Atlantic slave trade

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A slave is whipped by an owner in Brazil.

The Atlantic slave trade was the selling of African slaves by Europeans that happened in and around the Atlantic Ocean. It lasted from the 15th century to the 19th century. Most slaves were shipped from West Africa and brought over to the New World on slave ships. This was also called the Middle Passage.

Sources of slaves[change | change source]

Some slaves were captured in battles or through raids and kidnapping.[1] Some were sold into slavery as punishment or to pay a debt, usually by other Africans.[1] Then they were shackled together and marched to the coast on journeys lasting weeks or months.[1] When they arrived they were imprisoned in forts where they were purchased by Europeans. Most historians today think that between 12 million and 13 million Africans arrived in the New World.[2]

Slave trade[change | change source]

The slave-trade is sometimes called the Maafa by African and African-American scholars.[3] It means catastrophe in Kiswahili.[3] Some slave ships worked a three-part economic cycle often called the triangular trade.[4] It tied the economies of several regions and continents together.[4] The main triangular trading countries were England, The Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal.[4] Other ships just worked the slave trade.

Christopher Columbus first came to the Americas in 1492 while seeking the West Indies. This led to an economic reason for the transatlantic slave trade. Slavery is much more ancient than the transatlantic trade. Slaves were used in many ancient societies.[5] The Dahomian army was involved and used to trade people/slaves for weapons to protect themselves.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The capture and sale of slaves". International Slave Museum. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  2. Thomas, Hugh 1997. The Slave Trade: the history of the Atlantic slave trade 1440–1870. London: Picador, 1997. ISBN 0-330-35437-X
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Maafa Commemoration". The Free Dictionary/Farlex. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Transatlantic Slave Trade". UNESCO. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. Greene, Jacqueline. Slavery in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. 2001. ISBN 0-531-16538-8