Transatlantic Slave Trade and the effects on the american economy Transatlantic Slave Trade The Transatlantic slave trade is a “wrenching aspect of the history of Africa and America” (Colin Palmer). The transatlantic slave trade transported African people to the “New World”.
It lasted from the 16th to the 19th century. Slavery has had a big impact on African culture. The Africans were forced to migrate away from everything they knew, culture, heritage and lifestyles (Captive Passage). Coupled with they were faced with racism and overcame life-threaten situations everyday.Nevertheless the Africans preserved and survived tremendous conditions.
Even though the slave trade was horrible it still contributed to the economy of the Americas-“New World” and Africa. The journey to the economy can be discussed through Africa before and after the slave trade, slavery within Africa, products produced, and many more. Slavery is a form of forced labor in which people are considered to be the property of others. Slavery was prominent all over the world before the transatlantic slave trade, but the Atlantic slave trade is remembered as an account of horrible history in the African culture and even America.In the 15th century the Atlantic slave trade began.
The journey to the Americas is another act of perseverance of the Africans, for who survived. The journey started in Africa where slaves were cram into very small boats. Usually the ships were divided into three platforms decks, which were only five feet apart. One each of these decks slaves were assembled similar to how books are arranged on a shelf. Needless to say the ships were very cramped and confined.
In addition the slaves were shackled together by their feet and hands.Only those women who did not pose a threat could go without shackles, and children nearly never wore shackles. In such terrible conditions it is estimated that 100 million slaves survived the journey, and 40 percent of slaves who boarded the slave ship died before reaching the Americas (Captive Passage). After a long journey to the Americas the slaves who survived were usually sent to the southern colonies for labor. Most of which had no idea of the life they would have in America. The slave trade was a forced journey from the African coast to the Americas.
“It is the taking of freedom, uffering-extreme basically survival of the fitness. It symbolizes loss of African descent – homeland, familiar places and identity” (Captive Passage 53). The Atlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration. It began in the 15th century and was the staple of human interaction. It was launched specifically to provide labor to the European colonies, North America, South America and the Caribbean. In the 15th century Europeans were creating colonies all over the world, as they expanded colonies in the “New World” they realized their was more labor needed to supply needed goods.
In the beginning the Europeans brought over indigenous people to provide a work force. But, the indigenous people were unreliable, most of them died from disease brought over from Europe and they lacked experience. As a result the Europeans resorted in Africans. Africans were excellent workers; they often had experience of agriculture and keeping cattle. Also they were used to the hot climates and resisted diseases. All characteristics making them better than the indigenous people.
The Europeans now having a source of work force had the first Africans to arrive in North America during 1526 in Cape Fear, North Carolina (Captive Passage).The purpose of the slaves coming to America was “purely economic”. There was a constant problem on early America, shortage of labor. Between 1526 and 1793, about 5 million slaves transported into America (Google Books). In 1793 the demand for slaves increased as the creation of the Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney became prominent in American economy.
The slaves were very useful in providing labor, but they also were a good source of trade. The slaves were sold for various items, such as gold, ivory, pepper, beeswax and many more. The Africans were the source of labor in the Americas from the 15th to 19th century.The Europeans starting the Atlantic slave trade affected both America and Africa. In term of how Africa was affected it affected their society greatly. The big lose that the Africans faced was population, it is estimated that about 50 million Africans were lost, and the majority of Africans lost were strong, fit individuals.
Population was also lost through those who fled the country to escape being capture. Africans relied a lot on contact with the outside world to get needed goods but that ended. Not only did they lose many people but those who were in Africa were looked upon as inferior.Africans were seen as a source for cheap labor, and blacks soon got the title of being less intelligent than others. Overall society had the biggest impact, tribal wars became frequent fighting for each others slaves, and laws were changed, making slavery punishable.
But people usually did not follow those rules because they were attracted by the economic advantages that came with it. Africans felt very insecure in their own dwellings. On the other hand the Atlantic slave trade did not have that much of a negative impact in the Americas. The slavery help contribute to the development of economy to diversity in the “New World”.
The bringing of Africans to the Americas provided the country with more blacks. But unfortunately life was harsh for the Africans, but they did provide an increased amount of labor that helped the economy. Section 2 Before the Europeans arrived in Africa, Africa had a very highly develop society. They had many different religions, language, complex institutions, cities, and advanced technology.
They were growing basic plants and breeding animals. Also throughout Africa there were industrial advancements such as mining and agriculture, herding. Gold was a big economic item for Africa.Camel Caravans revolutionized trading. They could carry more and heavier items over a long distance.
Clearly Africa had developed a complex society, which was soon all taken away. Slavery had an extreme impact on the African- American culture. This treatment is not solely just because of their treatment in the New World. There was also destruction of their culture, removal from heritage, and their inability to communicate as slaves, all plagued the African- American culture in the New World.
They were separated from their families, and cultural items such as drums. Which were used to communicate.Also the Africans had a lost of identity, their real names were ignored by slave masters, in result the masters gave the slaves created names. Not only was everything taken away the Africans, were not allowed to perform their homeland rituals or practice their own religion. Everything was part of their life was no longer a part of their life.
Section 3 In the 15th century the Atlantic slave trade rise in the country of, Africa. Europeans at first went to Africa to trade for gold but, as they expanded there colonies into the “New World” they needed more people in the work force.Spaniards had introduced slaves to the Europeans, Europeans took the opportunity and saw that slavery was very helpful, to provide for them. The slave trade changed the Africans perspective of economy. The Africans used to fight for gold but now, they compete to see who got the most slaves to produce to the slave trade. Even though those who dealt the slaves were greatly helped by it, the slaves them selves they became knowledgeable about what was happening and started to run trying to escape.
The slaves were just another source of money, contributing to the economy.The Atlantic slave trade changed the idea of all Africans. The citizens became less interested in gold but instead human commerce, capturing and exporting slaves. The Africans stopped trading goods other than slaves which resulted in people focusing all there attention to the European commerce. The Atlantic slave trade commercialized Africa’s economy, prevented them from creating a system of capitalism and industrialization. The African slave traders became obsessed with goods the Europeans give them in exchange for slaves.
Most common goods exchanged for slaves were, gunpowder, brandy, cloth, glassware, salt and iron. The Africans were obsessed with the goods but the slaves they were trading for them were mostly men. The demographics were affected greatly, concept of family changed and family roles changed due to the lose of men. The women were forced to do male task in business and economy. The gained amount of women in the economy was a bad thing because they were very inexperience and they mostly focused on how to improve their home economic conditions instead of the whole countries economic condition.
There was an extreme greed for money. Works Cited 1) Barr, Gary E. Slavery in the United States. Chicago, Illinois: Heinemann Library, 2004. Print.
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The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440 - 1870