According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the most abominable and cruel form of slavery, Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003stated that it was neither the first nor the only form of slave trade. Slavery was recognized around the world long before the Egyptians enslaved the Jews. Slavery was not just about the black people who endured the Middle Passage. It was a part of human history. Worldwide, domestic slavery was the most common form of enslavement.
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Rich men had slaves in their households, and, in some societies, the number of slaves determined his social status. In West Africa, slavery had already existed. The labour supply for West Indian sugar plantations came from West Africa. The ships left one of three slave trading ports, in England (London, Bristoland Liverpool), France (Bordeaux and Nantes) and the Netherlands (Dutch and Amsterdam) to the Caribbean (Bridgetown, Kingston and Castries). Slavery was influenced mainly by the sugar revolution, because of the great the demand for labourers in the Caribbean.
The Amerindians who had taken the space as the Europeans slaves decreased and white indentured labourers were not use to the hard work which was needed for the production of sugar. Africans were obtained in many ways, a few of these are that they were captured in raids, they were already slaves and their masters decided to trade them for goods to the Europeans. Some were kidnapped, and others had been put into slavery because they did offences. The impact on West Africa was extreme, their population decreased, children, the sickly and the old were left without someone to look after them.
African crop cultivations decreased, their industries were destroyed. Crafts such as iron-working and weaving declined. The Europeans took their most valuable raw material preventing the country to not be able to advance in the new technological era of those centuries. Statement of Problem What were the effects of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade on the traditional African society? Research Questions What were the factors that contributed to the establishment of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade? How were the Africans captured? How did the slave trade affect West African societies?
Rationale This research area was chosen because the slave trade and its impact on African societies have always fascinated me. I wanted to find out the FACTORS that influenced the slave trade, the IMPACT on West African societies and the MEANS by which slaves were captured. Secondary Source Information will be obtained by secondary source, text books, and primary source, pictures. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE There are many factors contributing to the establishment of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade: Greenwood R. and Hamber S.
2003 wrote that because of the fierce competition from Virginia tobacco a new cash crop had to be sought. Dookhan I. 1971 stated that the combination of West Indian and Virginia tobacco caused a glut in the market which means that because of the popularity of this product and the fact that Virginia tobacco was better the cost of the crop had dropped. Claypole W. and Robttom J. 2001 wrote that there was a large demand for sugar in Europe, it was needed for purifying, making cakes and biscuits and jam. Honey was Europe’s native source of sugar in the 16th Century.
Claypole W. and Robottom J. 2001mentioned that sugar production required large plantations, these plantations had to be at least 80 to 100 hectares before a farmer could make a reasonable profit, this means that more labourers would be required to perform the necessary tasks. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that the Africans were seen as barbaric and ugly, the European saw them as an inferior group of people. According to Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 because of the difference in belief the Europeans made this a reason as to why they used Africans as slaves.
The Europeans used their judgments of African people to influence their reason as to why they should use them as slaves. Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 Africans were cheaper to obtain than the indentured servants. They would not be required to pay for the Africans to work. Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 wrote that the Africans were used to the agricultural lifestyle and have worked in climate similar to the Caribbean’s. According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 the African chiefs were willing to exchange captives and criminals for European goods. Hamilton-Willie D.
2003 mentioned that due to the harsh treatment of the Europeans, the indigenous people had decline causing the Europeans to seek labourers elsewhere. The Europeans had overworked and under fed the Tainos which were their main source of labour force in the Caribbean, this and the diseases that the Europeans brought killed the indigenous people, the kalinagos were the only indigenous people left and they refused to be enslaved. According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001white indentured labourers had worked on tobacco farms, but tobacco production required fewer hands than sugar.
Claypole W. and Robottom J. wrote that the profit to be gained on owning a sugar plantation depended on having enough labour force for the yearly cycle of plant. The sugar revolution required a larger land and a larger amount of labour force. White indentured workers were not use to the hard work needed for the production of sugar. They were declining and in cases where they were still employed they had become very reluctant to work and very hard to control. Also, the Europeans did not see it fit to enslave their own race. Dookhan I.
1971 wrote that dealers were attracted to the profits that they would gain by participating in the act of obtaining Africans and selling them. This means that the profits that the Africans sellers would receive pushed them towards the deal of obtaining and selling Africans. Baldeosingh K. and Mahase R. 2011 wrote that Africa was in a geographical place where shipment to the Caribbean was cheaper. They mentioned that Africans were suitable for tropical climate of the Caribbean, they were very much accustomed to heat and were able to resist yellow fever and malaria.
They were use to farming and had the knowledge of planting and harvesting. MEANS BY WHICH AFRICANS WERE CAPTURED Europeans received slaves in different ways: According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 Europeans received Africans as gifts from local rulers on their arrival to Africa. These Africans were already slaves because of they owed stuff or they were criminals. Hamilton- Willie D. 2001 wrote that the Europeans exchanged firearms, horses, alcohol and manufactured goods for Africans with African chiefs. They received captives in raids of their African allies.
Dookhan I. 1971 wrote that the Europeans encouraged conflicts among tribes so as to obtain persons that were captured in raids. This means that most raids were caused by the encouragement of Europeans in order to obtain the strong, healthy captives. Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 wrote that raiding was done by the Africans from tribes such as Oyo, Benin, Asante and Dehomey, meanwhile the Europeans were waiting in forts and factories on the coast. This means that even though the Europeans were the ones causing the raids, they were never present at them.
At first, only boys and men sixteen to forty years were taken leaving the women, elderly and children, then after the high demand for African labour, young women and children were also taken leaving the elderly to fend for themselves. This means that at the start of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade Europeans only needed strong fit young men, but, as more plantation owners saw the need for more labourers, young women were now sought. Africans were captured in wars n taken as prisoners. These did no specific thing wrong, they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. According to Baledeosingh K. and Mahase R.
2011 European slave traders got their slaves by buying them from African merchants. They noted that only a few were obtained by kidnapping Baldeosingh K. and Mahase R. 2011 mentioned that persons were enslaved for just being considered unusual, these individuals were twins, deformed children and girls who had an early menstruation. EFFECTS OF THE SLAVE TRADE ON WEST AFRICAN SOCIETY? According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 Because of the slave trade there were many negative effects West African societies. According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 because of the slave trade, West Africa exported its most valuable raw material, its human labour.
The lack of human labour led to the decline in agriculture, the devastation of land due to raids and wars, capturing of farmers and the abandonment of farms. This means that because of the raids and the captivity of Africans the countries population had decreased, the raids also caused the land to become infertile. Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 wrote that because of the lack of people the technological advancement of West Africa was also seriously affected negatively, this means that because of the lack of people West Africa was less technically advanced than most other countries. According to Atkinson N.
C. 2009 the West African population grew slowly in this period. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that millions of strong and youthful men and women were forcibly taken from West Africa to supply Caribbean colonies with slave labour. The Africans did not have any choice in the decision for them to travel to the Caribbean and become slaves. West Africa was now only left with the elderly, weak and persons the chiefs refused to export, “Figure 4”. Children had become orphans and some families became single parent families, these families lost the family support they were accustomed to.
This led to the feeling of insecurity and constant unrest in African societies. According to Claypole W. and Robottom J. 2001 Many Villages lost their future leaders and men and women who were skilled in healing. Baldeosingh K. and Mahase R. 2011 mention of what Patterson, Slavery and Social Death, Harvard University Press, 1990 wrote that based on the historical evidence he has collected 1. 6 million Africans were brought to the New World before the end of the 17th century, as many as 60% may have been captives in war while less than 33% were kidnapped.
He also noted that of 7. 4 million Africans transported between 1701 and 1810, the proportions were reversed, over 70% were kidnapped and fewer than 20% were victims of war. In the 19th century a little over 60% of the slaves brought to the world were kidnapped while under 30% were prisoners of war. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that the trade robbed the country of its most skilled craftsmen and so traditional crafts such as iron-working and weaving declined. Africans started importing cloth, cheap pots and hoes made in Europe.
These imported goods were cheaper than the locally made ones, and were brought in exchange for Africans. The arrival of European goods took over most local industries, especially salt making and the manufacturing of cotton and metal goods. Because of this local industries and agriculture came to a standstill during the 15th century. According to Claypole W. and Robottom J. 2003 the lack of workers caused some villages to be abandoned because the individuals left were not left to cultivate the land. Claypole W. and Robottom J.
mentioned that 16th century Europeans were impressed with the African’s skill in dyeing with brilliant colours stopped. The Africans that were left were more focused on surviving so it was hard for them to think of bringing on the tradition of dyeing. According to Baldeosingh K. and Mahase R. 2011 the Africans were more advanced than the Europeans in cloth weaving and they had started making steel in high-temperature furnaces which took 2,000 years for the Europeans to discover. This all died because of the slave trade.
The ruling class, which consisted of chiefs, kings and rich merchants, became slave dealers and sold most of the lower class people. According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 because of the demand for slaves there were increased amounts of wars and conflicts,“Figure 2”. These wars became more devastating because of the introduction of guns and ammunitions which the Europeans provided. This means that rulers put wealth and power over the welfare of their people. Slave trade caused the corruption of the judicial process, lawbreakers, who did minor offences or were innocent, were made slaves that would be shipped to the Caribbean.
Slave trade changed the power of the chiefs from a broadly represented character to autocratic. This means that the faith of the Africans were left in their chief’s hands, but his decisions were not based on the welfare of his tribe but more or likely on the amount of riches in which he would obtain. CONCLUSION Based on the research done, it can be concluded that West Africa was mostly negatively affected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. They were affected Economically, Politically and Socially. According to Hamilton-Willie D.
2001 the slave trade took Africa’s most valuable raw material, their human resource. Greenwood R. and Hamber S. 2003 wrote that the lack of people caused them to be backwards in their technological advancement as well as agricultural advancement. The strong young women and men were taken, West Africa was now left with the elderly, sick and young children, these persons had to fend for themselves. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that the breaking up of families led to the feeling of in security and the constant feeling of unrest. Baldeosingh K. and Mhase R.
wrote that overall almost 8. 4 million Africans were taken from Africa and made into slaves, most were taken in war while others were kidnapped. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that the trade robbed the country of its most skilled crafts men, healers, etc. The Europeans slowed the Africans advancement in cloth making and other things. According to Claypole W. and Robottom J. 2003 the lack of people caused most villages to be abandoned and agricultural practices were short due to he fact that mostly the strong were taken. The ruling class became slave dealers.
According to Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 the demand for slaves encouraged tribal wars and kidnapping. The chiefs cared more about obtaining European goods than the welfare of their people and the uplifting of their country. Europeans had a great impact on the decisions of the African tribes, they supplied guns and ammunitions to tribes who offered Africans in return. Hamilton-Willie D. 2001 mentioned that the slave trade caused the corruption of the judicial process, persons were given the punishment of becoming a slave for minor offences.