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Transatlantic slave trade

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Presentation on theme: "Transatlantic slave trade"— Presentation transcript:

1 Transatlantic slave trade
The Door of No Return

2 Transatlantic Slave Trade
Why? European colonization of Americas Spain Portugal England Europeans thirst for New World (Americas) items fuels growth of plantations Sugar Tobacco Cotton Molasses Rum Disease, overwork kills millions of Native Americans; new labor force needed

3 Why Africans? No written language
Some disease resistance; already exposed to Europeans through trade activities, attempts “civilize” No muskets, gunpowder Slave trade already existed on the continent Prisoners of war Some sold themselves into slavery during famines Treated as servants rather than property “A slaves who knows how to serve inherits his master’s property” Between 1450 and 1800 historians estimate MILLION Africans were kidnapped and sold into slavery 5% brought to North America

4 How? Africans became enslaved mainly through four ways:
criminals sold by the chiefs as punishment; free Africans conducted raids for African and European gangs domestic slaves resold prisoners of war. Source: Adu Boahen (University of Ghana)

5 “The Door of No Return” – Goree Island, Senegal

6 Cape Coast Castle, West Africa

7 What was Triangular Trade?
Three leg route Europe Africa America Europe to Africa Cloth, firearms, beads, spirits, tobacco Africa to Americas “Middle Passage” Slaves Americas to Europe Raw materials: cotton, Sugar, rum, tobacco

8 Triangular Trade

9 Middle Passage Slaves loaded on ships Horrific conditions
Diseases including small pox, dysentery Those too sick to continue journey thrown overboard Literally stripped of humanity No clothes No dignity Treated as cargo Hands/feet chained together Fed only once daily, sometimes not at all Clip from the movie “Amistad”

10 Middle Passage: Tight Pack
Tight pack meant as many as 400 slaves: high deaths but high profits

11 Middle Passage: Loose Pack
A loose pack meant fewer slaves: lower deaths and lower profits

12 Coping with Captivity Occasionally, revolts took place on ships
Often quickly put down as slaveholder had advanced weapons La Amistad revolt (1839) Ship’s captain and much of crew killed Remaining crew trick Africans – end up in America President John Quincy Adams championed their cause US Supreme Court rules in favor of Africans; allowed to return home

13 Coping with Captivity Life in the Colonies
Caribbean Spain Sugar plantations Brazil Portugal Mining North America (West Indies & colonies) England: dominated slave trade by 1600’s Cotton, craft workers, domestic servants Long hours, brutal conditions, no freedoms To cope kept cultural traditions alive, turned to religion, slowed work pace, occasionally rebelled

14 African Diaspora Diaspora: from the Greek, means “spreading out”
Movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world the America Europe Middle East Caused the spread of African culture to Americas, Western Europe

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