Essay about History: Atlantic Slave Trade

Submitted By tylafayemo2010
Words: 921
Pages: 4

The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the transatlantic slave trade, was the enslavement and transportation of Africans to the colonies of 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. Combined with they were faced with racism and overcame life-threaten situations every day. However the Africans maintained and survived terrific 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 was especially easy due to the conditions of Africa at the time. Their economic and political systems made Africa the central point of the slave trade. At the time, Africa’s economy was highly underdeveloped due to the fact that the wealthy Europeans had no concern for developing the economy of Africa. Rather they focused on developing the Americas and providing cheap labor in the mines and plantations. This is where the Africans became useful. The economy was down and for the right price they could trade for African slaves. The political conditions were advantageous to slavery as well due to the fact that they had a lack of political authority. There was no real centralized power that governed Africa causing many domestic problems and set the ground for slavery.
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade consisted of immeasurable brutality. Africans were chained and packed into quarters unfit for movement or proper breathing. The only hope of escape rested in suicide by jumping overboard. The Europeans had found the workforce that they needed to continue their colonization of the New World through the manipulation of African ports and tribal leaders that sought to increase their wealth and position in their countries at the expense of their people. The course of these slaves’ lives would soon be filled with death and despair as they were forced into ships and into the hands of people that treated them only as a property without any human sympathy. With the British Parliament's outlaw of the slave trade in 1808, the naval superpower set sail to enforce total European abolition. The Society of Friends, along with other such concerned parties, published accounts of the horrific middle passage to distribute amongst still practicing nations.
As the black gold began to pour into the English colony of the new world, African continent established a new pattern of captivity, betrayal and confusion. African nation such as Susu, Fulas, Dahomey and the people of Mande in capturing and keeping other Africans for slave trade. even Though the introduction of European fire arm, Ancient political balances and structures of labor and alliances were shattered. According to Harding, "arms were used as bribes to encourage leaders to capture men, women, and children from adjoining nations, and the tribes. Wars were declared for no other reason than to obtain prisoners.

Conditions on the slave ships were terrible and the acts of inhumanity were numerous and savage. The transportation across the Atlantic, called the Middle Passage would become one of the world’s most destructive crimes against humanity. The African that were destined to be transported to the Americas had no idea what lay in front of them. They were captured from their homes slave wranglers, sold by their family members or sentenced to slavery through a tribal, and mostly corrupt, political system that would benefit from their despair. Soon afterward they