Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

1 January 2017

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was actually often referred to as the “Holocaust of Enslavement” which was basically the incarceration and imprisonment of people not for committing criminal offenses but to be put to work for others. The “Areas that were involved in the European slave trade eventually prospered. (Aca Demon) These areas took advantage of what they had in their own countries and traded for slaves that in result produced twice as much of the product, which made them very profitable.

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The Portuguese in the 1480’s had discovered uninhabited equatorial islands of Principe and Sao Tome and they ended up developing thriving sugar plantations’ in the rich volcanic soils of these islands and they needed people to work on the sugar plantations so they went to have Africa and brought slaves to man their plantations. (Shillington pg. 69). Then the Europeans saw an opening to trade more east which ended up being the discovery of the New World.

The origin of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was mainly coming from the, “expanding European empires in the New World lacked one major resource a work force. In most cases the indigenous peoples had proved unreliable”(About. com), the locals were all dying from diseases because the Europeans brought over many diseases and other things and the people already in the New World weren’t used to these diseases and ended up dying.

The main reason the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade kept thriving was because of the “Triangular Trade”, the first part was taking manufactured goods from Europe to Africa and in exchange they would get slaves and that made everyone happy there because the African slave owners would get goods in return for people and the Europeans would get slaves to produce more of the goods they had their slaves producing.

The second part of the triangle was the middle passage where they shipped the slaves to America. The final part of this was the produce of the slave plantations in America returned the products to Europe. About. com) The New World was a place in a huge need for more people to do labor because the country was so lavish in crops and new resources. The “Holocaust of Enslavement” described by Karenga was described as a “massive killing of about 50 to 100 million lives lost thru mass murder, war, the forcible transfer of populations, and the brutal rigors of the Middle Passage and of enslavement as well as the attendant dehumanization and cultural destruction, one cannot help but conclude that of all the holocausts of history, none surpasses this one.

Karenga also goes onto say,” that the Holocaust of enslavement expressed itself in three basic ways 1) a morally monstrous destruction of human life-millions of persons killed, whole peoples destroyed; 2) a morally monstrous destruction of human culture- cities, towns, villages, great works of art and literatures; 3) the morally monstrous destruction of human possibility- the destruction of life-chances and the grounds for human aspiration, freedom, dignity and human solidarity with others” (pg 135 Karenga). The things Karenga say are very true it was basically almost like a job just to survive as a slave.

The people who owned you did not care if you were feed well or healthy they just wanted you to do the work they didn’t want to do themselves. These people were sick to force someone against their own will to go all the way across the world just to work on a farm when you can just get a smaller farm and be able to do it yourself. The Africans came over in such bulk as if they almost just agreed to come over and not fight back, but this is very close to the correct thing. The Africans often rebelled and tried to fight back. There are many narratives out their providing stories behind how the slaves tried fighting back.

The most common resistance to slavery was “day to day” resistance which the slaves would break tools, pretend to be sick, light things on fire or just even work really slowly so that they could keep their energy and not get much done (Digital History). The impact of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was very widespread. The main effect which everyone knows which is very negative which is stated in our slides would be the depopulation of Africa taking everyone out of the country and shipping them off to various places defiantly cuts down on the populations and its not like all of them survived their travels many ended up dying (Kapatamoyo).

The impact people say that the slaves were harassed until death at sea is really exaggerated, the book says that most slaves didn’t die from being injured out at sea, but mostly from epidemics passed around on the boat killing many slaves (Harrold pg. 38). The reasoning behind this is very believable for the fact why would you pay for something, but kill it before you put it into work that is basically a waste of your money.

A huge impact the Trans-Atlantic slave trade had on Africa was also the Demographic impact it messed up marriage patterns and potentially reproducing more people, because they were taking all the males away from African it is a little hard to have a kid without a male involved (University of Calgary). The positive impact maybe one of the only to come out of this was the New World was able to produce so many new things often being called a “rich” place to come to because of all the opportunities and resources they had there.

Europe was flourishing from all of this they had everything they wanted products coming from the New World and slaves going to the new world which made a huge impact on this whole period, because the Europeans looked at it as a flourishing period for them and basically having nothing wrong with it and on the other hand they were just basically ripping Africa apart to feed their own families breaking families in Africa Apart (Slave Voyages) This took so many peoples lives which had a great impact on America growing into a new country while Africa was struggling to get by.

The conclusion of all this the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a huge destruction of one society, but also a stepping stone to produce one of the most influential Countries in the world now. They do say goods things don’t come without sacrifice. This a terrible way to describe how these people were treated, but I know they had to fight for their lives, but I thank them for all the pain and problems they went through to produce this great country for me to live in today.

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