• Not only skin color since enslaved S. Europeans & Slavic from Russia. Africans and Portuguese: • Early 1400s, Portuguese sailing s. African coast searched for Asian sea route & established trading posts coast. 4
• Africans mid- 15th traded gold, salt, ivory, pepper for European firearms, cloth, & copper items. • 1480s African kingdoms Gulf of Guinea & S. African regions trading Portuguese; good relations at 1st but when centered on African slave trade tensions emerged. The Importance of Sugar and the Slave Trade: • Portuguese trafficked slaves, shipping them from W. Africa starting 1440s. • Sugar grew rapidly African coast & tropical islands Madeira & Principe by late 15th so increased demand field slaves (labor intensive crop). • 16th expanded slave trade Americas where Portuguese colony Brazil ideal sugar plantations; needed thousands cultivate, harvest, & process. • 1st convicts/Amerinds worked but died due heat/diseases; African slaves familiar with hot climates/resistant tropical diseases. Atlantic Slave System: • 17th - Portugal’s domination trans- Atlantic slave trade not last since British, French, Dutch, & Spanish profits from sugar plantations in Caribbean. • After 1650, English & Dutch shipped slaves to Americas & not rely Portuguese as main supplier. • Trade part “Atlantic System” where from ports Lisbon, Amsterdam, & Liverpool ships sailed Africa trading guns, tobacco, & textiles for slaves. • Sold slaves markets New World for sugar, coffee, & rum & sold items European markets; trade exploded. A Business of Prosperity – The Slave Trade Grows: • 17th & 18 th - slave trade exploded when overall volume increased – 1500’s about 300K to more than 6 million 1700s. • Sugar main staple crop but worked silver & gold mines, coffee plantations S. America, & tobacco plantations VA/MD. 5
• By end slave trade in 19 th century, 11-12 million slaves shipped Americas & about 2 million died. • 4 million Brazil, 6 million Caribbean, & ½ million (less 5 %) N. America. The Capture of Slaves in Africa: • Hardships began with capture in Africa – long & dangerous journey coast. • Some captives already slaves while others seized slave hunters hired by African merchants/local rulers or captured in African wars. • Captives chained together as marched to coast & many famished or died exhaustion & diseases. • Reached coast – herded in cages, examined, & sold to Europeans. The Horrors of the Middle Passage During the Atlantic Slave Trade: • Slaves transported across Atlantic Ocean through oceanic crossing Middle Passage. • Slaves cramped conditions – packed in layers & chained together (600 captives in ship less than 100 feet long). • Average voyage 3 – 6 weeks = disease/filth rampant, & air stunk waste; 10 -20 % died voyage from disease & or by jumping overboard. • Ship captains overcrowded vessels to ensure profit despite high death toll.
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- Spring '14
- History, Atlantic Slave Trade, Americas, African slaves