Transatlantic Trade Essay

Submitted By badezurn
Words: 603
Pages: 3

It is estimated that over 15 million people were sold into slavery and transported across the Atlantic during the fifteeth century and contineued into the twentieth century. Countries such as Portuagual, Spain, The Neterlands, France and England wanted to explore,conquer and colonlize Africa due to the Western European's expansion of power in the New World. Portuguese took the lead in 1441 when they begin capturing and exporting hundreds of African to be used in their workforce as domestic servants in Portugal and Spain. In 1472 Portuguese gained permission from the Oba King of Benin to trade slaves within the borders of Oba kingdom for gold and ivory. The Portuguese conducted a small and limited Atlantic slave trade in Portugal and Spain until the early sixteeth century, due to the workforces in other European countries begin too large. But the impact of Columbus's voyages drastically changed the slave trade, when the Spainsh and Portugues, followed by the Dutch, English, and French begin to establish colonies in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America. The Western European's lack a depenable workforce, due to their natives being overworked and catching dieases from the tropical climate. The European relied on African slaves' knowledge and experience in farming and livestock to expand their empire in the new world. The Atlantic slave trade grew to huge proportions to meet the demand for labors of gold, and silver mines in Spanish Mexico and sugar plantations in Portuguese Brazil.

Sugar plantation employing African slaves began to spread from Portuguese ruled Brazil to the Caribbean islands. The cultivation of coffee, tobacco , rice and indigo in the New World added to the demand for more slaves from Africa. Most of the slaves from Africa were men and boys, who became personal property of their masters and lost their customary rights as human beings. Due to the high demand for African slave, Portugal and Spain shipped over 2,000 Africans per year to their American colonies. In 1550 the Dutch, French and English become involved in the Atlantic slave trade due to the high demand and profit. European slave traders would often use guns to capture the slaves and force them to walk as far as 1,000 miles in shackles to European coastal forts. Many were killed for being sick and not being able to keep up during the march. For those who reached the coastal forts were placed in…