africans sent to Americas During the 17th century, more than 40 percent of all Africans went to Brazil, which dominated the European sugar market.



8 Slavery Develops with Triangular Trade
Europeans transported manufactured goods to the west coast of Africa & goods were exchanged for slaves Slaves carried to the West Indies (Americas) Merchants sold the slaves for sugar, tobacco, and other goods and were carried back across the Atlantic to Europe European products (cloth, firearms) sent to coast of Africa for slaves to begin triangle trade again

9 Triangular Trade

10 Why Africans? No written language, many languages
Native Americans dying off No muskets and gunpowder Africans participated in trade by enslaving others, selling debtors and criminals, and kidnapping Picture: Cape Coast Castle, W. Africa

11 Reasons the Europeans Used Africans as the New Labor Force:
Many Africans were already used to European diseases and had built up immunities. Africans had already experienced farming and could be taught large scale plantation work. They were strangers to America and were unfamiliar with the landscape, which could possibly deter them from escaping once in America.

12 Justification Slavery made development of New World profitable
Native American slaves died of diseases, escaped easily African tribes needed weapons and supplies from Europe

13 Exportation Trip called Middle Passage 5000 miles, 3 weeks to 3 months
20-25% died Strip Africans’ self respect and self identity


15 Middle Passage Sickening cruelty characterized this journey
Africans were packed in dark holds of large ships Slaves fell victim to whippings and beatings from merchants Disease was rampant and swept through the vessel The smell of blood, sweat, and excrement filled the hold Captives often lived in their own vomit and waste It is estimated that 20% died during the brutal trip to the Americas

16 Effects Focus on men affected male/female ratios
Over the years numbers of slaves going to the Americas increases African nations collapsed and were formed Slavery finally considered immoral

17 Effects As the slave trade grew, some African rulers voiced opposition. African leaders that had been selling Africans as slaves to Muslim, saw little difference in selling slaves to Westerners. King Nzinga Mbemba of Congo in west-central Africa originally participated in the slave trade. He soon saw its devastating effects. In 1562, he wrote a letter to the King of Portugal

18 King Nzinga Mbemba wrote, “And we cannot reckon how great the damage is, since…merchants are taking every day our natives, sons of the land and the sons of our noblemen and vassals and our relatives, because the thieves and men of bad conscience grab them…they grab them and get them to be sold; and so great, Sir, is the corruption…that our country is being completely depopulated, and Your Highness should not agree with this nor accept it…it is our will that in these kingdoms there should not be any trade of slaves nor outlet for them.”

19 Upon arriving in the Americas, captured Africans usually were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
A British minister who visited a slave market in Brazil commented on the process: “When a customer comes in, they (the slaves) are turned before him; such as he wishes are handled by the purchaser in different parts, exactly as I have seen butchers feeling a calf.”

20 Harriett Beecher Stowe
When she was a young adolescent she witnessed a slave woman being auctioned. The slave had her young daughter with her. When the mother was “sold” the young girl was ripped from her mother’s arms and cried inconsolably. Harriet never forgot this emotional scene.

21 Harriet Beecher Stowe – Writer and Abolitionist
Years later Harriet experienced the loss of a son to illness. This loss brought up memories of the slave woman and her child. Harriet began to write about What she had witnessed. The book she wrote was Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It showed the nation the cruelties of slavery. Southerners disliked the book immensely.

22 Harriet’s Book is a Hit! 1851 – 1852 In the first installments of the book 5,000 copies were printed. By the end of its first year 300,000 books had been sold. It was made into a play and re-energized the abolitionist movement. When Harriet met President Lincoln, he greeted her by saying, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

23 John Henry Newton (24 July 1725 – 21 December 1807) was a British sailor and Anglican clergyman. Starting his career at sea, at a young age, he became involved with the slave trade for a few years, and was himself enslaved for a period. After experiencing a religious conversion, he became a minister, hymn-writer, and later a prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery. He was the author of many hymns, including "Amazing Grace" and "Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken." Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That sav’d a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears reliev’d; How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believ’d! The Lord has promis’d good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

24 William Wilberforce of the House of Commons
He was born in 1759 In 1784 he converted to Evangelical Christianity He became involved with the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in England Wilberforce introduced a bill to the House of Commons abolishing slavery in England in 1804 After many heated debates over the next 3 years slavery was finally abolished with a resounding vote of 283 to 16 in the House of Commons In 1807 the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was instituted, but had to be watched by the Abolitionists of England.

25 Abolition Around the World
1807—Britain outlawed slave trade 1808—US outlawed slave trade 1833 —Britain outlawed slavery 1863—US outlawed slavery 1888—Brazil outlawed slavery John Newton William Wilberforce

26 Life as a Slave Africans developed a way of life based on their cultural heritage They kept their musical traditions alive They passed down stories of their ancestors They made themselves less productive by breaking hoes, uprooting plants, and working slowly Their resistance hurt their owner’s profits Thousands ran away to the north using the Underground Railroad system

27 Resistance As early as 1522, about 20 slaves on Hispaniola attacked and killed several Spanish colonists. Larger revolts occurred throughout Spanish settlements during the 16th century In Colombia, enslaved Africans destroyed the town of Santa Marta in 1530. Brazil, the West Indies, and North America experienced uprisings. Many slaves died while fighting and those that were captured were executed.

28 Columbian Exchange The Columbian Exchange is the global transfer of foods, plants, and animals during the colonization of the Americas . Ships from the Americas brought back an array of items that Europeans, Asians, and Africans had never seen before, such as: tomatoes, squash, pineapples, tobacco, and cacao beans (for chocolate).


30 Examples of Columbian Exchange
Going West to the Americas: Europeans took livestock (sheep, goats, pigs – never seen before in the Americas), grains (brought weeds to Americas), peaches, pears, plums, fig trees, smallpox, inventions, etc. They took to Europe – tomatoes, potatoes, corn, turkeys, tobacco, syphilis, etc.

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