Sugnificant Roles in the Transatlantic Slave Trade

2 February 2018

Significant Roles in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Throughout the history of the world, there have been many countries and nations that have impacted and influenced the industry of the slave trade. The Transatlantic Slave Trade, in particular, had a very evident effect on the development of the history of society and humanity of the world. Spain was a nation that set the example of being the first European nation to abolish slavery, France believed slavery was the key to success and Britain was responsible for the transportation of millions of slaves.All three countries laded a very important role in the slavery and transatlantic slave trade. Although there were many nations heavily involved in this catastrophe, there was one country that was the foundation Of it all.

Portugal was a powerful nation that influenced and stimulated slave trade amongst Europe through the authorization of Dumb;Dividers, the exploration of Western Africa and the establishment of the Triangular Trade. The slave trade is relevant to the transatlantic trading patterns which were established by many European nations as early as the mid-17th century.Trading ships would travel from Europe with intentions to trade manufactured goods to the West Coast of Africa for African slaves. It is estimated that approximately twelve million African slaves crossed the Atlantic Ocean on ships be;en the 1 6th century and 1 9th century. L African and African-American scholars often refer to the slave trade as “Mafia” which “great disaster in the Swahili language. Other scholars also refer to this calamity as the “African Holocaust” or “Holocaust of Enslavement”. 2 The Portuguese had a large impact on the issue.

Sugnificant Roles in the Transatlantic Slave Trade Essay Example

Fanons V of Portugal authorized slavery for the first time in his country in the year of 1452.The grandfather of Fanons V, John I of Portugal, influenced this idea before Fanons V was even born. John had aimed to control navigation of the African coast in 1415 when he made the siege and conquest of the city of Acute. 3 All along, the desire for control of the African coast has been present in the Portuguese power. After all, Portugal was the nation who had the most significant role in the transatlantic slave trade. Along with everything that Portugal had accomplished, Spain was another European nation that played a great role in the slave trade as they were the first European nation to use African slaves in he New World.In 1502, two of Spain’s critical leaders, Ferdinand and Isabella, gave the colonists of the Caribbean permission to import African slaves but the Spanish population in the New World at the time was far too low to implement all of the work needed to support the economic growth of the Spanish colonies.

Within the first couple of years of Spanish presence in the Americas, a shortage Of labor was caused by an outbreak of a tropical epidemic flu. The Native American population decreased as the outbreak spread throughout the land and Spanish colonists became more interested in he slave trade as the demand for labor increased. The first African slaves arrived by shipment to the New World in 1501. 5 Despite the fact that Spain was the first country to use African slaves in the New World, they were also the first country to abolish slavery and the use of slaves in their colonies. The Spanish Emperor, Charles V, felt that through the arguments of the theologizes and jurists, that slavery was a condemnation and an unjust act.In 1 542, Spain was the first country to abolish slavery which set an example and influenced European nations greatly. Going back ninety years, in 1452, the papal bull Dumb-Dividers had a great effect on the slave trade as it was introduced to Portugal for the first time.

The Dumb-Dividers was a formal proclamation issued by Pope Nicholas V which allowed Fanons V of Portugal, the King of Portugal who reigned from 1438-1 4776, to condemn any Saracens, pagans or unbelievers and enemies of Christ to hereditary slavery.An excerpt from the Dunn-Dividers reads: ‘Mel grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens ND pagans and any Other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery’. 7 In Portugal, a Saracen is one who is of the Muslim church and a pagan is a person who holds different religious beliefs than the majority of the population.These people were frowned upon in Portugal along with the people who did not believe in Christ. The Dumb Dividers had a significant effect on the slave trade within Portugal because it gave Fanons V the right to enslave citizens in his entry that did not meet his standards and criteria. Slavery first began in the country of Portugal with the enslavement of Saracens and pagans but soon spread throughout the rest of the world as slaves were traded internationally. The fact that Pope Nicholas V granted this permission to Fanons V of Portugal influenced the rest of Europe significantly.

The Pope has a huge influence over the population and whatsoever he says or proclaims, becomes the rule and law. Since the Pope introduced the Dumb-Dividers to Portugal, they believed that slavery was legitimate and this gave justification to the people. The institution of the Dumb-Dividers through Portugal had a vast effect on the slave trade of the world. France was another nation that was very actively involved in the transatlantic slave trade. France participated in the slave trade far more vigorously than most countries in Europe.In the 17th century, the French government desired to promote plantations in the French colonies of the West Indies. In order to do this, the French borrowed money, technology and slaves from the Dutch to enhance their sugar plantations.

By 1 670, the French had established about 300 sugar estates. Realizing that slaves were the key to their success, they monopolized the sugar market. Slave population in the 17th century were quite low for French colonies however in the early 1 ass’s, slave trade boomed under the French flag.France used four times as many slaves as the Americans did and they treated these slaves with much more brutality and cruelty. 9 During the 18th century, over 1400 slave ships left the west coast port to Africa to collect African slaves. Even after the end of slavery in 1818, approximately 500 French trade ships continued to illegally trade African slaves. Not only did the French treat the slaves more harshly than the Americans, they also had a head start in the slave trade and continued it until 1830 – many years after the rest of Europe had abolished it In total, about 1 , 250,000 Africans were enslaved by the French.

1 France was a nation heavily involved in the slave trade however, they did not have a significant role comparable to Portugal. Although France was heavily involved in slavery, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to widely explore the African coast. Prince Henry the Navigator was an important Portuguese leader who influenced early European exploration and maritime trade with many other continents. He initiated the search and exploration of the West African coast and in result of his efforts; by the year Of 1460, the Portuguese had discovered the Coast of Africa all the way to Sierra Leon. 2 The Portuguese were searching for grain and gold and Prince Henry the navigator knew they would find some amid the coast of Western Africa. The goal of the Portuguese was to establish a stable and strong trading relationship with the African society, not to colonize their land. The intentions of Prince Henry the Navigator were attained and elation with African society were formed.

Trade within the coast of West Africa included trade of cowry shells and hardware in exchange for gold, slaves and ivory. 13 The Portuguese then built establishments that were used as commercial trading posts.The use of these commercial trading posts helped to increase the slave trade throughout the world. Without these initial intentions to explore the Western coast of Africa, the slave trade would have been suspended until another nation had the determination to go out and make a relationship with African society. That being said, the Portuguese had very significant role in the transatlantic slave trade. Although Portugal was a huge role of the transatlantic slave trade, Britain was another European nation that was seriously engaged in the affair.The most significant role that the British had in the slave trade was the transportation of the majority of the slaves.

The British ships had a tremendous responsibility in the role Britain took upon them. British slave trade ship owners made 20-50% profit on each voyage. 14 Captain John Hawkins was the first known British man to embark in a voyage across the Atlantic to capture African slaves. Over the course of six years, he made three voyages and captured 1200 Africans and sold them to Spanish colonies in the Americas for goods. 5 From then on, British traders supplied and transported slaves for the Spanish and Portuguese colonists in America. According to Professor David Richardson, British ships carried 3. 4 million or more African slaves to America.

16 In the 18th century, slave trade was the richest part of trade for Britain and many wealthy British traders built mansions, established banks and funded new industries. Britain became a very wealthy nation and profited a lot of money in the process. The transatlantic slave trade benefited Britain positively and helped to promote their strong, durable ships.Furthermore, one of the most indicative reasons Portugal had such a huge role in the slave trade was due to their establishment of the Triangular Trade. Triangular Trade was a system of trading that was commonly used all throughout Europe for slave trade. The trade system had three stages. The first stage involved the production of European goods that would later be sent to Africa.

Goods such as cloth, spirit, tobacco, beads, cowry shells, metal goods and guns were all traded in exchange for African slaves. 7 The guns were traded because they were worth a lot more and this helped to obtain more slaves.Eventually, the guns were being used against the European colonists so the exchange of guns was brought to an end. The second stage involved the shipping of the slaves to the Americas through the Middle Passage. The Middle Passage was the journey across the Atlantic Ocean from West Africa to the Americas. Lastly, the final stage of the Triangular Trade was the return to European nations of the finalized products from the slave- labor plantations. Products such as cotton, sugar, tobacco, molasses and um were all brought back to Europe as a result of the hard labor of the slaves.

The Triangular Trade system was used for all nations that were involved in the slave trade. It was the most resourceful and effective system of international trade. The Portuguese set up factories and commercial trading posts off the coast of Western Africa. This was essential for the first stage of Triangular Trade because they were ready for when European goods arrived at the African port waiting to be traded for slaves. In brief, Portugal set the world-wide slave trade in motion by introducing and establishing the Triangular Trade.All things considered, Portugal was responsible for the authorization of the Dumb-Dividers, the exploration of Western Africa and the establishment of the Triangular Trade which gave them the most significant role in the slave trade. For hundreds of years, Portugal made it their goal to monopolize the export of slaves from Africa.

After four and a half centuries of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, it is estimated that Portugal was responsible for transporting over 4. 5 million African slaves to the Americas, which is roughly 40% of the total of African slaves transported from European nations in general . 8 The reincarnations slave trade will always be a major part of the world and development of history.

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