Atlantic Slave Trade

2 February 2018

From 1550 to the asses, a new system of trading links that carried wealth, people, goods, and cultures around the Atlantic Basin was created. This system is known as the Atlantic system; an effective way of trade between the Americas and Eurasia, but also the cause of countless deaths of African slaves. During the time of the Atlantic System, sugar was one of the most crucial trade items, as well as tobacco, gold, and silver. As the Caribbean colonies were becoming mass producers of sugar in the Atlantic World, a new era of African slave trade began to grow along with it.

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The economic factors that influenced the expansion of slavery and slave trade were the harsh conditions inflicted on the slaves, the way the products of trade were made, and Rupee’s constant demand for efficient production of raw goods. One of the most effectual factors that influenced the expansion of slavery during the time Of the Atlantic System were the conditions that the slaves were put through. African slaves underwent waves of plague and disease, and in result, were killed by the thousands. They were also treated lesser that unmans should be; being beaten daily by drivers and being forced to work on plantations at a young age.

Document 7 is a picture of a transportation vessel that illustrates the method of slave transportation in the Middle Passage. In the vessels, slaves were packed together on the floor and separated into sections all throughout the ship. The long and dangerous voyage in the Middle Passage combined with sickly and dangerous conditions on the boats more often than not led to massive losses of the slaves’ lives. Document 5, a chart that details the birth and death proportions for slaves on Jamaican sugar plantation, validates the large number of slaves dying from severe conditions and disease.

Document 9 further confirms the harsh conditions that the slaves were put through. It is an autobiography of a past slave that experienced the harsh reality of being a slave in the Atlantic World. In the document, the former slave says he was “quite overpowered with horror and anguish” when seeing slaves on a transportation vessel. The harsh conditions that the slaves were put through connected to the increase in slave trade because the high mortality rates forced plantations to instantly replace the frequently dying slaves, as shown in document 5.

Another factor that influenced the expansion of slavery was the way products of the trade were made. Because sugar was one of the most important products of trade in the Atlantic System, the expansion of sugar plantations in the West Indies had an impact in the volume of slave trade coming from Africa. Caribbean sugar planters mostly depended on slaves instead of raising wages to attract European laborers because the slaves were much less costly. Document 3, a painting of Antigen in the British West Indies, illustrates how a plantation would look like.

The significance of African slave labor is evident in the painting because there is only one European person appears in the whole picture. Document 1, another painting of a sugar plantation, depicts the same kind of image that is shown in document 3. However, in this picture, there are much more slaves shown working on the plantation, which proves that slaves were the backbone to sugar agriculture. Without the slaves performing the labor, no sugar would be produced. The general number of workers can be seen in document 4. This document pacifies the occupations that slaves had on a sugar plantation in Jamaica.

Because slaves did the majority of work on plantations, the spread of plantations along the West Indies dramatically influenced the increase of slave trade. The last factor that impacted slave trade during the time of the Atlantic System was Rupee’s rising demand for trade products. European investment capital, manufactured goods, and shipping dominated the Atlantic System. Europe was also the principal market for American plantation products. Before the seventeenth century, sugar was scarce and expensive in Europe ND only consumed by the rich.

As production increased, however, more Europeans began to consume sugar. African slave trade comes into play here, because the flow of sugar to Europe was wholly determined by the flow of slaves from Africa. The flow of Africa slaves is shown in document 8, which is a map detailing the African slave trade. Document 2 also shows transatlantic slave trade from Africa in the form of a bar graph. On both the map and the graph, it is evident that Rupee’s demand for trade products had an effect on the overwhelming number of slaves being traded.

In document 6, a map of the Atlantic Economy, show the flow of transported slaves and products. No other country than Europe is shown at the receiving end of all the colonial trade products, including sugar, silver, tobacco, and furs. As a result of Rupee’s greed, African slave trade escalated almost instantly and was at its peak. Slavery played a crucial role in the development of the modern world economy. Slaves provided the labor power necessary to settle and develop the New World. They also produced the products for the first mass consumer arrests: sugar, tobacco, coffee, cocoa, and later cotton.

Slavery was an integral part of the earliest multinational systems of credit and trade that arose in the 15th and 16th centuries. The African slave trade also stimulated European shipping, manufacturing, and gun making. The economic influences of the expansion of slavery, which were the harsh conditions inflicted on the slaves, the way the products of trade were made, and Rupee’s constant demand for efficient production of raw goods, made it possible for the economy to be how it is today.

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